Israeli and Palestinian histories
Meeting between Avi Shlaim and Elias Khoury
Learning about the 1948 War of Independence, Israeli children are told the stories of when their grandparents were invaded by hostile Arabic states, about the heroic resistance of the Zionist underground movement, and about the victory ensuring the continued existence of the state of Israel.
Palestinian children are told about an-Nakba – the Catastrophe. Those stories focus on grandparents fleeing their homes, loss of land and the beginning of the end of the Palestinian state.
Interviewed by an Israeli newspaper, the Lebanese writer Elias Khoury said, “The Israeli is not only the policeman or the occupier, he is the “other,” who also has a human experience, and we need to read this experience. Our reading of their experience is a mirror to our reading of the Palestinian experience.” This evening, we will read Israeli and Palestinian experiences from the war that transformed the Middle East. Meeting the Israeli historian Avi Shlaim, Khourt will ask: Is it possible to find a common understanding of what happened in 1948? Mustafa Can will lead the conversation.