Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Holocaust Day Invited Raises Storm in Israel

Should Arab MP be at Auschwitz?


(Left: Mohammed Barakeh is the leader of the Communist Party.)

".....Other Arab public figures in Israel have been critical. In a commentary, Zuheir Androus, editor of a newspaper in Galilee, reminded Mr Barakeh that his family came from Saffuriya, a Palestinian village close to Nazareth that was ethnically cleansed during the Nakba, the Palestinian name for the 1948 war that founded Israel.

He wrote: “We should be asking Barakeh why he needs to take part in an official Israeli Knesset delegation to the death camp, while other [legislators] in the delegation prevent us, Arab Palestinians, from mentioning the 1948 Nakba.”

Israeli legislators have been seeking to outlaw commemorations of the Nakba.

Mr Abdel Fattah said that, while it was compulsory for Arab children to learn about the Holocaust, the Nakba was excluded from the curriculum in both Arab and Jewish schools.

The demand from Israel that we recognise Jewish suffering in the Holocaust while we are required to deny our own people’s suffering in the Nakba is just another form of loyalty test,” he said. Far-right parties in the government have proposed that Arab citizens be required to take a loyalty oath or perform national service.

Barakeh should remember that Israel wants to reshape our political and national identity and is using the Holocaust to do that.”......"

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