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Film review: A documentary explores Israeli attitudes to the Nakba

The eponymous scene of On the Side of the Road, a documentary that explores Israeli attitudes toward the Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe, occurs midway through the film on an unpaved road just outside the West Bank settlement of Ariel. Interrupted by a curious Israeli family out for a pastoral drive, director Lia Tarachansky stops to answer their questions about what she is filming (“what TV channel will it be on?”). As they drive on, the children waving and smiling their good byes, Tarachansky stands alone on the side of the road and suddenly bursts into tears. “I mean, everyone I love is here,” she weeps, as she faces the sprawling settlement. “You know?”

Tarachansky, a journalist who works for The Real News, was raised from the age of six in Ariel, one of the largest settlements on the West Bank. Standing on that quiet stretch of road, surrounded by Palestinian villages, she says, “This is where I am from. I don’t know anything else.” Both statements are heartfelt, but neither is completely true. Tarachansky was born in Kiev, in the former Soviet Union, but raised from the age of six in Ariel. Like most Israeli children she learned nothing in school about the Nakba, or catastrophe— the Arabic name for the dispossession and exile of the Palestinian people in 1948.

Reading Ilan Pappe’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine as a young adult “was my first encounter with this history,” she said in an interview conducted via Skype.

Still image from the documentary “Standing by the Side of the Road”

Her search for more information led her to the Israeli NGO Zochrot, which documents destroyed Palestinian villages and towns in an effort to raise awareness of the dispossession of 1948. Ultimately, she decided to make a documentary film about the subject, and how it is viewed by Israeli society. Today she lives in Jaffa, and is deeply immersed in the activist community. But what she is saying and showing in this scene outside Ariel is that the community in which she is rooted is the one that nurtured her and which she still loves, even though the divergence in their political views has now left her marginalized from mainstream Israeli society—and thus metaphorically “on the side of the road.” Asking questions about the Nakba is the biggest taboo in Israeli Jewish society.

The film’s opening scenes occur in Tel Aviv, on the eve of Israel’s Independence Day. People are dancing to live music in Rabin Square and spraying one another with foam while fireworks light up the sky. Meanwhile, at the Zochrot office just off the square, a group of volunteers are preparing to go out with posters to raise awareness of the Nakba Law. Passed by the Knesset in 2011, the law grants the government the authority to impose severe financial penalties on any publicly-funded organization that marks Independence Day as a day of mourning. Not everyone on the street is overtly hostile to the Zochrot volunteers with their posters, but those who are express their rage with extreme language. One woman, who describes herself as the child of survivors who lost three brothers during the Holocaust, says proudly to an activist, “I am a racist. I don’t want Arabs here and I don’t want you here, either.” Ultimately, the police step in and call a halt to Zochrot’s activism, claiming they are causing a provocation that amounts to disturbing the peace.

One of the interesting and impressive aspects of this scene in particular, and the entire film in general, is that Tarachansky manages to show an upsetting reality without dehumanizing the people she interviews and films. It is clear that she identifies or empathizes more with some of her interview subjects than others, but she maintains a detached compassion for everyone.

The question Tarachansky explores in the film is how Israelis respond to the subject of the Nakba. Israelis are surrounded by the ghosts of that great Palestinian dispossession—for example the weed-choked ruins of villages like Lifta, its half-crumbled homes picturesquely clutching the hills just outside of Jerusalem. In interviews with former Palmach fighters of the ’48 war like Tikva Honig Parnass, who became an anti-Zionist activist in the 1960s, and Amnon Noiman, now active in Zochrot, the two veteran Israelis speak openly about the shocking experience of becoming aware of memories they had repressed—of villages they had helped destroy and civilians they had seen killed. Honig Parnass recalls her astonishment upon realizing that she had for years completely forgotten wandering through an abandoned village where the dishes were still on the table.

Tarachansky, too, remembers her own shock when she heard the Muslim call for prayer from the mosques in the villages around Ariel. She had grown up in Ariel, but only after she spent some years away from the place, during which she became aware of the Nakba, did she really notice her surroundings.

“To understand denial,” explained Tarachansky, “You need to understand dehumanization. If you look at every place where there was a mass dispossession, there was first a massive campaign of dehumanization. The Zionists were no different in this sense. It wasn’t the Holocaust survivors who planned the dispossession. They came into a situation that was pre-determined long before. There’s no way they would have been expelling if they hadn’t planned for it.”

But Tarachansky’s goal is not to blame or even to teach. It is just to examine and narrate.

“I don’t think I’m some enlightened being. This place does not fit into any kind of black and white prescription, even though there are some elements that resemble apartheid and totalitarianism, Weimar and the Soviet Union. But there is no one category that it falls into. The Israeli nationalist narrative has been so speeded up by the trauma of the Holocaust and the government’s campaign that besides being destructive it’s also fascinating. But I am an Israeli and I love this place and its people.”

Will the film change minds? “I don’t know,” she answered. “There has never been an Israeli film that connects 1948 to 1967 and the stories of Israelis and settlers and Palestinians. In that sense it’s a unique film. I personally don’t think it’s a radical film. But in Israel today talking about equality and historical justice is very radical.

On the Side of the Road” will have its premier screening at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on Thursday evening at 6 p.m., under the auspices of Zochrot’s  International Film Festival on Nakba and Return.

This review is cross-posted from the Daily Beast’s Open Zion.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. The trailer has someone say something like “it is natural for each generation to question what the previous one did.” Evolution is brutal, and human evolution, social or biological, is no exception. We cannot go back and change the trajectory which placed us in this present. We can, however, try to alter that trajectory in our now. This is evolution too. The Nakba Law, which essentially denies educational discretion as schools receive State funds, implicitly tries to deny this second form of evolution, to retain the dominance of its predecessor. Contention is not over guilt, but trajectory. By silencing “mourning” talk of the Nakba, potentiality is truncated. But you don’t have to destroy your past to say “no more.” The present State attitude toward the Bedouin, and, I would say, land expulsion via settlements, indicates that the past is not to be avoided but embraced as active to this day. Thus silencing the Nakba silences the present of living people.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >The present State attitude toward the Bedouin…

        Proves nothing.

        1) Less than 1% of Israeli Arab citizens are facing transfer from unrecognized villages into modern apartments.

        2) Semi-savage Negev Bedouins MUST be civilized

        >…land expulsion via settlements…

        Situation with the settlemens inside WB is pretty much the same for few decades now – there is no expansionist activity going on for quite a long while now.

        Ontopic:
        Palestinian Arabs did everything they could to prevent Jews from living inside Palestine, starting with mass-murder and ending with cooperation with Adolf Hitler.

        Nakba is nothing but result of Arab’s own hatred and racism and they have no-one but themselves to blame for that.

        Reply to Comment
        • David T.

          “2) Semi-savage Negev Bedouins MUST be civilized”

          A perfect example of a Bedouin hater talking like a colonialist. Do you prefer a more white or a more Jewish end result?

          “Palestinian Arabs did everything they could to prevent Jews from living inside Palestine, starting with mass-murder and ending with cooperation with Adolf Hitler.”

          There were some riots targeting innocent Jews, because Zionist plans to takeover Palestine were revealed or made Palestinians landless in the making. There were some massacres of Jews against Arabs, because they wanted to prevent to many Arabs living in their new state. There were some Palestinans (less than those who helped the Britains against the Nazi) who sought Nazi’s help their state to become independet which was held dependent by Britain to implement the illegal Balfour declaration against the self determination of the Palestinians. And there were some Jews (Lehi group) who sought the same help and promised to establish a fascist state in exchange. But the Nazi’s didn’t react.

          Unfortunately for you the reality is a bit different than the simplicity of your racism.

          “Nakba is nothing but result of Arab’s own hatred and racism and they have no-one but themselves to blame for that.”

          No surprise at all, that you sound like someone Germans who are trying to blame the Holocaust onto the Jews.

          Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            “There were some riots targeting innocent Jews, because Zionist plans to takeover Palestine”

            You mean the Zionist plans to takeover PART of Palestine. Don’t you David?

            The Jews accepted the Partition of Palestine remember? The Arabs were the ones who wanted to make ALL of Palestine Arab. Remember David?

            Reply to Comment
          • un2here

            The Jews did not “accept” the partition plan – you PROPOSED it! How about a partition plan for Israel proper (within the Green Line) … We will kindly “accept” 80%, OK?

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            The Jews proposed the partition plan UNGA 181?

            What are you smoking?

            Reply to Comment
          • un2here

            Read the minutes from the relevant meetings (you can find them at UNRWA) and see who participated. Read The Palestine Post (now JPost) from the day after and see who is in great detail, across two pages, explaining why it despite all efforts was not possible to get even more – but that it “will be dealt with.”

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            You read it.

            Reply to Comment
          • eduardo

            Un2here,Can you please indicate the adress the minutes at UNRWA?I’m interested about that.Thanks.

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            “You mean the Zionist plans to takeover PART of Palestine. Don’t you David?

            The Jews accepted the Partition of Palestine remember?”

            Another of your “you-mean”-idiocies, Mr. Strawman. I was talking about one of the reason for the riots after 1919.

            And no, not “the Jews”, but Zionist separatists leaders like Ben Gurion accepted the partition plan as an intermediate step to re-enable immigration (after it was stopped by Britain), build a strong army and take over the rest of Palestine, too.

            “The Arabs were the ones who wanted to make ALL of Palestine Arab. Remember David?”

            No, the neighbouring Arab states and the majority of the citizens of Palestine only wanted the state to become independent like any other mandated state. Still ignorant, Samuel?

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            DAVIDT:”And no, not “the Jews”, but Zionist separatists leaders like Ben Gurion”

            They were Jews. Live with it.

            DAVIDT:”accepted the partition plan as an intermediate step to re-enable immigration (after it was stopped by Britain), build a strong army and take over the rest of Palestine, too.”

            That is not a fact. It is just your story. A hypothetical.

            SAMUEL:“The Arabs were the ones who wanted to make ALL of Palestine Arab. Remember David?”

            DAVIDT:”No, the neighbouring Arab states and the majority of the citizens of Palestine only wanted the state to become independent like any other mandated state. Still ignorant, Samuel?”

            Whatever. You can call the Jews separatists. Being separatists is not a crime, never has been. Even Pakistan exists only because there were Muslim separatists who wanted it to come into existence.

            You know David? If there would not have been separatists in the history of mankind, this whole world would be one gigantic uniform place and we would all be Chinese or Indians because they would always be the majorities in their neighbourhoods and would absorb everyone around them. And people like you would claim that no one has the right to resist the majority to go their own way. You sad, boring little man.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            nsttnocontentcomment

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >A perfect example of a Bedouin hater talking like a colonialist.

            Why hater? I, actually, like Bedouins pretty much.
            However, their traditional way of living: Herding sheep in desert, is not quite compatible with what modern society demands: educated specialists.

            Basically, industrial revolution is brought to these people.

            >Do you prefer a more white or a more Jewish end result?

            More educated.

            Aren’t you aware that Bedouin traditions disallow female part of their people to mate with incompliant males, and the ultimate punishment is death, which is why in Tel Aviv you can meet a lot of single Arab males from all parts of Israel, but hardly any single females ever. Bloody rare species are these on Rothschild Boulevard these days.

            Obviously, enforced education for Bedouin women would slightly dilute Bedouin genome with dirty Jewish genes. Unbelievable, huh?

            >There were some riots targeting innocent Jews, because Zionist plans to takeover Palestine were revealed…

            Riots and massacres were long before that.

            >… or made Palestinians landless in the making.

            At the time no “Palestinians” existed.

            >There were some massacres of Jews against Arabs, because they wanted to prevent to many Arabs living in their new state.

            What I’m not getting is why so many were allowed to remain. Can you explain that?

            >… who sought Nazi’s help their state to become independent …

            Yes, independent and Judenfrei.

            >And there were some Jews (Lehi group) who sought the same help and promised to establish a fascist state in exchange. But the Nazi’s didn’t react.

            Basically, you claim that self-appointed Jewish terrorists are at least as legitimate as Mufti Of Jerusalem, appointed by current government.

            What a rubbish.

            Reply to Comment
        • rose

          Trespasser you are ignorant.

          Reply to Comment
        • andrew r

          “Palestinian Arabs did everything they could to prevent Jews from living inside Palestine, starting with mass-murder and ending with cooperation with Adolf Hitler.”

          There was an unelected Palestinian clan leader who met with Hitler – in fact, he owed his position as Mufti of Jerusalem to a British appointment. However, there wasn’t any form of axis collaboration in Palestine itself, in contrast to South Africa and India (Other British domains) where pro-Nazi militias formed.

          The idea that the Palestinian people collaborated with the Nazis is plain and simply a blood libel.

          David: Although the Transjordanian Arab Legion fought with the British in the Levant and Egypt, I don’t think the Palestinian Arabs had any real involvement in the war because the Brits didn’t want them bearing arms after the ’36 revolt. It stands to reason they would’ve been better equipped in ’48 otherwise.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            That’s stupid. Most of the 6,000 Jewish casualties during the 1947-1948 war occurred in fighting against Palestinian irregulars that besieged Jewish cities and villages. The clear and explicitly stated aim of the Arabs and their ‘Palestinian’ allies was to overwhelm and destroy the Jews. This goal was explicitly stated by all Arab leaders until at least the late 1960s. It is still the explicit stated aim of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. I see no reason to be particularly upset that the Arabs were less well armed than they would have been had they not decided to launch riots and massacres against the Jews in 1936. See a pattern?

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            Simha Flapan in Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities gave a breakdown of the Israeli deaths in the war. Just about half were soldiers killed outside the UN partition boundary.

            http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Palestine-Remembered/Story457.html

            The only way the Palestinian irregulars could do any damage to the Yishuv was blockading Jerusalem through highway ambushes. It would’ve been asinine of ~10,000 militiamen to plan a mass killing of 60,000 better equipped soldiers let alone the civilian population.

            Of course, another tidbit that makes the accusation of genocide on their part silly is that the more well-off Palestinians were the first to run away. One thing you might observe about genocides committed by modern armed forces is that the bourgeoisie tend to support or at least be complicit in the action. For the sake of argument, there was simply no equipment or command apparatus.

            The Palestinians were defeated by the British in ’38 and the Arab armies were circumscribed in their action by being heavily reliant on their former (or current) occupiers. If there was any chance of the Arabs winning the ’48 war, it wouldn’t have taken place at all since the Zionist movement would be dead in the water without colonial occupation of Greater Syria.

            “The clear and explicitly stated aim of the Arabs and their ‘Palestinian’ allies was to overwhelm and destroy the Jews.”

            The clear and explicit aim of the Zionists was to create a Jewish state. When Weizmann said Palestine must become as Jewish as England is English, what do you think he was going on about? How did he plan to accomplish that?

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            The Arabs in Mandatory Palestine expected to receive sufficient support from the outside to be able to counter the Jews. They still do. According to all available material they also had a very low opinion of Jewish fighting abilities. At the time the hostilities started the Jews were not well armed or organized. The Palmach was the only real fighting force they had and on the eve of the war it had a fighting strength of several thousand men. The Yishuv was desperately low on arms and low on men. Their villages were spread out and the lines of transportation and communication were susceptible to ambushes. Those were mounted persistently by irregulars and organized armed groups from nearly every Arab village. The blockade of Jerusalem was only one of many similar actions on the part of the Arab forces. During the first year of the conflict the Jews managed to solidify their supply lines, get more weapons and to conscript sufficient numbers, which allowed them to win against the Arabs. Where the Jews faced strong opposition from well-trained Arab forces, such as the Arab Legion, they didn’t make much headway. The idea that they had overwhelming superiority is frankly stupid. If the superiority was there the Jews would not have left the Old City of Jerusalem in Jordanian hands.

            The early Zionists saw that the European Jewish population was vast and could easily demographically overcome the Arab population of Israel. Up through 1947 the Jewish population of the area went up to 1/3rd, despite the suspiciously fast growth of the Arab population and this is in spite of the fact that the White Paper and the Holocaust happened in the meantime. Had the Holocaust not happened there would be an inexhaustible supply of immigrants and manpower from Eastern Europe and all this nonsense talk about demographics would have been moot.

            Reply to Comment
      • Aaron Gross

        I think it’s unnatural for a generation to question what the previous generation did. It’s much more natural to ignore or deny the previous generation’s crimes.

        Reply to Comment
    2. CigarButNoNice

      Maybe one day there’ll be a documentary dealing with the denial of the Jewish nation’s right to the Land of Israel. Even more improbably, maybe it’ll be featured here on ArabColonistMag.

      Nah. Just an idle fantasy. More chance of unicorns raining than of Islamoleftists stopping their dehumanization of Israeli Jews (dehumanization as in “They deserve everything the Arabs dish ‘em out because they’re Khazar invaders”).

      Reply to Comment
      • un2here

        “The Jewish nation’s right to the Land of Israel” is unfortunately tightly coupled with the (assumed) Jewish right to eradicate the Palestinians. Without the latter, the former ceases to exist.

        Furthermore, by extending this – frankly quite inhumane “right” – to all people, we will no longer worry about any massacres anywhere, or for that matter what Hitler had in mind during the Holocaust … Suddenly ultra violence and slaughter becomes the natural way to deal with anything standing in your way.

        You have dehumanized yourself.

        Reply to Comment
        • Tony Riley

          Only one side has the aim of eradicating the other, enshrined in its manifesto, and that is Hamas.

          If you more accurately redefine the “Nakba” as Arab remorse at not wiping out the Jews, then you are closer to the reality.

          Reply to Comment
          • un2here

            Peace will come with the return of the Refugees.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            There was no peace long before first Palestinian Arabs became exiles in their own land, there are no reasons to believe that there would be peace should their children be allowed back.

            Reply to Comment
          • Roderick

            ‘If you more accurately redefine the “Nakba” as Arab remorse at not wiping out the Jews, then you are closer to the reality.’

            This statement is historically and semantically inaccurate on several levels; this is itself removed from reality.

            Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          That’s just dumb. How can people talk about how demographics favor the Palestinians and believe in nonsense about the eradication of Palestinians by Israel?

          You can extend your fantasies wherever you want. Funny.. Ultra-violence and slaughter seems to very well describe the situation in Iraq and Syria. From over here it is pretty clear that your fantasy doesn’t really extend very far. We are going to rely more on the IDF than your delusions of a better world. Come talk to us when you get bored of the world breaking your heart.

          Reply to Comment
          • un2here

            Yes, you rely on the IDF to kill the Palestinians whenever they dare demand for their rights. In that respect you are no different from Assad.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            If by ‘demand their rights’ you mean blow up women and children on buses and in restaurants, then yes, I rely on the IDF to protect me.

            What is reminiscent of Assad is the willingness to massacre civilians for political purposes. That is a Palestinian tactic, not an Israeli one.

            Reply to Comment
          • un2here

            “Peace will come with the return of the Refugees” – assuming they will not be shot down and massacred for political purposes.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            I see you are back to your previous insistence to flood Israel with Arabs so that the Jews can be more effectively massacred and driven off.

            No response to the fact that in the past decade the Palestinians lionized the mass massacre of Israeli Jews and still treat those that carry such acts out as heroes. What kind of peace can come from having more such people in close proximity to the targets of their hate and bombs?

            Reply to Comment
          • un2here

            You lied to us.

            Reply to Comment
        • CigarButNoNice

          All under your assumption that the “Palestinians” are an actual nation in its own right, Un2here.

          In reality: “Palestinian” is nothing but a propaganda ploy to market Arab colonialist greed and imperialist aggression to the world as a “struggle for justice.” Moral arguments for injustice, same way it was with the Sudeten Germans.

          Sudeten Arabs are Arabs; the Arab nation is not lacking in land and can do perfectly well without appropriating that particular land that belongs to the Jews. Yes, in the name of justice they’ll have to evacuate the territories they’re illegally occupying. Before you fly off in a “RAAAAACIST!”-laced rage, just tell me how is this different from what you call for w.r.t. the Jewish population of Judea and Samaria? You anti-Zionists are as steadfast and outspoken advocates of ethnic cleansing as the most far-right Israeli Jewish Zionist.

          As long as you keep on with this zero-sum Nakba Original Sin and One-State (Rwanda) Solution talk, don’t be surprised when Israeli Jews react by going Kahane over you.

          Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            Rwanda isn’t as much of a cautionary tale against one-state as you’d think, if only because intermarriage between Hutu and Tutsi was common. For that matter, the 1994 genocide involved a sizable amount of intra-Hutu killing – while Rwanda suffered an 11% population decrease, an area that was all Hutu called Kanama suffered 5%. People who were close in daily life killed each other. In most 20th century genocides, the perpetrator group and the target group were segregated beforehand.

            Where Israel-Palestine differ from Rwanda is that most of the population is urbanized and relies on imports while Rwanda is almost entirely subsistence farming with a high population density on increasingly scarce land. For all the land conflicts in Israel-Palestine, there hasn’t been anything like extended relatives battling over farmland in court, and possibly killing each other over it during 1994.

            http://www.ditext.com/diamond/10.html

            In any case, the simple invoking of Rwanda here is a kind of self-congratulation for Israel not having committed genocide. The current status quo can lead to exactly that outcome no less than a bi-national Israeli-Palestinian state. Even now you advocate expelling the Palestinians from the West Bank, which is as good as incitement to genocide in the strictest sense of the term.

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            You only prove that neither you nor your ancestors acquired Palestinian citizenship before 1948. Otherwise you would know that you are talking nonsense.

            Reply to Comment
    3. un2here

      - I realized that the facts do not convince, the facts weren’t what changed my mind. It was that person that I met that changed my mind.

      [Lia Tarachansky]

      Reply to Comment
    4. David T.

      “To understand denial,” explained Tarachansky, “You need to understand dehumanization. If you look at every place where there was a mass dispossession, there was first a massive campaign of dehumanization. The Zionists were no different in this sense. It wasn’t the Holocaust survivors who planned the dispossession. They came into a situation that was pre-determined long before. There’s no way they would have been expelling if they hadn’t planned for it.”

      Other countries were not innocent. The mandatory himself encouraged the idea of “compulsory transfer” in the Peel Partition Plan of 1937. This paved the way for Ben Gurion and other Zionist leaders to take this idea into closer consideration and even creating a Transfer Committee in the same year. But they wanted others (like Britain) to do the dirty work of advocating this idea as a solution publicly.

      In 1947/1948 the civil war itself presented the opportunity to implement this idea. Some Palestinians (for example in Nazareth) were spared from expulsion only because brave and honest Jews refused to expell and even aked for a written down expulsion order, which of course was avoided:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Dunkelman#Military_career

      Reply to Comment
      • Tzutzik

        Yea, Hamas are experts at dehumanization.

        Reply to Comment
        • un2here

          Blaming the victims while stuffing your pockets, announcing new settlements by the week … How smart is that?

          Reply to Comment
          • Tomer

            “To understand denial,” explained Tarachansky, “You need to understand dehumanization. If you look at every place where there was a mass dispossession, there was first a massive campaign of dehumanization.”

            Yes, unfortunately we cannot visit the places, neighborhoods & villages where Mizrahi Jews were dispossessed – those locations exist beyond the borders in the Arab World. However, the JEWISH NAKBA remains a massive, potent tragedy within the Mizrahi historical narrative. Forgttong the JEWISH NAKBA is JEWISH NAKBA DENIAL. This evil ideology is the main ideological force that drives the PLO’s ongoing blood lust.

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            “Yes, unfortunately we cannot visit the places, neighborhoods & villages where Mizrahi Jews were dispossessed – those locations exist beyond the borders in the Arab World.”

            True. You also cannot visit the places, neighborhoods & villages where Palesinians were dispossed, but for different reasons. They (more than 400) were razed in the borders of the Jewish state and Jewish neighbourhoods were build on top of them – see Sderot.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            Another Typical one eyed comment by David.

            Tom responded to those who constantly wring their hands about the Nakbah and Arab victimhood by reminding them that there were Jewish victims of Arabs and that there was another Nakbah. The Nakbah of the Jews who lived in Arab countries.

            And what is David’s haughty response? Let’s not talk about that. Let’s just talk about MY favorite topic: How evil the Jews are and how they victimised Arabs.

            Well, Mr David, if you are bored by my story I am bored by yours. But I suppose, as usual, you are too blind to see the parallel because you only see your OWN point of view.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            So Hamas now are victims, LOL.

            To me at least, they are much more like victimizers. They victimize first and foremost their own people, the Palestinian Arabs by filling their heads with propaganda that harms them. They keep their people repressed according to a medieveal theocratic doctrine. They keep their women repressed. They murder homosexuals. And they attack innocent Israeli civilians.

            Hamas are victims? Hah! Have you got any more fairy tales up your sleeve, Un2h?
            :)

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            “Yea, Hamas are experts at dehumanization. — So Hamas now are victims, LOL.”

            I wasn’t talking about Hamas and neither was un2here, you discussion manipulator.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “I wasn’t talking about Hamas and neither was un2here, you discussion manipulator.”

            LOL. With the above statement by David, he made Samuel’s point.

            DAVID: “Don’t side track me from my favourite past time of Joooo bashing …”

            LOL.

            Reply to Comment
    5. Aaron Gross

      I really like this woman’s approach. “But Tarachansky’s goal is not to blame or even to teach. It is just to examine and narrate.”

      Jews have a collective responsibility to remember the Nakbah, just as Americans have a collective responsibility to remember the conquest and dispossession of the Indian nations.

      Reply to Comment
      • To me the obvious role of Nakba remembrance of displacement is “never again,” or “no more.” “No matter how it began, we stop now.” The Bedouin are as well an obvious place to begin.

        The displacement of Native Americans was not all one sided. How could it be? Once retaliation began, those so harmed saw nothing but their own lives. How could it not be? The point is, in my view, to prevent these amplifying cycles NOW.

        Reply to Comment
        • Aaron Gross

          Greg, I guess agree with the “never again” abstractly, in theory, but the meaning of “never again” is defined only in concrete situations, and that’s where you just get into the same old unresolved political arguments. So if you set your goal as “never again,” you’re not necessarily going to make much progress towards that goal.

          That’s why I agree so strongly with Tcharansky’s stated goal, “to examine and narrate.” Persons, each of us, can become more virtuous by examining and narrating, to ourselves and to others, the way we’ve hurt people in the past (quite apart from how that changes our relations to those we’ve hurt). I think it’s the same with communities, including nations, including the people Israel. So I think that, paradoxically, we’d get closer to your goal of “never again” by not setting that as a goal, at least not at the start.

          Reply to Comment
    6. Aaron Gross

      Here’s a pragmatic reason for pro-Israel people – and yes, I do mean to use the term “pro-Israel” – to acknowledge the Nakbah. Because right now, the Palestinian story of 1948 is used for anti-Israel propaganda. When pro-Israel people just deny the story, like some of the commenters here are doing, then unbiased observers will just roll their eyes and discount whatever else the pro-Israel people say.

      The truth of the Nakbah is not anti-Israel, any more than the truth of the European settlement of America is anti-American. Pro-Israel people will strengthen their rhetoric by acknowledging the reality that’s plain for everyone to see.

      Again, that’s a purely pragmatic reason, aside from the fact that it’s the right thing to do.

      Reply to Comment
    7. David T.

      “However, their traditional way of living: Herding sheep in desert, is not quite compatible with what modern society demands: educated specialists.”

      Yep, typicial colonialist babble.

      “Basically, industrial revolution is brought to these people.”

      Including expulsion and dispossession, if they don’t adapt.

      “More educated.”

      Yeah, you allready mentioned that Bedouins who work in the week and study at the weekend are lazy and educated. I guess it is your “education” that enables you to ignore the contradiction of this stupidity.

      “Aren’t you aware that Bedouin traditions disallow female part of their people to mate with incompliant males, …”

      I’m aware that Israel doesn’t even allow intermarriage within Israel.

      “At the time no “Palestinians” existed.”

      Palestinians exist since Palestine’s detachment from the Ottoman Empire. The nationality law was enacted in 1925 and included all turkish subject habitually residing in Palestine. A Jewish nationality doesn’t exist until this day. And even the Israeli nationality law is a perversion of international law and human rights which excludes those Israel keeps expelled and denationalized for demographic reasons.

      “What I’m not getting is why so many were allowed to remain. Can you explain that?”

      Sure, Israel wanted to become member of the UN and had to prove somehow that it is a – please don’t laugh – peace loving state.

      “Yes, independent and Judenfrei.”

      No, independent, including minority rights. It was not the Arab Palestinians who had to massacre and expell to achieve independency.

      “Basically, you claim that self-appointed Jewish terrorists are at least as legitimate as Mufti Of Jerusalem, appointed by current government.

      What a rubbish.”

      It’s your rubbish and not my claim. And if Lehi had succeded they would have been the first and perhaps the only goverment of Israel. At least Shamir became prime minister and other followers of the fascist lover Jebotinsky and political ancestors of Likud.

      Reply to Comment
      • Samuel

        “I’m aware that Israel doesn’t even allow intermarriage within Israel.”

        Another David distortion of the facts.

        Yes, Israel has no civil marriage ceremony in Israel. Only religious marriage ceremonies. But if two people of differen religions marry outside of Israel or even in most consulates/embassies within Israel, the marriage is fully recognised by Israeli law. In fact, there are thousands of Israelis who are mixed marrieds. Including some relatives of mine who are perfectly happy and live like the rest of us.

        Have you ever visited Israel David? No? No wonder you sound so ignorant.

        Reply to Comment
    8. Aksel

      This child has Israel citizenship,though did nothing for this country, she lives in Canada,works in Tel Aviv, slanders of Israel and provides materials for Al Jazeera, because it is a single known to her way to make money. It is not a problem,that she is “russian”or”canadian”.It doesn’t matter is she left or right,but it is a great tragedy for Israel that she is jewish.

      Reply to Comment
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