The Holocaust and the Nakba: Memory, National Identity and Jewish-Arab Partnership grew out of the meetings of a group of educators—Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel—who came together in 2008 at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute to consider jointly the Holocaust and the Nakba. The group’s wrenching experience in dealing with these charged topics led to a decision to try to discuss this issue analytically and critically. Thus, the book proposes thinking about ways to remember the Holocaust and the Nakba together, to discuss them together in the Israeli context, and to examine the conditions that make this possible—not because they are identical or even similar events, but rather because both were traumatic and identity-forming. Both the Nakba and the Holocaust shaped the fate and the identity of two peoples, albeit each in a totally different way.
The book contains articles and essays by Jewish and Palestinian researchers, writers, and philosophers seeking to grapple with this issue. The articles are varied: Some demand consideration of both events and see such a consideration as an opening for reconciliation and acceptance, and some reject this possibility altogether. Thus the book provides a unique mosaic that challenges the conventional approach to remembering the traumas of the two peoples.