Heart of the Other: Between the Holocaust and a Palestinian Refugee Camp

The Jewish Holocaust in Europe is the preeminent memory of millions of Israelis, many of whose families perished. It is a memory that spurs many Jews to suspect any possible coexistence with the Palestinians and the Arab world in general. This psychological reality of Israeli Jews has been resisted for decades by Palestinians precisely because it is so unfair that they should suffer because of what Europeans did to the Jewish people. Khaled Mahameed has challenged that resistance and has instead embraced the suffering and humanity of Jewish victims as a bridge between Palestinians and Jews, and as a way for each group to begin to humanize the other. Watch his methods in this documentary’s excerpts, especially the second video excerpt. Khaleed is representative of a cutting edge approach to conflicts that seem to be irresolvable in which courageous individuals and groups are going to the heart of the rage on both sides, leaving behind momentarily all the interests and bargaining positions of adversaries.

The Heart of the Other: A documentary about Khaled Mahameed, a Palestinian-Israeli Arab who recently opened the first Holocaust museum in the Arab world. Directed by Harvey Stein.

“The Heart of the Other” features the passionate peace activism of Khaled Mahameed, a Palestinian-Israeli living in Nazareth, Israel. In 2005, Khaled founded The Arab Institute for Holocaust Research and Education, the first Holocaust museum in the Arab world.

Khaled alienates some (including most of the Arab press, as well as the ADL), but converts many others to his view – including members of Hamas. He asserts, “People say I am a crazy for making this issue the center of my life. They should realize that I am serving the Palestinian cause. The world will not see our Nakba [the “disaster” or flight of Palestinians from their homes in 1948] before we can feel for their Holocaust.”

© Marc Gopin