Friday, 24 July 2009

Guardian today

History used and abused in Israel

by Ian Black

The problem with the Israel–Palestine conflict, someone once wisely observed, is that it involves too much history and not enough geography. The decision by Israel's education ministry to ban the use of the word "nakba" in textbooks for young Arab schoolchildren is one striking reminder of the clashing, if not irreconcilable historical narratives about what happened in 1948, when what Israelis call their "war of independence" became the Palestinians' "catastrophe" ("nakba" in Arabic).

Should we ban 'Nazi analogies'?

Using Nazi analogies to criticise Israel or Zionism may be offensive, but should it be against the law?

Using Nazi analogies to criticise Israel and Zionism is offensive, but should it be banned, criminalised or branded as antisemitic? Comment is free itself has a policy on this, according to which moderators generally rule Nazi comparisons out of order for being provocative, abusive and doing nothing to promote better understanding of the Israel-Palestine conflict; a distinction is made, however, when actual historical connections between Zionists (or Arab nationalists) and the Nazis are a legitimate topic under discussion.

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