Letters: Month of June

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Re: “Fighting words: photo exhibit on indigenous oppression inspires conversation,” May 26, 2014

The problem with the CJPME’s photo exhibit was only alluded to with one short phrase in May’s Martlet story. “…Accusations that the Palestinian component of the exhibit does not give adequate coverage to the Israeli perspective…” doesn’t do justice to the distortion that aroused complaint and concern in the Victoria Jewish Community.

If this was supposed to be about aboriginal peoples, there was no acknowledgement anywhere that Jews happen to be indigenous to the Middle East, with a continuous scriptural, linguistic and archeological history going back well over 3,000 years.

True, today’s Palestinian Arabs have their sad story of displacement and refugee experience. However their plight in 1948 onwards was largely self-created. This exhibit did not acknowledge that fact at all.

In the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire after WW1, there was a substantial attempt by the League of Nations to divide part of that area fairly among Arabs and Jews, which the Jews accepted but the Arabs did not. Indeed, the following Arab displacement was directly due to their failed war of annihilation of the nascent Jewish state. To neglect the telling of that fact in this history amounts to fraud.

Harry Abrams
Victoria B.C. representative, B’nai Brith Canada

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