Saturday, June 13, 2015

Washington's Nakba Museum

Washington's Nakba Museum

by Stephen Lendman

The Washington Peace Center "envision(s) a world based on respect for people and the planet that is achieved through nonviolence, peace and social justice."

Its web site featured an announcement of the opening of America's first ever Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope.

It "aims to invite Palestinians to finally tell their stories by providing them with a safe environment in which they can freely share their experiences of loss, devastation and hope." 

"Through preserving these stories, we strive to preserve Palestinian heritage in its entirety." 

"Our inaugural exhibit, Reclaiming the Lost Future, features a comprehensive exhibition about the flight and expulsion of Palestinians in 1948; photographs of nonviolent resistance and everyday life in the West Bank and Gaza; paintings by Palestinian artists living in refugee camps; and eyewitness testimonies and interviews with Palestinian refugees that highlight their struggles, loss, and undying resilience."

Mondoweiss explained activist Bshara Nassar was inspired to establish a "place for the Palestinian story to be told." It's one Israel wants kept buried.

It's about depopulating 531 villages and 11 urban areas like Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. It involved massacring thousands of innocent Palestinians, raping their women and committing other atrocities.

It included burning, bulldozing, and blowing up or stealing Palestinian homes, property and other belongings. It continues denying diaspora Palestinians their international law guaranteed right of return.

Nakba never ended. Genocidal ethnic cleansing is official Israeli policy. Decades of high crimes against peace remain unaccountable. So does denial of fundamental civil and human rights everyone deserves.

Palestinians continue being ruthlessly persecuted for not being Jews. Occupation harshness brutalizes them. Police state diktats control most all aspects of their lives. 

Thousands of political prisoners languish in Israel's gulag for wanting to live free on the own land in their own country. Israel's so-called War of Independence continues being Palestine's greatest nightmare. Ruthless persecution never ended. 

Wanton mass slaughter and destruction terrify millions of Palestinians at Israel's discretion - an apartheid police state by any standard, worse than South Africa's.

Mondoweiss said a "non-partisan team of Palestinian and Jewish-American artists formed to support Nassar's dream."
Successful fundraising made Saturday's formal opening possible - with a two week art exhibit at Washington's Festival Center.

Works of six Palestinian refugee artists are featured. Nassar said their paintings and photography best tell the refugees' story because art "is a language that everyone can understand."

"This is not about victimhood, politics or religion. We want deep conversations that can lead to equality and justice in Israel and Palestine…I'm trying to tell stories that people haven't heard," he said.

"What’s nice about this exhibit is that it uses a means of communication that is not necessarily dependent on language or education." 

"You don’t need to know about the Nakba in order to experience it through the art. My hope is that people will see something that hits them on an emotional level, and then start asking questions."

Mondoweiss said "(t)hese human stories of loss and suffering, confinement and inequality, must be heard by a global audience to expose the historic and current injustices in Palestine."

What's ongoing daily affects millions of persecuted Palestinians, and millions more diaspora ones denied their legitimate right of return.

The Nakba Museum focuses on both past and present - decades of endless Israeli ruthlessness too horrific to ignore, demanding accountability never gotten.

The spirit of hope and resistance for long denied justice lives. The Nakba Museum explains what's vital to change.

It's nonpolitical and nonpartisan. It's a "human story" built on hope that Palestinians and Jews can coexist in peace. It's a message of never-ending struggle for justice.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.