Teaching the Holocaust in Al-Quds

Photo: Yossi Zamir/FLASH90

Why does a Palestinian professor believe it is so important for his students to learn about the Holocaust?

Mohammed Dajani talks about what he has learned from taking Palestinian students to Auschwitz, and why he believes his movement Wasatia – moderation – is the right path for Islam.



This episode of the Tel Aviv Review is made possible by the Israel office of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, which promotes peace, freedom, and justice through political education.

4 comments on “Teaching the Holocaust in Al-Quds

  1. What a privilege to hear from this incredible guy. Thank you TLVR and Konrad-Adenauer-Stitfung, for strengthening the moderating voices on both sides of the conflict!

    1. One small complaint, though, about this overall incredible interview.

      Starting at about 31:10, there’s a discussion about Israel’s demand to be recognized as a Jewish state. What an honor, Dr. Dajani jokes, that Israel would come to the Palestinians and request their recognition for this, when they (the implication is) have so little global influence, and anyway the UN Partition plan of 1947 already mentions a Jewish state. Dr. Dajani criticizes Palestinians for not granting this recognition and then calling Israel’s bluff if Israel refuses to come to the negotiation table even after that.

      Main point:
      I agree with the criticism, but there’s an obvious response that I wish that Dahlia or Gilad would have pressed. The Palestinians don’t take this route because they correctly perceive that recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, if it is to have any practical meaning, will inevitably involve some amount of compromise on the Right of Return. Of course, one can easily observe that Israel’s population is majority Jewish and it has Jewish symbols; but I don’t think that this is what’s at issue. What I take to be at issue is recognizing the legitimacy of Israel’s *continued* existence as a Jewish state, which involves conceding that (among other things such as the anthem, flag, etc.) Israel has a legal and moral right to control its own immigration policy, including by such measures as the Law of Return (חוק השבות).

      . . . Now, in my view, this is indeed something that Palestinians should concede. But I think most Palestinians are right to notice that it’s far from a trivial concession, Dr. Dajani’s reaction notwithstanding. And given that it’s a substantive concession, one can understand why Palestinians would refuse to give it away for free just to get to the negotiating table. (The morality and ultimate strategic benefit for them of that refusal are separate, more complicated questions.)

      1. ACH says:

        You might think that and you might actually becorrdxt but there was no eidenceinDr. Djsni’s remarks to support your contention. T

  2. Maribeth says:

    Please consider a follow-up episode/discussion elaborating Moe’ s comment: “(The morality and ultimate strategic benefit for them of that refusal are separate, more complicated questions.)”.

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