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  • Don’t wait for Israeli archives to prove what Palestinians already know

    Israeli authorities are deliberately concealing historical documents to undermine evidence of the state's dark and violent origins. And the world is still falling for it. The village of Safsaf (“willow” in Arabic) appears on page 490 of the newest edition of Walid Khalidi’s All That Remains, a seminal book that catalogues 418 Palestinian communities that were destroyed and depopulated during the Nakba. A Palestinian eyewitness account describes the day when Zionist forces conquered the village and rounded up its residents in October 1948: As we lined up, a few Jewish soldiers ordered four girls to accompany them to carry water for…

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  • Israel's state archivist opens up about censorship, digitization

    Israel’s state archivist confirms that nearly half a million pages have been sent to the IDF Censor, which has redacted historical documents that already saw the light of day, and talks about why he didn’t foresee the storm that erupted over his decision to end access to paper documents. Israel’s state archivist did not foresee the storm that erupted this week over his decision to end public access to the Israel State Archives’ physical documents as part of a otherwise welcomed digitization process. Historians, academics and civil liberties groups are worried by the lack of public debate surrounding the changes,…

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  • The end of history at Israel's state archives?

    As part of a welcome digitization process, the Israel State Archives will soon revoke access to original paper documents, and the documents it puts online will be subject to military censorship. But academics and civil liberties groups are fighting back. (Correction appended below) Israel’s State Archives (ISA) will no longer give researchers and the public access to its historical materials and documents once it starts putting digitized documents online. Furthermore, and documents it does release will be subject to review by the country’s military censorship apparatus. Currently, the military censor does not review every document given to researchers. [tmwinpost] The…

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  • Traces of the Nakba: Book review of 'Stone, Paper'

    Despite attempts to conceal the memory of stones in the village of Hunin, papers in the kibbutz archives left a trail revealing the hidden war. In his bold book, Stone, Paper, Tomer Gardi places history in its present, as a driving political force, while rejecting the practice of historical writing. By Yehouda Shenhav | Translated by Dana G. Peleg There is a children’s game called "rock, paper, scissors." It's played with two players: each one hides his or her hand behind the back, and then they stretch their arms out forcefully and simultaneously, making one of three possible signs that…

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