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Leftist Group Teaches “Palestinian Heritage” in Israel

Zochrot, a pro-Arab leftist group which recognizes the Arab 'right of return', launches new Hebrew course on 'Palestinian Heritage'.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/11/2011, 5:00 AM / Last Update: 3/11/2011, 8:26 AM

Flash 90

Some anti-Israel, pro-Arab activity is taking place these days right inside Israel.

The leftist movement Zochrot, which openly supports and promotes the Arab ‘right of return’ (the idea that the nillions of  Arabs who are descendants of those who left their homes in Israel during the 1948 War of Independence should be allowed to live in Israel), is conducting a series of workshops in Hebrew on the subject of the Nakba (the Arab term meaning the “catastrophe” of the founding of the State of Israel).

Not only does the course take place in the Hebrew language, it takes place in a public shelter in the heart of the city of Be’er Sheva. Yosef Mekiton, a member of the Zochrot movement, confirmed that the seven-part course, which meets once every two weeks, will indeed be taking place, during a phone call on Thursday with Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew website. He also noted that the course will include a tour of Palestinian Arab communities which the organization claims Israel destroyed.

Mekiton noted during the conversation that the members of Zochrot wish to teach “the Palestinian heritage” to Israelis. “The course is in Hebrew and will also take place in other parts of the country,” he said. “We will also be conducting tours in areas where there were attempts by Israel to hide the remains of Palestinian villages that were destroyed.” There was no people called the Palestinian people before the return of Jews to the Holy Land.

He added that six people had already signed up for the introductory session and expressed hope that many others will join. “This is not an academic course and there are no university credits, but it is open to the public and we hope that many people will join us.”

Mekiton indicated that Zochrot has accomplished many achievements in recent years.

“We are filing objections to building which is harmful to the existing Arab villages,” he said. “We’ve also posted signs in places where there were previously Arab settlements. We had a struggle against the Jewish National Fund. We asked them to note in their signage that Canada Park was established on the ruins of three Palestinian villages. They refused, so we petitioned to the High Court, which ordered the JNF to place the signs.”

Zochrot’s website states that it is “a group of Israeli citizens working to raise awareness of the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948.”

The organization notes that “The Zionist collective memory exists in both our cultural and physical landscape, yet the heavy price paid by the Palestinians -- in lives, in the destruction of hundreds of villages, and in the continuing plight of the Palestinian refugees -- receives little public recognition.” He did not mention that it was the Arab countries surrounding israel that declared war on the fledgling Jewish state, and promised those who fled that they would soon return after all the Jews had been massacred.

In the past, members of Zochrot had taken part in a protest as part of a struggle to force the State of Israel to accept illegal construction by Bedouin Arabs at a spot called El Arakib in the Negev.

Zochrot also recently attended a conference in Sderot at which a plan for the resettlement of Arab “refugees” in the Negev was presented. Sderot’s Mayor David Buskila immediately canceled his participation in the event when he learned of its true nature.