War museum defends displaying news truck shelled by IDF in Gaza


The Imperial War Museum has defended its decision to exhibit a vehicle that was hit by IDF shelling during the Israel-Gaza war after a complaint from an angry visitor.

A historian at the leading military museum in south London said the exhibit, featuring a Reuters-branded Land Rover which was hit by the Israeli army during the 2014 conflict, was not intended to portray a negative image of Israel.

Mother-of-four Sharon Kenley had complained to historians at the IWM.

Mrs Kenley, from Finchley in north-west London, said she was "so hurt" after visiting the museum with her husband and 10-year-old son Jake a fortnight ago.

The display notes that 14 journalists had been killed in Israel and the Palestinian territories between 1992 and 2015. Mrs Kenley said a side display of an injured Gazan "gave a very negative view of Israel".

The Finchley United Synagogue member said: "While I was looking at this exhibit a British family next to me was reading the footage and I heard them tutting loudly as they walked away.

"I was very upset and spoke to the museum representatives there and left a complaint in writing. They told me that they have had several complaints already and that representatives from the Israeli government saw this and were concerned and as a result they slightly changed the footage."

The museum confirmed that the exhibit, which was put up in July 2014, had been altered last year following an earlier complaint.

An IWM historian said: "We have had some visitor feedback about the Land Rover. We considered that feedback and subsequently made some changes to the interpretation.

"This latest feedback will be considered when IWM comes to review its displays."

He added: "We are sorry that Mrs Kenley found the reactions of other visitors to this object and its interpretation offensive or upsetting – that was not our intention.

"The purpose of the display of the Land Rover and its interpretation is not to portray a negative view of Israel but to discuss the dangers associated with war reporting."

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