Holocaust remembrance will be a common theme this week with tomorrow being Remembrance Day. You may have read recently about a group of Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews who are planning a joint trip to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps next month. It’s not a stretch to say that most Arabs are against the idea.
Journalist Emir Makhoul took issue with the declaration by the Arab participants in the initiative that they sought "to understand the suffering [of the Jews] and its influence on the Jewish people, which has led it to live in constant fear of the other," because, he said, it reinforces the Zionist approach that uses the Jewish victim to justify Israel's aggressive policy.
"My opposition does not of course mean that I am in favor of the Nazis... I think that to travel now to Auschwitz means giving tools to Israeli propaganda. I do not remember that I saw a Jewish leader, from the Left or the Right, visiting Sabra and Shatilla or one of the cemeteries full of the corpses of Palestinians. Enough leaders in the world show solidarity with the Jewish people in all things connected to the Holocaust, and I think that the Jews have exploited them well and circulated it as a clearly political matter, and done many terrible things in the name of the Holocaust. They built a country here at the expense of the Palestinian people because of the Holocaust, so I don't have to identify with them...
And not to be missed:
"We cannot abolish the historic Palestinian dream, even if we remove it from the official Palestinian rhetoric... This land was promised to us by Allah, while it was promised to the Jews by Balfour. If such a decision [about teaching the Holocaust] is carried out, it will undoubtedly ruin the Palestinian dream and aspirations.
It will entirely obliterate the past, present, and future of the Palestinians. We in the Legislative Council will oppose any experiment that might harm the mind, the identity, and the historic roots of the Palestinians."
The land was promised to the Jews by Balfour… Go figure.