In Palestine, the Wasatia movement envisions a struggle that brings moderate Israelis together with moderate Palestinians in an effort to end the occupation, says Mohammed Daoudi.

Middle East Online

JERUSALEM – In this interview with Talya Ezrahi, editor at Search for Common Ground, Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi, founder of the Wasatia movement and Professor of Political Science at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, talks about an interfaith event in February that brought together 150 Jews, Muslims and Christians to Auschwitz in Poland, the site of the largest Nazi extermination camp.

Why was it important for you to join other religious leaders in this visit to Auschwitz?

Mohammed Daoudi: The purpose of the event was to disseminate information to Muslims and Christians who live in a world where there is Holocaust denial, or a scarcity of information about the Holocaust. In the Muslim world, for example, the Holocaust is linked to the establishment of Israel – and the Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe. As a result, there is a scarcity of literature that adequately describes the genocide of the Jews during World War II.

We were invited as Muslim and Christians to witness for ourselves the horror that Jews experienced just for being Jews. I think it would be very important to arrange such visits for Palestinian students as part of their education. The Arab-Israeli conflict has shaped the way we Palestinians perceive and interpret historical events and I would like my students to arrive at a point where they can extricate their understanding of what happened during the Holocaust from the controversial context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is a tragic chapter in human history that we cannot keep ignoring.

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