Yair Auron is a professor who has spent the past 25 years studying genocide and Israel’s attitude toward the genocides of other nations. On the eve of the publication of his recent essay, he wrote an open letter in Haaretz to demand reconciliation between Jewish-Israelis and Arab-Israelis. He is eager up to certain point to concede that his own people committed some gross violations of human rights, even, very sadly, as far as the generation of Holocaust survivors is concerned.
Unless Israelis recognize the crimes we committed in 1948 and Palestinians recognize the horrors of the Holocaust, there is no chance of reconciliation.
He addressed his letter to the Palestinian reader and stated that
The search for truth is, in my opinion, a moral, intellectual and academic obligation. This is especially important to me when the topic is the relationship between Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Israelis/Palestinians in Palestine or elsewhere. These two societies live in mutual distrust that is steadily worsening.
He explained that in his studies he collected evidence that there is no ongoing genocide against the Palestinians perpetrated by the Israeli Jews, but on the other hand he concedes that the Palestinian were inflicted the horrors of ethnic cleansing in 1948. And he is ready to meet with audiences worldwide to assess this stance.
It is clear to me -
that some portion of Palestinian and Arab society — I do not know how large — will not accept my position, just as I know many Israelis disagree with and even vehemently oppose my contentions.
But unless both parties recognize the suffering of the other there is no chance for peace. He therefore praised Abu Mazen's words and criticized Benjamin Netanyahu's rejection of this brave admission.
"The circumstances of our lives have led to us living together side by side, each against the other. I cannot accept the ridiculous claim that he is an “other” who wants to destroy us, even if there are undoubtedly some Palestinians who do want to destroy us.
I would be happy to come and speak with anyone, anyplace, to contribute my small bit to reconciliation between the two peoples. Both peoples are more ready for this than their leaders", he concluded his letter.You can read its full version in the box below.
Yair Auron, author of "The Holocaust, the Resurrection and the Nakba"