Combating Otherness, Morocco

The history of cooperation and cohesion between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East and North Africa is oft overlooked.

Which is why I am quietly enthused by the Holocaust Conference held earlier this week in Morocco.

Held by Al-Akhawayn University, and co-sponsored by the Israel gap-year program Kivunim, it was guided by the student-based group Mimouna Club.

The last Holocaust conference was held in 2006 in Tehran and greeted frostily as a mechanism for anti-Semitic propaganda promulgation.

The ethos was aptly captured by participant, Aaron Weinberg:

Jewish history is not: ‘They wanted to kill us; we won; let’s eat!’ There are forces within our community that are trying to undermine those of us who are trying to build bridges between peoples.

Fear of the other is what guides conflicts – religious, cultural and political difference orbit around otherness like malevolent satellites, guiding and deteriorating relations.

Understanding and remembrance are central to cohesion and through such initiatives new, positive relations are nurtured.

To find out more about Kivunim, click here; for the full report, visit Haaretz.

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This entry was posted on September 24, 2011 by in Africa and tagged , , .
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