Only days before Israel celebrates 66 years since independence, it’s no surprise that The Guardian is focusing on “Remembering the Nakba” by profiling the Zochrot non-governmental organization (NGO):
Maps, leaflets and posters explain the work of Zochrot – Hebrew for “Remembering”. The organisation’s mission is to educate Israeli Jews about a history that has been obscured by enmity, propaganda and denial for much of the last 66 years.
Next week, Zochrot, whose activists include Jews and Palestinians, will connect the bitterly contested past with the hi-tech present. Its I-Nakba phone app will allow users to locate any Arab village that was abandoned during the 1948 war on an interactive map, learn about its history (including, in many cases, the Jewish presence that replaced it), and add photos, comments and data.
It is all part of a highly political and inevitably controversial effort to undo the decades-long erasure of landscape and memory – and, so the hope goes, to build a better future for the two peoples who share a divided land.
But is Zochrot really about “build[ing] a better future for the two peoples who share a divided land?” Is The Guardian’s emphasis on recognizing the other’s narrative the real story and creating a kumbaya moment?
Not according to NGO Monitor‘s profile of Zochrot:
- Zochrot is an Israeli NGO established with the aim of “rais[ing] public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba” and “recognizing and materializing the right of return.” Promoting the right of return is equivalent to calling for the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
- As explained by Zochrot founder Eitan Bronstein, “When the refugees return, Jews will become a minority in the country. Israel as a Jewish state will change radically, and it will no longer be defined as such. Jews will no longer be able to determine their future…by themselves…. There may be Jews, most of them of European origin, who won’t be able to adjust to a non-Zionist reality, and prefer to use their other passport to move elsewhere…”
- Zochrot supports a “One State Solution” or a “de-Zionized Palestine,” and refers to Israel as having an “ethnicized and racialized Zionist” system.
- According to Bronstein, the “occupation” began in 1948, and “Without the right of return, we Israelis will be forever condemned to be occupiers.”
NGO Monitor goes on to outline Zochrot’s support for a one-state solution and the end of Jewish sovereignty, as well as the production of a highly disturbing video featuring a radical activist who visits the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and adopts the persona of the “Holocaust,” claiming to be “the best thing that ever happened” to the Jewish people.
It speaks volumes for The Guardian’s agenda that it not only emphasizes the Palestinian narrative but also gives credence to the most radical and unrepresentative Israelis. Zochrot – just the sort of radical anti-Zionist NGO that The Guardian is happy to promote.