Between the Holocaust and the Nakba, Two Histories – and Maybe a Shared Future

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Holocaust survivors after the liberation of Auschwitz in January 1945, left, and Palestinian refugees arriving in Jordan in 1969.
Holocaust survivors after the liberation of Auschwitz in January 1945, left, and Palestinian refugees arriving in Jordan in 1969. Credit: AP
David Green
David B. Green
David Green
David B. Green

“There are two different nations here in this land, each of which is deserving of self-determination and of a homeland. And their stories are interwoven with each other.” (Amos Goldberg, in an interview)

It has for some time been an unquestioned axiom, at least in polite society, that the words “Holocaust” and “Nakba” have no place in the same sentence (for many Israelis, there’s no place for “Nakba” in any sentence), and that suggesting they have a connection is akin to equating them. But it can be argued, as the psychoanalytic thinker Jacqueline Rose does in her afterword to Israeli scholars’ Bashir Bashir and Amos Goldberg’s book “The Holocaust and the Nakba,” that “unless we can hold these two moments in our hearts and minds as part of the same story, there can be no moving forward in the seemingly unmovable conflict that is Israel-Palestine.”

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