Sadaka-Reut is a youth organization, which brings together Israeli and Palestinian youth. The purpose is to create a dialogue between the Israeli and Palestinian kids. The project is mostly about racism, not only between Arabs and Jews.
This year (2012) three Eye2Israel members (Noy, Neta and I) joined a group of Jewish and Palestinian kids in a special collaboration with a German school of immigrants. In Berlin, there are many Arab or Turkish immigrants who came to work in Germany in the 60′s and since settled there. The immigrants are suffering from racism and discriminations too, so that’s the essence of the collaboration and dialogues.
On May 2012, the German group came to Israel for a trip and a joint seminar. In the seminar we discussed racism and many topics that were a bit hard to talk about, because of conflicting principles (for example, how the Palestinians believe that the establishment of the State of Israel is a disaster and how they consider the terrorists who sit in jail to be captives). The seminar was only 3 days, so we couldn’t cover everything and really get to know each other. And the fact that we talked about such topics didn’t help as well.
In the end of August, the Israeli-Palestinian group traveled to Berlin for a joint seminar and trip. The seminar was longer, and also the trip was with the German group, so we did manage to connect quite well and become friends.
We discussed the same topics, but with new opinions this time. Nevertheless, there were still major disagreements. One of the biggest disagreements was when we talked about the Holocaust and the subject of the Nacba came up, and the comparisons started. For the Arab group, German or Palestinian, the Nacba and the Holocaust are not different – they claimed that while completely ignoring the history of the Palestinian side, which refused the solution of two states for two nations and started a war in 1948. When they knew 6 million Jews were sentenced to be killed, without an option to fight back, they still thought the same.
They struggled with the realization that using the word “disaster” about the fact that we have a state is offensive and that’s why there is a law against it in schools in Israel. The Nacba day is disrespecting for us and comparing it to the Holocaust is ridiculous and inconceivable. Some of them even thought that the Nacba is a bigger disaster. We didn’t have time to talk about everything and I hope that we can talk about it some more later on.
Other than that, Berlin is a very fun city with a lot to do. We were mostly in their neighborhood, which is an immigrant neighborhood. A lot of the streets looked like streets of an Arabic country. The sightseeing was fun and the food was great. We also visited a village in Berlin, next to a river. It was beautiful. We sailed in a boat, swam, hiked, and ate in local restaurants.
The trip was great and the seminars were important and interesting. I will definitely come back to Berlin if I’ll be able to, and it was great to meet a lot of new friends from different countries and from different nations.
Here are a few pictures of the trip to Berlin: