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Human rights groups tell the truth. It is we who refuse to listen

We refuse to listen to what human rights groups say about the West Bank and Gaza Strip because we do not want to admit we are ultimately responsible.

By Assaf David

How does Israel, its institutions, its academy, and its mainstream media, understand the goings on the Palestinian side? Through the crosshairs, of course.

This is not new, but these crosshairs are located in the wider context of Israel’s political institutions. This aspect deserves a closer analysis, since the discourse surrounding these institutions contains a kind of knowledge that molds our consciousness, while erasing knowledge of a different kind.

Are Fatah and Hamas reconciling? Hoards of academics and media figures will analyze every statement, every personality, every move, trying to place them in their political, tactical, or strategic context. Trump, Egypt, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Mahmoud Abbas, Mohammed Dahlan, Haniyeh, Sinwar, Islamic Jihad, Salafi, Sunni, Shi’a.

But life is more complicated than personalities, organizations, and political moves. Haaretz recently interviewed Palestinian-Israeli psychologist Mohammed Masour, who volunteers with Physicians for Human Rights. Mashad travels frequently to Gaza, describing the horrifying reality in the Strip. Chaos rules, disrupting long-accepted customs and behaviors in Palestinian society, including between men and women.

Meanwhile, we stew in our ignorance. The information we are exposed to in academia and the media surrounds Abbas and Dahlan jockeying for power, jihad and Iran, Salafists and Hamas. One tries to screw the other over, some are weaker than others, that’s why they signed an Egyptian-backed reconciliation agreement, but who know if they really mean it.

But what don’t we know? Everything human rights organizations have been persistently telling us for years. All those organizations, silenced by the government and the Knesset at home, yet proudly displayed for all the world to see in the fight over international minds.

Human rights organizations allow us to prove that Israel is the only democracy in the region. And anyone who doesn’t like it can go to Gaza, along with these groups. These are groups that tell us what is happening on the ground. We do not want to see it, hear it, or read it. Take them away from us, because we are uncomfortable with the fact that, in the end, this is our fault.

Yes, our fault. We deny an entire nation its national rights, and in order to ensure that our victory is permanent, we also deny human rights to the individuals...

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Yes, the right of return is feasible. Here's how

Seventy years after the violent displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, it is time to undo the injustice and to allow whoever desires to return as equal citizens to do so, while respecting the rights and identities of all who live in Israel-Palestine.

By Tom Pessah (translated by Yoni Molad)

For millions of Palestinians worldwide, the right of return is a fundamental issue — the most important precondition for resolving the conflict. However, in Israel the matter is raised haphazardly and is not really dealt with seriously. Haokets recently published a series of important documents culled from the state archives, which show how the property of Palestinian refugees was transferred over to the Custodian of Absentees’ Property.

Simultaneously, a debate has been taking place on the pages of Haaretz regarding the most appropriate attitude vis-a-vis the right of return. The contributors come from across the Israeli political spectrum: Ze’ev Binyamin Begin was a member of Netanyahu’s government. Shaul Arieli was a Knesset candidate for Meretz, and has been fighting for years to expose the injustices caused by the construction of the separation barrier. Uri Avnery is the founder of Gush Shalom, who dared to meet with Yasser Arafat in Beirut at the height of the First Lebanon War. Shlomo Sand is a controversial academic whose aim is to shatter the myth of Jewish biological continuity.

Despite this apparent diversity — and the courage displayed by writers who veer away from the public consensus — it is interesting to note that, fundamentally, all the discussants are in agreement. Begin is “pessimistic” about peace because he does not believe the Palestinians will forego the right of return. Arieli proposes to prevent “the demographic threat to Israel’s Jewish identity” through measures such as compensation and resettlement in other countries. Sand offers compensation on the basis of recognizing that ‘this right is antithetical to the to the linguistic and cultural identity that exists in Israel, perhaps to its very existence.” And Avnery suggests absorbing only a limited quota of refugees on the basis that “no one expects Israel to commit suicide and agree to resettle millions of refugees.”

The discourse surrounding the right of return is trapped in slogans about “suicide” and “demographic threat,” dictated by a regime fearful of a real solution to the conflict, and the broad changes that this would entail. Is it not time to exchange these slogans for a serious discussion?

Here are a...

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The Netanyahu government went off the rails this weekend

In under 24 hours, Netanyahu and his cronies attacked left-wing NGOs, tried to shut down Israel’s public broadcaster, and starting advancing a law that would give the prime minister immunity for corruption charges.

By Yossi Dahan

What transpired in the Israeli government over a 24-hour period this past weekend is nothing short of nauseating.

It began with a scathing attack by Prime Minister Netanyahu on top police officials in response to news reports that police renewed the investigations against him in a number of corruption scandals. Netanyahu attacked the national police commissioner for allegedly leaking details of the investigations.

Immediately after that, on Sunday morning, the government approved a new law, allowing ministries to make certain political appointments bypassing normal civil service norms and bidding processes.

Later that day Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) proposed shutting down the new Israel Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), in order to fund new settler roads in the West Bank, which Netanyahu floated funding with across-the-board cuts. The interior minister could have solved the budget problem in other ways but it turns out what worries him most these days is the months-old public broadcaster’s low ratings.

It is difficult to know whether Deri’s sudden interest in the corporation’s ratings was the result of an investigative report it aired, according to which Israeli police have gathered enough evidence to indict him and his wife for tax offenses, money laundering and breach of trust.

Netanyahu said that he will consider Deri’s proposal. Comedic relief came from Communications Minister Ayoub Kara, who wrote on Twitter: “I was happy to receive the prime minister’s blessings to shut down the Israel Broadcasting Corporation, an end to wasting public money.” Kara, who is Netanyahu’s puppet in the Communications Ministry, clearly misread the instructions and quickly erased the Tweet, publishing a clarification that mostly likely came from above.

During that same meeting, the heads of the coalition unanimously agreed to establish a parliamentary committee to investigate foreign government funding of left-wing NGOs, and the involvement of those governments in internal Israeli politics. In order to prevent any surprises, coalition head David Bitan proposed the committee be headed by a member of Knesset from his Likud party. Netanyahu supported this move. Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin updated the coalition heads on the progress of a new government-supported bill to outlaw left-wing NGOs. At the end of that day, it was...

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Netanyahu exploiting south Tel Aviv's hardships to attack asylum seekers

Netanyahu has asylum seekers right where he wants them. He can exploit the hardships of south Tel Aviv residents to continue inciting against the Supreme Court, the media, and human rights organizations.

By Yossi Dahan

After years in which Netanyahu did not set foot in south Tel Aviv, the prime minister came to the area last week for two visits. The first visit was highly publicized, and the second — with Interior Minister Aryeh Deri — was undercover. For Netanyahu, the timing of the visits was perfect: a week after Israel’s High Court ruled that asylum seekers cannot be deported to third countries without their consent, and that consent to do so cannot come from someone who has been jailed indeterminately.

For Netanyahu and his ministers, the ruling was another golden opportunity to paint the Supreme Court justices as disconnected elites who prefer the welfare of “the infiltrators” at the expense of south Tel Aviv’s residents. The prime minister promised the veteran residents he met that he, as opposed to court, will see to the deportation of the infiltrators and “return the neighborhood to the residents of south Tel Aviv.”

Netanyahu’s use of words like “infiltrators” to describe asylum seekers is not coincidental — they are intended to mark them as criminals who crossed the border in order to improve their economic status. And yet he knows these terms are deceitful. Had they been infiltrators or illegal migrant workers, there would be no legal problem with putting them on planes and returning them to their home countries. Israel does not do so because it recognizes them as asylum seekers — a legal term signifying the fact that they left their countries, came to a different one, and declared that their life would in danger should they be sent back.

Out of 40,000 asylum seekers currently in Israel, the vast majority come from Sudan and Eritrea — murderous dictatorships that commit grave human rights violations. Thus the State of Israel, despite jailing and abusing asylum seekers, undertakes a policy of “delayed deportation,” in accordance with the United Nations’ 1951 Refugee Convention, to which Israel is a signatory. According to the treaty, refugees cannot be sent back to a place in which their life or liberty will be in danger. Netanyahu, skilled in the art of incitement and setting different oppressed communities against one another to further his political goals, has no interest in...

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The war on Israeli BDS supporters

Israel’s minister of strategic affairs is gathering intelligence and compiling blacklists on Israeli citizens who support the boycott movement.

By Amnon Portugaly

These days Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of public security and strategic affairs, is promoting a new law that would exclude his ministry from governmental oversight. This is a step meant to help fight the BDS movement, while also granting legitimacy to gathering intelligence on Israeli citizens who are involved in the movement to boycott Israel.

In June, Haaretz reported that the Strategic Affairs Ministry, which Erdan heads, would essentially be shielded from certain provisions in the Freedom of Information Law — as decided by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.

According to the bill, a decision was made in October 2015 by the Ministerial Committee on National Security, enabled the ministry “to fulfill its functions effectively, it is suggested to exclude from the provisions of the Freedom of Information law the ministry’s activities within the framework of the responsibilities imposed on it by the government to lead the campaign against the phenomenon of de-legitimization and boycotts against Israel.”

But why must the battle against BDS organizations be kept away from the public eye? And what does “fulfilling its functions effectively” mean?

Erdan has already established an office in the Military Intelligence Directorate whose job is to gather intelligence on foreign BDS activists. Now it is becoming clear that Erdan wants to expand the surveillance activities of his ministry to include Israeli citizens. In his view, many Israeli citizens are involved in encouraging boycotts of Israel while collaborating with foreign BDS activists.

In fact, the Israeli government has been doing this for quite a while through shadow organizations such as Im Tirzu, Israel Academia Monitor, and the like. Now Erdan and the government are institutionalizing those organizations’ work. Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit and his deputy Avi Licht opposed the move, arguing that the Public Security Ministry does not have the legal authority to gather intelligence and manage databases on Israeli citizens.

The work of the new intelligence office in the Military Intelligence Directorate will likely include dozens of people who will gather and sort through information, and enlisting informants who will pass along information on BDS supporters in Israel and across the world. A kind of spy game that includes the methodical surveilling and categorizing of activists. Establishing databases and blacklists, the criteria of which are unknown. These lists will include citizens,...

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Why it's still important to talk about peace

Israelis may want peace, but they want it on their terms: without Palestinian resistance to the occupation.

By Raef Zreik

The rhetoric of “peace” as a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict blurs the problem at hand: the Palestinians don’t want peace. Peace is viewed as the opposite of war, but the Palestinians are not in a state of war with Israel — they are under occupation and are at war with the occupation. As in any occupation, you have those who are occupiers and those who are occupied. And while war presumes some sort of symmetry, there is nothing symmetrical about the nature of occupation.

Living under occupation leads Palestinians to fight for their freedom, independence, self-determination, and economic prosperity. They want to control their borders and natural resources, and insist on sovereignty over their fate. Peace can — and is meant to — be the result of their struggle, and it can be assumed that a people no longer living under occupation or in refugee camps will have every reason to live in peace. Peace could also be an Israeli demand regarding the end of a process that ensures conflict doesn’t continue after the occupation ends, and that a just solution is found for the refugee problem. But peace — as it relates to quiet, a lack of resistance, and acceptance — cannot exist as a precondition for negotiations; peace can only be a result of the process.

The current Israeli government’s rationale is that the Palestinian Authority must cease all resistance to the occupation. But how can you stop the resistance to the occupation while the occupation still exists? Resistance will end when the occupation is over; conditioning ending the occupation on peace and entering into peace talks is equivalent to making peace while leaving the occupation in place. That is how what we call the “peace process” perpetuates the occupation instead of ending it. If peace — meaning no incitement and no resistance to the occupation — were a precondition for peace negotiations, it’s unclear why Israel would have any desire to enter into peace talks, for in such a scenario it will already have the peace it seeks.

That is the paradox of the Israeli understanding of the logic of occupation: if there is resistance to the occupation, then Israel won’t enter into peace talks with the Palestinians because they are inciting against it. On the other hand, if...

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The Syrian refugees Israelis prefer to forget

As opposed to Palestinian refugees, the fate of the Syrians expelled from the Golan Heights by Israel in 1967 was covered up and hidden from public awareness. Even today, most Israelis believe the area was largely empty of Syrians, and anyone who may have been there fled voluntarily.

By Irit Gal

Among the Syrian refugees fleeing their burning country to the European countries that were kind enough to open their gates, there are those who belong to a second generation of refugees. The first fled in 1967 when the Syrian Golan Heights were conquered by the Israeli army. In contrast to the refugees in the West Bank and Gaza, the story of these refugees was blotted out of the Israeli consciousness. The facts disappeared, their story was hidden, obscured and vanished from view — as if it had never happened.

In the late 90s, I was sent by an Israeli television program to document the story of the Druze residents of the Golan Heights. I was asked to look at why they kept their allegiance to their Syrian homeland and refused to accept Israeli citizenship, despite the many benefits granted them by Israel. In the course of the investigation I was surprised to come across a completely different story. It turned out that in 1967, when the Six-Day War broke out, the Golan Heights were populated by Syrian citizens, of whom the Druze who remained were but a minority. I looked for corroboration in history books, but the Syrian inhabitants simply vanished. Only a single encyclopedia entry mentioned the
fact that before the Israeli conquest the population of the Golan Heights numbered more than 100,000.

In the course of the investigation and filming, we heard from former IDF soldiers who fought in the Golan Heights, from members of kibbutzim and villages in the Jordan Valley as well as from the Druze themselves. They all told the same story: the Golan Heights, which in the Israeli consciousness was perceived as having been empty and devoid of people, was in fact populated — just like the West Bank when it was conquered. The report was filmed and edited, but just as the promo for the program was being broadcast, the head of the Arab affairs desk demanded that we stop the broadcast for fear of being ridiculed. He stated that there had never been civilians in the Golan Heights except for the Syrian armed forces, the proof being that “everyone knows this.”

To prevent a misunderstanding, a senior historian was called in. He was a Middle East specialist and...

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Dear Arab men, it's time to build a new kind of masculinity

We must challenge masculinity that derives its power from the backs of the weakest segments in our society, while at the same time proposing an alternative masculinity that fights back against our humiliation.

By Abed Abu Shehadeh

After every catastrophe that befalls Arab society in Israel, I find myself typing away. I write to try and describe and analyze political events, focusing specifically on mechanisms of oppression. Time after time I ask myself why I even write in the first place, when I am well aware of the fact that I am using rationalistic tools to analyze irrational events. After all, there is no logic in oppression, beyond the fact that people develop these systems to control others and maintain their privileges. When we show oppressors the facts about the way they oppress, they will do everything in their power to explain it away using all kids of excuses. As long as they don’t need to take responsibility or change the existing balance of power.

And yet, despite the frustration and feeling of helplessness when it comes to dealing with violence in Arab society, writing about murders — and specifically the murder of Arab women — is a duty. Every article, every post on Facebook, even if only those who are already convinced read them, can have an effect. We must write with the hope that these words prevent the next catastrophe.

I prefer not to focus on the facts having to do with recent murders, and instead will focus on the question of Arab masculinity. I do not write about femininity, nor do I try to explain the behavior of women, for two reasons; first, far be it from me as a man to preach to women over who they are or what they need to be. They know to do this far better than I do. The second resin is that there is very little writing surrounding Arab masculinity.

After all, there is something completely illogical in the fact that Arab men were occupied by a foreign entity and undergo a lifetimes worth of humiliation by state institutions, while accepting the situation as a given — and ostensibly without having their ego bruised. On the other hand, despite the danger of lengthy imprisonment and strict prohibitions in both Islam and Christianity against violence and murder — the phenomenon of violence against women not only continues, it is getting worse.

In...

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Tel Aviv's week of Pride and militarism

Next week, as tourists descend on Tel Aviv for the yearly pride parade, a separate international contingent will touch down in the city for a high-profile arms fair.

By Tanya Rubinstein

The upcoming Tel Aviv Pride parade has set social media, the streets and the queer community alight. In preparation for the June 9 march, the city’s streets are already filling up with rainbow flags and cute tourists.

Luckily for the parade’s organizers, this year’s event is taking place in the second week of June rather than the first, which marks 50 years since the start of the 1967 occupation. We already saw the March of the Flags in all its glory on Jerusalem Day last week, including the shuttering of Palestinian businesses and the clearing of Palestinians off the streets, and severe police violence against Jewish demonstrators who were trying to stop the march from passing through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter.

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These aren’t really the pictures of masses of flags that the Tourism Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs want tourists to see. Indeed, pride events in Israel over the last few years have been a hasbara tool, aimed at showing the world a (false) picture of Israel as a Western, pluralistic, democratic country that respects human rights. It’s what LGBTQ activists refer to as “pinkwashing.”

So it is that during Pride week in Tel Aviv, which will bring thousands of tourists from around the world to celebrate on the beach, a separate international contingent will be in town to admire the Israel’s arms industry’s wares at the ISDEF exhibition.

The expo, held every two years at the Tel Aviv Convention Center, proudly displays cutting-edge military technology to representatives from dozens of countries. It’s one of the largest arms expos in the world, and the biggest in Israel. Throughout the exhibition, Israel will sell its technological developments to foreign countries, including those under arms embargoes for violating human rights.

It’s no accident that Israel is one of the world’s biggest military exporters. The territories and people under Israeli occupation enable the military to develop, test out and perfect new technologies on the battlefield. As a result, Israel can compete...

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Fighting media silence on the Palestinian hunger strike

Trump’s visit to Israel is just the latest thing to keep the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike — already largely ignored by the media — out of the headlines.

By Tanya Rubinstein

Donald Trump’s arrival in Israel on Monday filled social media with mockery and resentment, surrounding everything from ministers’ ridiculous statements and road closures to bizarre conversations and more.

The media also had a field day with Likud MK Oren Hazan’s selfie with Trump, and with the politics of who’d get to shake hands with whom during the welcoming ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport.

During the reception, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Trump that a Monday morning traffic accident in Tel Aviv may well have been a terror attack – despite the police having stated well over an hour beforehand that it had been an accident. But, as we all know, much of the internal security minister’s role these days involves wanton incitement and fabricating terror attacks, as we saw following the killing of “terrorist” Yaqoub Abu al-Qi’an in Umm al-Hiran.

But what’s happening behind all the media spin?

Only one Israeli media outlet, Haaretz, reported on how the ramping up of security for Trump’s visit — mostly based in Jerusalem — involved the deployment of around 11,000 additional police officers and the issuing of administrative orders against citizens who it was thought “may interfere with the visit.” Aside from the blocking of roads and traffic jams that inconvenienced everyone, we must also think about those whose own security and daily routine were affected because it was feared they might disrupt Trump’s visit.

Nir Hasson, writing in Haaretz, described how American and Israeli security services teams had descended on Jerusalem’s Old City ahead of Trump’s visit, describing “shops being searched with the help of a dog, before being shuttered and a blue security services sticker being placed over the lock, so that it couldn’t be opened without tearing the sticker.”

Hasson also described how surrounding roofs “had a camouflage net spread over them, while large temporary structures were erected wherever the president was expected to get out of his car.”

We were also told, one day prior to Trump’s visit, that the Israel Prison Service had started transferring hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners, who were then on the 36th day of their strike. Are their claims, demands and deteriorating health...

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New web series spotlights disappeared Yemenite children

In the years following Israel’s establishment, thousands of Yemenite babies, children of new immigrants, were reportedly taken from their parents by the medical establishment and disappeared. Now two filmmakers are working to bring to light the stories of the families who were torn apart.

By Tammy Riklis and Yonit Naaman

Yemenite children's affair.

The past half year saw the release of acclaimed Hebrew web series “Neviim: Operation Amram,” which takes a closer look at the Yemenite Children’s Affair and the families whose children disappeared in the early years of the state. The 12-part series, which was released piecemeal over the past year, follows the activists from the Israeli non-profit organization, Amram, as they went from town to town to collect painful testimonies from families whose children disappeared.

Each episode of the series shines a light on a different stage of this long journey, which begins with a meeting of Amram activists on the balcony of Naama Katiee in Haifa. The group ponders the problem of explaining to children that other children had been kidnapped in this country (“How can I tell her that doctors kidnapped children? She will refuse to go to the doctor.”) and moves on to the stories of people, families, and entire communities that went through hell. This is a past that some are living every day, a past that had been silenced and repressed for decades.

What gives the series its strength is the camera’s unwavering focus on the conversations between the activists and those who give their testimony, without any background noise or commentary, creating a strong feeling of intimacy. The men and women telling their stories are Israelis from age groups and ethnicities not commonly seen on the screen. In fact, for years their story was not part of Israelis’ collective memory, which is full of trauma and bereavement. Now, for the first time, it is being documented as a unique piece of history that affords a peek into the life of new immigrants from Arab countries in the 1950s. Speaking about a kidnapped child or sister without apology or cross-examination is made possible by members of the third generation who “become the mouthpiece of the first generation. “It’s a heavy responsibility but it...

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Remembering the history Israel swept aside in 1948

In the late 19th century, travelers on the long road from Jaffa to Jerusalem could stop at a rest station to relax and have a cup of (overpriced) coffee. This past, and the story of Jerusalem opening itself to the world, has been lost in the Zionist retelling of history.

By Yonathan Mizrachi

There is an ongoing debate in Israel over whether an Ottoman-era site along the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway should commemorate the actions in 1948 of the late, deeply controversial Rehavam Ze’evi, or the Harel Brigade of the Palmach, the pre-state incarnation of the Israel Defense Forces. But the inn at Bab al-Wad, or Sha’ar Hagai in Hebrew, has a pre-Israeli and pre-military past that has been brushed over in the debate.

Built in 1869 by the Ottoman government, the inn was intended as a rest station on the route from Jaffa to Jerusalem; the journey was made by carriage on a dirt road, and took at least 12 hours. The Turks built the inn as part of their efforts to improve the conditions for travelers on the route after many years of neglect, and its construction attests to the significant political and cultural changes that the land — and in particular Jerusalem — underwent in the second half of the 19th century.

The same period was also marked by the increasing involvement of world powers in the Holy Land, with more and more representatives from European countries arriving for short- and long-term stays. The number of tourists and pilgrims also jumped, and that same route from Jaffa to Jerusalem, renovated by the Ottomans and with the Bab al-Wad inn beside it, became the major highway it is today in Israel, which is once again under renovation.

The work on the route back then included widening the road and establishing refreshment and rest stations along it. Bab al-Wad was the first such station, with a stable and water well on the first floor and a cafe on the second floor, which was later joined by a hostel. Written sources describe free parking at the inn, although patrons were required to purchase an exorbitantly-priced coffee — meaning that even back then, the idea of charging astronomical sums in the middle of nowhere was an accepted one.

Bab al-Wad was managed by various Jewish families who had to pay taxes to the Turkish district governor. But the laying...

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The unknown history of the Palestinian school funded by an Iraqi Jew

Ellis Kadoorie hoped that by establishing an agricultural school in Tulkarm, he would be helping to educate and improve the conditions of Palestinians and Jews alike. Little did he know it would become a microcosm of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

By Tamar Novick and Arie M. Dubnov

The Kadoorie Agricultural School holds a special place in Israeli national memory; a second home for figures like the poet of the 1948 war, Haim Gouri, the future generals Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Rabin, and many of the Palmach generation, the school is seen as the spiritual soil from which sprouted the mythological Sabra. “Kadoorie was more than just an educational institution,” wrote Allon in his memoir; it was an “educational and life-forging structure,” which molded the character of its students. With the passing years, many students became leading commanders of the Israeli Defense Forces in its first years, and their manners, clothes, speech acts, and celebrated “straightforwardness” supplied the associations and images through which the ideal of the “1948 generation” was constructed.

This generation’s presence in Israeli society only grew stronger as new generations followed. Yosef Milo, who directed the classic Israeli film “He Walked Through the Fields” (1967), pushed this point home in his take on Moshe Shamir’s novel, which tells the story of a paratrooper who upon his return from the battlefield in the Golan Heights, is seen paying a visit to the principal of Kadoorie Agricultural School on his way home to his kibbutz. The new Uri, a brave soldier of the Six Day War, is shown standing in the principal’s office, looking at a wall covered with photos of famous graduates, including that of the old Uri, the mythological Palmachnik who died at war. The choice of Assi Dayan, the son of the one-eyed general Moshe Dayan, for the role of the conflicted and feisty Uri, was not accidental, and established a connection between the generation of the sons and that of the combatant-fathers. The choice of the Kadoorie School as the filming site was also significant. This cinematic act concluded, in fact, the process of turning the school into what historian Pierre Nora calls “a site of memory” (lieu de mémoire) — that is, a space or physical object that codifies, sums up, and anchors national memory.

Rothschilds of the East

Yet only very few Jewish Israelis know about the existence of a twin school, also named after Kadoorie, located in the West Bank...

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