We have a duty to learn

What would happen if more Jews actually wanted to know about Palestinian history and understand its trauma?

Somewhere outside Tel Aviv yesterday two busloads of Israelis were taken on a tour of their history. It is a history many of them will have heard a version of before, but few will have heard the one presented to them on this trip through long-destroyed indigenous Palestinian villages in the greater Tel Aviv area.

The tour was organised by Zochrot, an Israeli non-governmental organisation whose mission is to teach Israeli Jews about the Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe, when about 800,000 Palestinians fled or were forced to flee their homes and lands in 1948, never to be allowed to return. Organisers take Israelis the length and breadth of the country, mapping Palestinian villages destroyed by Israeli paramilitary units in the aftermath of 1948, planting signs in the appropriate places and advocating the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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