Helena Cobban reports at Just World News:
On Saturday, I was delighted to attend the first two sessions of a half-day conference held at the University of Virginia on the topic ‘1948 in Palestine.’ The main speakers at those sessions were Susan Akram on Boston University Law School and Rochelle Davis of Georgetown University.
…What was equally notable to the high quality of both of these discussions was, for me, simply the fact of the open-ness of this corner of American academe to discussing this whole issue of 1948 in such an open-minded way.
These days, dealing with the still-unresolved issues of 1948 is moving back to being an inescapably central part of the whole quest to find a workable and equality-based formula for the longterm coexistence of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, whether in two states or one. For several years in an earlier era– perhaps up to 1999 or 2000; or possibly, even later than that?– it seemed to many people around the world that dealing only with the issues of 1967 (primarily, ending the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza that Israel initiated in that year) would be sufficient and/or workable, while the issues from 1948 (primarily, the question of that large portion of Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed from the area-that-became-Israel that year) could somehow be sidestepped, swept under the rug, or finessed in one way or another.
For many Israelis, however, even trying to discuss the question of the Palestinian refugees as being bearers of rights is still seen as anathema, or as an attempt to “delegitimize Israel”, or whatever… and the same is true of the many pro-Israeli watchdogs and discourse-suppression organizations in the U.S. media and the U.S. academy.