This week on Up Close, finding empathy with victims of political violence, collectively and individually.
First, much of the world — including the U.S., Israel, and many Jewish organizations — has not recognized the Armenian Genocide of 1915 as a genocide, and the focus on gaining recognition and grappling with the history of that event has defined the Armenian Disapora experience in not always positive ways, argues Meline Toumani, author of the memoir There Was and There Was Not: A Journey Through Hate and Possibility in Turkey, Armenia, and Beyond. Toumani and TJC’s Steven I. Weiss discuss the controversy surrounding Toumani’s book and the commonalities between the Armenian-American and the Jewish-American experiences.
Then, coverage of terrorism in the Middle East tends to focus on numbers and groups of people, rather than individuals, but Bergen Record columnist Mike Kelly sought a more personal, in-depth take on the 1996 Jerusalem bus bombing that killed, among others, two Jewish-American citizens, Sara Duker and Matthew Eisenfeld. His book, The Bus on Jaffa Road: A Story of Middle East Peace and the Search for Justice, examines the lives of the victims and their families, and includes an interview with one of the perpetrators of the bombing.
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