In a tweet shared on Twitter, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) claimed that they are displaying a photo where the so-called “Tantura Massacre” took place in 1948, but a Holocaust expert proved it was actually a Nazi concentration camp in Germany. The photo showed tens or possibly hundreds of corpses in a black and white photo, before being buried in a mass grave.
The Palestinian Academy for Science & Technology calls on @EMBO to relocate workshops from apartheid Israel, including the one at the site of the Tantura massacre."EMBO has a moral obligation to end its complicity in whitewashing Israel’s crimes." https://t.co/UVfNJgCqEa pic.twitter.com/pOo1x49emD— PACBI (@PACBI) February 15, 2023
The photo was accompanied by text saying: “The Palestinian Academy for Science & Technology calls on EMBO [European Molecular Biology Organization] to relocate workshops from ‘apartheid Israel,’ including the one at the site of the Tantura massacre. EMBO has a moral obligation to end its complicity in whitewashing Israel’s crimes.”
In the shared photo, it is claimed that a mass grave is underneath the parking lot next to the beach.
EMBO is an organization of more than 1,900 researchers “that promotes excellence in the life sciences in Europe and beyond,” according to the organization’s website.
Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism Minister Amichai Chikli responded on Twitter to the matter, saying “the racist BDS movement breaks a Guinness record, uses a picture from the German concentration camp of Nordhausen to lie about a fictional massacre during Israel’s War of Independence. Holocaust distortion, appropriation and denial, further victimizing Jewish people. Pure evil.”
The racist @BDSmovement breaks a Guiness record, uses a picture from the German concentration camp of Nordhausen to lie about a fictional massacre during Israel's War of Independence.Holocaust distortion, appropriation and denial,further victimizing Jewish people. Pure evil. pic.twitter.com/rg8RLpO6Um— עמיחי שיקלי - Amichai Chikli (@AmichaiChikli) February 16, 2023
What was the massacre that PACBI was referring to?
The alleged “Tantura Massacre” is an event that took place on the night of 22–23 May 1948 during the 1948 War of Independence, when around 40-200 Palestinian Arabs were said to be killed by the Israeli Defense Forces following the surrender of Tantura, a village of roughly 1,500 people located near Haifa.
According to many online photo banks, the original photo says that it displayed the “aftermath of the British bombing raid of 3 and 4 April 1945 that destroyed the Boelcke-Kaserne (Boelcke Barracks) located in the south-east of the town of Nordhausen and killed around 1,300 inmates.”
Chikli told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that he spoke to historian Gideon Greif, who specializes in the history of the Holocaust – especially the history of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Greif, according to Chikli, has checked the photo and claimed that it is a fake.
“This a huge and ugly lie of the BDS movement,” adding that “this is one of the most dramatic fake news stories they’ve made in the past few years.”