Omid Memarian

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Bush in Israel: Standing With One Side"

A few days ago, Israelis celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of their state. President Bush was the exclusive quest. Sandy Tolan, the author of The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East, who used to be my professor at UC Berkeley's graduate school of journalism has talked about the other side of the story, a story that must be told:
"Yet when President Bush steps off his plane to help Israel mark its 60th birthday, he will stride firmly into the past of one side. Officials of the Jewish state will sweep the president into their own powerful and compelling narrative: The birth of Israel from the ashes of the Holocaust on May 14, 1948; the invasion of the state, a day later, from Arab armies marching from the north, south, and east; and the loss of fully one percent of the Jewish state's population, in a fierce defense that evokes Israel's unofficial motto: Never again.

What the president won't hear is the Palestinian story. He won't be told that one side's "War of Independence" is the other side's "Nakba," or Catastrophe. And no one is likely to mention that Israel's heroic survival was, to the Arabs, a dispossession in which 750,000 Palestinians fled or were driven out of their homes." (Read the rest of the story here)


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