Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Barnett R. Rubin, "Against Holocaust Denial, Against Naqba Denial," Informed Comment: Global Affairs," May 1, 2008.

I try to be friendly, I try to be kind.
Now I'm gonna drive you from your home,
Just like I was driven from mine.
Someday baby you ain't gonna worry po' me any more.

Bob Dylan, Someday Baby

May 8, Israeli Independence Day, will mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, an occasion to be marked in Israel and Jewish communities around the world with celebration. As always, Independence Day is preceded by Holocaust Remembrance Day (May 2) and Yom ha-Zikaron (Memorial Day, on May 7, in memory of those fallen for the state.

May 15 will mark the 60th anniversary of the Naqba (catastrophe), as Palestinians all the founding of Israel and their consequent defeat, expulsion, and exile. Palestinian and other communities will mark the day with mourning, protest, and anger.

The founding of Israel is often justified, at least partly, as reparation for the genocide of European Jews by the German Nazi regime. For many Jews, the creation of this state redeems, if anything can (and in my view it can't) not only that ultimate atrocity, but also the entire history of Jewish suffering and persecution, seen as a prelude to national rebirth.

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