When Bshara Nassar arrived in Washington, DC, he strolled along the National Mall and passed myriad museums dedicated to exposing the painful history of oppressed peoples: the National Museum of the American Indian, the Holocaust Museum, Laogai Museum, the list goes on. He quickly recognized there was no “place for the Palestinian story to be told,” which inspired him to launch the first-ever Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope.
Kayla Blau writes a powerful reflection on attending a Birthright trip and then visiting her Palestinian childhood friend Aseel in East Jerusalem. She writes: “I am spinning, reciting how much propaganda we received, how my gut cringed at the irony of every IDF memorial. Aseel’s mother, Fatima, nods solemnly. Her brother, Noor, jumps up, “See! They have Holocaust museums and memorials at every corner, yet we are the victims of a modern day Holocaust! Where are the Palestinian memorials? Where do our tears go? Where are our bodies buried?” Noor’s question lingers like the stunned silence after the car bomb that night, definite and deflating. In the wake of hate crimes, Palestinians held hostage by the occupation, and unwarranted jailing, Aseel’s uncle sits with his five year old child and prays. He is forced to explain to his child why his brother was killed by Israeli soldiers at the same time my rabbi explains Jews must stay righteously committed to Israel.”