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Israel State Archives

  • When Israel planned 'fantasy' tours to Arab villages under martial law

    New documents reveal how Israel's leaders prepared to celebrate the country's 10-year anniversary: by bringing tourists to participate in orientalist 'fantasy' tours to Arab villages, then under military rule. If you’re a young Jewish person, chances are you or someone you know has gone on a Birthright trip. If you have gone on Birthright, chances are that as part of the program’s attempt to provide an “authentic” and pluralistic “Israel experience” you spent the night in a Bedouin tent and posed on a camel in the Negev Desert. In short, young Jews are sold a fantasy. [tmwinpost] That fantasy did not…

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  • IDF Censor redacted 2,358 news articles last year

    While the number of articles submitted to the IDF Censor decreased in 2017, the percentage of articles that it fully or partially redacted went up. Israel’s Military Censor outright prohibited the publication of 271 articles in 2017, more than five a week, and partially or fully redacted a total of 2,358 news items submitted to it for prior review. The latter figure amounts to roughly one redaction every four hours. The figures, provided in response to a freedom of information request filed by +972 Magazine and the Movement for Freedom of Information, represents a rise in the percentage of articles the…

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  • Israel opens files on disappeared Yemenite children. But is it enough?

    The declassification of hundreds of thousands of documents on one of the most chilling and tragic chapters in Israeli history is a victory for Mizrahi activists. But many files, including on alleged kidnappings of Yemenite children, are still out of reach for the public. Israel's State Archives last week released over 200,000 previously classified documents on to the disappearance of Yemenite children during the early years of Israeli statehood. The documents, which were supposed to be declassified only in 2031, have now been made accessible on the state archives website. [tmwinpost] The declassified documents provide us with an opportunity to gain some insight into…

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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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