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…Read More... | 51 Comments
Erstwhile negotiator and former Minister Yossi Beilin, in a New York Times op ed, has an idea for breaking the impasse on negotiations for a two-state solution. He suggests that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state in order to cement the consciousness of each side as the proper home for its people. Then Israel would undertake incentives for settlers to go back behind the Green Line, but those who stay in the West Bank would form the numerical basis for the number of Palestinian refugees who can return to Israel proper. Each side has incentive to keep the other…Read More... | 53 Comments
Israeli journalist Ari Shavit expresses gratitude for the perpetrators of the Lydda expulsion and massacre -- for doing the 'filthy work,' explaining that, even 'the critics of later years enjoyed the fruits of their deed.' A response to Shavit's 'Lydda, 1948', published in The New Yorker. By Ami Asher Palestinian historian Nur Massalha wrote that from time to time, starting as early as 1949, Israelis have been periodically washed by waves of revelations and remorse for the injustices that enabled the establishment of a Jewish State. As an Israeli Jew, I know them well: articles are published, impassioned debates keep you…Read More... | 26 Comments
The curse, which places Eitan Bronstein in the powerful club of premiers Sharon and Rabin, was issued in New York and promises the activist death by' mysterious work accident,' as well as being devoured by ravens and foxes. A "Pulsa Dinura" curse was issued by a New York group against Eitan Bronstein, co-founder of "Zochrot" - an organization working for Israeli recognition of the Nakba and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Bronstein was informed of the curse by a letter incongruously printed in the playful Bradley Hand font and signed with a magic marker. Authored by the "The…Read More... | 10 Comments
The Palestinian "right of return" is a phrase so powerful that it tends to offend Israelis as much as the word "nakba." Last month a rare forum for open discourse on the issue took place at a conference initiated by 'Zochrot.' How can a Palestinian return be planned for, what does transitional justice look like and what are Palestinian youth doing today to realize return? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFsfAIyelngRead More... | 1 Comment
Palestinians, Israelis and internationals gathered in a Tel Aviv museum last week for a two-day conference dedicated to the Palestinian right of return. Tom Pessah on some of the conference highlights. By Tom Pessah I don’t normally cry during academic conferences, although perhaps "academic conference" would be the wrong way to characterize Zochrot's conference on the issue of the Nakba and the Palestinian right of return. This year's conference, titled “From Truth to Redress,” was held in Tel Aviv's Eretz Israel Museum (on the grounds of the former Palestinian village Al-Sheikh Muwannis) and featured two days of presentations by Palestinians, Israelis…Read More... | 6 Comments
Just weeks after it was deemed to have 'fascist characteristics,' nationalist group Im Tirtzu tries to shut down Zochrot for allegedly 'rejecting the existence of the State of Israel.' Right-wing group Im Tirtzu is attempting to shut down Zochrot, a non-profit organization that dedicates itself to raising awareness of the Nakba in Israeli society, and working toward the return of Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled by Israeli forces in 1948. According to the Israeli news site Kipa [Hebrew], Im Tirtzu leader Ronen Shoval sent a letter to the head of Israel's NGO registry, claiming that Zochrot's activity contradicts section 49…Read More... | 19 Comments
Tel Aviv's Eretz Israel Museum has been under increasing pressure to cancel Zochrot’s second international conference. Recently, the museum presented new conditions to the organizers, including paying for increased security and changing the wording on the event invitation. An international conference by Zochrot, an Israeli NGO which focuses on the Nakba and the "right of return," is under threat, following pressure from right-wing organizations. The Eretz Israel Museum, where Zochrot decided to host the event, has recently informed organizers that due to the risk of demonstrations and public disorder, they will need to pay for increased, onsite security. The museum…Read More... | 9 Comments
At a 'Zochrot' exhibition opening, compelling photography, first exhibited in the 'unrecognized village' of al-Araqib in 2012, documents home demolitions and Bedouin demonstrations against the Prawer Plan. The boy in the photograph is half-smiling because he saved his birds, said photographer Aiob Abo Madegam. In the image, behind the Palestinian Bedouin boy holding a blue crate containing chickens, at least a dozen Israeli policemen in full riot gear don’t notice Madegam’s camera. Israeli authorities had just demolished the village of al-Araqib in the Negev for the first time, on July 27, 2010, including the animal pens. This is one of…Read More... | 14 Comments
Last month, Israel commemorated Memorial Day. While the mainstream media extensively covered official Memorial Day ceremonies, alternative ceremonies were ignored. Also in the roundup: NGO Zochrot publishes a new map showing hundreds of Arab villages that were destroyed between 1948 and 1967, including a tour to Deir Yassin and a "march of return."Read More... | 2 Comments
On the night of April 9, 1948, over 100 men, women, children and elderly Palestinians were killed in Deir Yassin during an operation by Israeli underground militias. In contrast to the Palestinian narrative, which claims that the massacre was motivated by hatred and vengeance, the Isralei narrative describes another of the necessary battles of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. But recent, other voices in Israel are coming out -- voices that raise many questions about the historical truth behind the story of Deir Yassin. Recently, 'Zochrot' organized a tour to the village that included meetings with village residents and relatives of…Read More... | 40 Comments
Palestinian citizens of Israel return to the village of Al-Ruways, which was destroyed by Zionist military forces during the Nakba. Photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org The Israeli group Zochrot organizes many tours of Palestinian villages depopulated during the Nakba of 1948. What made this Saturday's tour of Al-Ruways particularly remarkable was the large number of displaced Palestinians and their descendants who made the event more of a return than a simple tour. Zochrot, whose name means "remembering" in Hebrew, aims to educate Israeli Jews about the history of the Nakba and the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees. Typically, they will…Read More... | 29 Comments
A new guidebook provides readers with tours of 18 Palestinian villages depopulated in 1948, allowing Israelis to slowly learn the story of Palestine and create a new reality between the river and the sea. By Danit Shaham A book always makes a statement. Whether it’s resting on the table or visible on a shelf, it’s making a statement – cultural, political, or both. Space, on the other hand, represented by maps, hiking trails, signs, is usually viewed as something objective. Neutral. Not subordinated to social, historical or other forms of power. “Once Upon a Land,” published by Zochrot and Pardes, offers 18…Read More... | 20 Comments
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