The Jewish Nakba

By Limor Shiponi

Sometimes stories reveal themselves in such a surprising way, one might suspect they were preparing an ambush for a specific listener – myself in this case.

A couple of weeks ago I facilitated a workshop to a group of social activists wanting to better know how to grab the right ears, be heard, move citizens into action. As you have might noticed by now, the Middle East is in turmoil and Israel is no exception, although what is happening here is quite different from what is happening in neighboring countries.

The participants had various agendas and represented different groups and mindsets in Israeli society. It was very interesting to hear what lays dormant for years and suddenly wants to burst-out into the open, into the main conversation, change it, set other priorities. As usual, I presented myself as a storyteller, ready for the raised eyebrow that lately does not rise so fast as in the past.

At the end of the workshop, a woman named Janet Dallal approached me and spoke to me about “The Jewish Nakba”. It was the first time I have heard that expression although the issue it represents is not new at all. She wanted to send me some information and receive my advice about what could be done to raise awareness around this issue. Obviously, “get the stories told, each and every one of them” was my answer.

As things like this go, a week later I saw a short TV interview with a government official about a conference aiming at starting to handle this issue. “Why after 60 years?” asked the interviewer. The answer was “many reasons but they are no longer relevant” which I hope means this huge story will move finally into the light.

When I asked Janet about it she said it could help find common ground, reconciliation and the beginning of healing, very close to what is mentioned in the JPost article she kindly sent me. About one million stories are waiting to be told in the open. I sure hope this will finally happen as part of the healing process of Israeli society.

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