The Jewish Museum of the Palestinian Experience was founded to provide a Jewish perspective on the Israel/Palestine conflict. The Jewish perspective is rooted in Jewish values, to treat our neighbor as we would want to be treated.
This perspective has been forged by centuries of oppression, oppression that reached an apex with murder of Jews in the events of the Holocaust. The lesson of the Holocaust was not that it is wrong to mistreat Jews, but that it is wrong to mistreat any people.
Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a hope for many who hold the region as their Holy Land, as well as for those who have no religious attachment to the conflict. There has been a continuous Jewish presence in the Holy Land for thousands of years, and Jewish ties to the Holy Land should not be doubted. But if Palestinian Jews had been living alongside Palestinian Christians and Palestinian Muslims for centuries, how are we to understand the common belief that Jews returned to a land of empty swamps and deserts?
Another common belief is that when Israel was created, Christian and Muslim Palestinian families simply left their homes to facilitate the killing of Jews. But does this make sense when those Christian and Muslim Palestinian families had been living alongside Palestinian Jewish families for centuries? What evidence do we have for these assumptions? If Jews had returned to a land of empty deserts and swamps, how did 700,000 Muslim and Christian Palestinians become refugees in the formation of Israel? And if the goal of Muslim and Christian Palestinians was to kill Jews, how is it that a Palestinian Jewish presence remained in the Holy Land when the great, great majority of people living there were Muslims and Christians?
We hope the historical documents throughout this online museum will provide a Jewish perspective on Israel/Palestine—a perspective grounded in Jewish values of truth, justice and peace— and that this perspective will help provide a clear path to peace for what has appeared to be an intractable conflict.