The various stories of conflict shared at this weekend’s conference made it was clear that the hardships involved in overcoming ‘poisonous legacies’ were universal.
One speaker, Liat Rosenberg, Director of Zochrot in Tel Aviv, spoke of her own organisation’s campaign to redress the continued injustices suffered by Palestinian victims of Zionist colonisation and state violence. This campaign, she admits, is “a long, gradual process”.
Rosenberg told the ‘Journal’: “It is very interesting hearing the experiences of other participants and their own poisonous legacies. The key question was how to deal with the past and to move on to a better future. But, at the same time, it was quite clear to me that in the case of Israel and Palestine that the past is not the past – it remains the present.”
“Some of the things discussed in the conference about dealing with the past, exposing the truth, and the mechanisms used to deal with the past, like apologies, investigations and the role of victims in dealing with their individual poisonous legacies are very similar, yet the context is different,” she added. “What we are hearing from all the speakers is that there is a resistance from official authorities and governments. It’s a gradual, transformative process and will take quite a while.”