'Erased from Space and Consciousness' is the product of years of meticulous research to raise awareness of the hundreds of villages Israel destroyed during and following the 1948 war. But is awareness enough to remedy the injustices of the past? By Tom Pessah Kadman, Noga: Erased From Space and Consciousness – Israel and the Depopulated Palestinian Villages of 1948. 2015. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. 256 pp. Noga Kadman’s Erased from Space and Consciousness is one of those rare books that profoundly re-shapes your perspective. Growing up inside the Zionist education system meant that even when I did eventually hear about the…Read More... | 37 Comments
A new book examines the ways in which Israel's policies of displacement in the Negev are also drastically changing the environment where hundreds of thousands live. By Tom Pessah What do you think of when you think of a desert? An area with little precipitation, mostly uninhabited except perhaps by nomads? An empty place with no history, waiting to be filled with people and vegetation? A new book by professor of architecture Eyal Weizman and photographer Fazal Sheikh unpacks these assumptions, and exposes how they are being used by Israel in displacing its Bedouin citizens in the Negev. The…Read More... | 5 Comments
Even if we can't accept each other's historical narratives, it is still possible to acknowledge that there are both Israelis and Palestinians living here today. By Alex Stein MK Anat Berko (Likud) kicked off a storm in the Knesset last week when she pointed out that Arabic doesn’t have a ‘P’ sound, meaning that Palestinians themselves can’t pronounce Palestine (Arabic softens Ps into Fs, which is why the Arabic word for Palestine is Falastin). This led to uproar in the Knesset, with MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) shouting out “Are you for real?” and several members of the Joint List walking…Read More... | 24 Comments
For three years, a group of young Palestinian citizens of Israel has been meeting in order to imagine and plan their return to the destroyed villages from which their parents and grandparents were expelled. The project they initiated, “Udna” (“Return”), aims to give the younger generation an awareness of the Nakba, and to create actual models for return. The displaced descendants of one such destroyed village, al-Ghabisiyya, made a 3D simulation of what their village might look like if and when it is rebuilt. More on planning Palestinian return: Displaced Palestinians return to village after 64 years At annual conference,…Read More... | 5 Comments
Putting up signs marking destroyed Palestinian towns and villages could bring about a more moral discourse about the Nakba and its victims. By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio About two weeks ago, far from the public eye, something with potentially far-reaching and serious consequences occurred in Israel: An inspector on a local planning committee recommended that a sign be placed at a site slated for development in the city of Ashkelon, mentioning the Palestinian town of Hamama that stood there until 1948. [tmwinpost] The inspector’s recommendation came in response to an objection to the development submitted by De-Colonizer, a research and art laboratory…Read More... | 4 Comments
Dozens of Palestinians and Israeli Jews sailed along the coast last week to mark the destruction of Jaffa — the former political, cultural and economic capital of Palestine — during the 1948 War. Organized by the Israeli NGO Zochrot, which works to raise awareness of the Nakba and promote the right of return among Israeli Jews, the participants, which included Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi, listened to first-hand stories of the fear, expulsions and mass exodus of Palestinians from the city by the pre-state Zionist militias. Related: The road out of the occupation runs through the Nakba S. African…Read More... | 11 Comments
After escaping the horrors of the Syrian Civil War by boat, a group of Palestinian refugees washed up on the shores of Greece. Now they are wandering the streets of Athens without food or shelter. After four days at sea, with no food or fuel, 175 Palestinian refugees were rescued by the Greek navy. After fleeing the horrors of war in Syria for neighboring Turkey and paying huge sums to their smugglers, who promised to bring them to Italy (not to mention ensure they had entry permits, as well as food and drink), the refugees found themselves living in the…Read More... | 9 Comments
Among the ruins of the destroyed Palestinian village of Lubya, a group of South African Jews publicly apologizes to descendants of Lubya's refugees for their donations to the Jewish National Fund, donations that were used to plant part of the forest that covers the village's remains. In a forest glade set atop the remains of the destroyed Palestinian village of Lubya in the Lower Galilee, a delegation of South African Jews made a public apology to the descendants of refugees from Lubya and their families Friday evening. The event, a joint initiative of the South African delegation and representatives of…Read More... | 40 Comments
An informal 'Public Truth Commission' set out to find exactly what happened to the Negev Bedouin between 1948 and 1960. While Bedouin witnesses told stories of massacres, rape and expulsions, former Israeli soldiers said they were just following orders. By Tom Pessah I identify as straight, so I cannot claim to know how it feels to be in the closet. But I do have friends who identify as LGBTQ, and they have taught me a little about what it is like: to constantly evade the subject is exhausting. If you demand that people hide such central parts of their identities,…Read More... | 24 Comments
With Palestinian children in Gaza bearing the brunt of Israel's offensive on the Strip, this is what one little girl may have written to us – had she the chance. By Sam Bahour As the latest horrific obscenity of Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip continues, the death toll mounts. Palestinian children are paying the highest price, both those who are killed and wounded, and, maybe even more so, those who survive. Since I have written for decades about how Israel’s prolonged military occupation and endless violations of international law – let alone its blatant disregard for its very own…Read More... | 5 Comments
This week: Palestinian citizens of Israel march to the destroyed village Lubya, Israeli activists commemorate the Nakba, solidarity with administrative detainees, May Day celebrations, the leader of Israel's refugee movement says goodbye to freedom, and more.Read More...
On the day that many Israelis celebrated their Independence Day, thousands of Palestinian residents of Israel and Jerusalem marched to the site of the northern village of Lubya. Lubya was one of more than 500 Palestinian communities destroyed by Zionist militias in the Nakba, Arabic for 'catastrophe,' the term given to the forced displacement of some 750,000 refugees before, during and following the 1948 War. Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler Photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Omar Sameer and Oren Ziv/Activestills.org The marchers passed massive photos of refugee families hung from trees planted by the Jewish National Fund to create…Read More...
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