We are opening the the second topic, and I would like to start by telling my own story.
My parents fled to Israel right after WWII, and were inhabited by the newly established government in Jerusalem, in a neighborhood called Baka (Arab name used till today), I grew up in a house I knew belonged to Arab who left/fled during the war of 1948, but as a child I did not pay attention to it.
Right after 67 war, the original residents of the house came to see the place (all I remember is that they lived in the old city and had a coffee shop there), the meeting was strange, both sides were not sure how to behave, they went in, had a look and left, probably very sad about what they have lost, but again we did not pay a lot of attention, the issue of Nakba was strange to us, as all Israelis we grew up on the myth that most of the Palestinian fled, because they were promised by their own leaders to be able to come back later, after the promised victory, and of course the other part of the myth was that the Arabs have 22 countries, so it is up to those countries to 'absorb' the poor refugees, as my parents were 'absorbed' by the Israeli state, when they escaped Europe.
Few years ago I went with mother to Romania to visit the village were she was born, we of course had no intention to go back and live there, and reclaim the house that was left behind, but when we talked to the current residents, we felt that they are suspicious about our intention, and I suddenly realized that now I am on the other side, and that is how the people who lived in my house felt when they visited us.
Since then I my understanding matured, I want to learn more, and I acknowledge the narrative of the other people with which we fight and negotiate, and that is the Nakba, and it is clear to me that there will be no peace unless this issue is discussed and resolved somehow, I do not think the solution is letting everyone come back, but I am sure the solution is not ignoring it, and leaving it as 'their problem' as it is clearly not, it is ours.
We as Jews have our own narrative, and that is based on the holocaust, Palestinians need to understand it, so they will know why the Jews insist on having their own state, as a shelter to all Jews, I am truly very sad it came on expense of another people, but history cannot be changed, we should care about the future, not all Israelis share this way of thinking, I think most of them prefer ignoring the topic.
I'd like to suggest we dicuss this issue, I suggest we ignore the basic question whose blame it is, it is from my point of view an irrelevant question, the issues I'd like to suggest we dicuss are quite different.
Recently I made the connection with organization called Zochrot, I went with them to a tour in one of the destroyed villages near Jerusalem (Ajjur), I saw the reaction of the police and other authorities when they waited for us there, I heard what my friends tell me about making an issue of event in history, which is not our issue, and better be left alone, but yet I think it is important to discuss.
Ranin Geries (Palestinian from Haifa) from Zochrot, volunteered to lead this discussion, she will join this group next week, she will also be able to support Palestinian participants, as she does speak the three languages, and I am sure it will be interesting discussion, but I am also certain it is important one.
The questions Ranin and myself thought will be good to start with are
1. Why is it important to discuss the Nakba, is it not just history? Is it related to our future and how?
2. What is the connection between the Nakba and what is happening today between Arab and Jews?
3. Will the resolution of the Nakba problem also support the resolution of the conflict between Arab and Jews?
I hope you join and I hope we have good debate