Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Human suffering is the same the world over

In a small anonymous home in the West Bank, a Palestinian academic has set up a project which is almost unheard of in the Occupied Territories.

Hassan Musa is the curator of a museum exhibition dedicated to the Jewish Holocaust in Europe.

The cracked white walls of this makeshift museum in the village of Ni'lin are covered from floor to ceiling with images of people forced out of their homes, tortured, imprisoned, starved and murdered.

In addition to the pictures depicting the Nazi brutality against Jews in Europe, there are also images of the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) following the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and the violence in Palestine since.

On one wall, there is a picture of a scared Jewish boy holding up his hands as Nazi soldiers look on; the caption reads: "Make your final account with Hitler and the Nazi Germans, not with the Palestinians."

On an adjacent wall there are photos of dead children, demolished homes and women screaming during the Israeli war on Gaza in January.

Musa, who is also a member of Ni'lin's Popular Committee Against the Wall, says pictures of the atrocities committed against both peoples were strategically placed side-by-side to not only reflect the suffering of both and help Israelis and Palestinians better understand each other, but also to demonstrate how victims of one conflict can become the harbinger of another.

"The Palestinians have no connection to the Holocaust in Europe, but unfortunately we are paying the price of a misdeed we did not commit," he said.


Wil Robinson said...

This comparison is so often dismissed by Israeli-apologists, but the comparison isn't simply between the Holocaust and the current situation in Palestine.

The Holocaust was only the final solution in a long term, extensive and severe repression of a people based on ethnicity and religion. For more than a decade before the first mass murders took place, Jews faced restrictions that made them second-class citizens. The murder of 6 million does not negate the decade-long ill treatment of an entire people.

Thus, the Palestinian issue is not about comparing the "Holocaust" to the West Bank/Gaza, but rather about comparing the events that allowed the Holocaust to happen to WB/Gaza.

ellroon said...

Point taken, and one that isn't usually discussed.

Amazing how the bullied and oppressed can so easily become the bully and oppressor without self-recognition.