The Toledo Meeting, 1989

The Toledo Meeting, 1989

A Note from Prof. Ella Shohat, NYU:

“Al-Andalus and the Convivencia were the inspiration to hold a special meeting in Toledo, Spain in 1989, largely between Sephardi/Mizrahi/Arab-Jews and Palestinians. The meeting included key intellectuals and political figures from various countries and backgrounds, deploying the past Convivencia to imagine a different future. Many of those who had only Israeli passports, mostly Mizrahi/Arab-Jews, risked arrest for defiance of the law that forbade such meetings. Many years later, we are not yet at the hoped-for Convivencia moment. Yet, the struggle and spirit should continue to guide us. I understand that many on the left may not at all be aware of this pre-Oslo event precisely because of its erasure in the public sphere. But congratulations to the Convivencia Network for pointing to this lineage on its public platform and making it part of the collective “historical consciousness,” i.e. as a project that in its spirit continues the Toledo Convivencia efforts but at a different political juncture.”

The article retelling the story of the Toledo meeting has been published on Jadaliyya, Sept. 30, 2014 (Also included in Shohat’s On the Arab-Jew, Palestine, and Other Displacements: Selected Writings, London: Pluto Press, 2017) and can be accessed here. We urge you to read Prof. Shohat’s fascinating report on this unusual and inspirational meeting, which is a crucial part of the history of the concept as a foundation for the search for a just and durable peace in Palestine.


Related Articles

Muslim Perspectives on Convivencia
Three Worlds: A Memoir of An Arab Jew
Convivencia Alliance on David Miller