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Zionist mythology

  • How Israeli photography creates a world without Palestinians

    The myth of the land of Mandate Palestine as an untapped oasis waiting for Jewish habitation is still thriving on both sides of the Green Line. Photographs are a key tool for perpetuating — and challenging — that myth. David Rubinger, Israel’s most famous photographer, died on 1 March at the age of 92. His photograph of three Israeli paratroopers gazing at the Western Wall, taken minutes after Israeli forces seized Jerusalem’s Old City during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, was widely revered as a symbol of Zionism’s triumphant destiny. Rubinger, however, was not particularly fond of the picture: “Part of…

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  • Ending the occupation would undo Israeli identity as we know it

    Bringing an end to 50 years of military rule over the Palestinians will undoubtedly change the face of Israeli society as we know it. Let's welcome that change with open arms.  By Inna Michaeli The argument that opposing the occupation does not contradict a love for Israel has been heard over and over in the Israeli Left for years. This isn't just a matter of PR — it is the personal experience of many Israelis. [tmwinpost] The problem, however, is that it does not manage to convince the public at large. But what if the public has good reason not to be convinced? Take…

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  • Photo exhibit challenges Zionism's most popular myth

    Using haunting aerial photographs of the Negev Desert, American artist Fazal Sheikh challenges the notion that the desert was an unpopulated land before Zionism made it bloom.    By Tom Pessah In “Caravan Song,” the late Arik Einstein sings of a caravan of Zionist immigration and settlement that began in the 19th century and continues to this day. Most of the song is in his own voice, apart from one line in which he lovingly imitates David Ben-Gurion promising that the Negev will bloom. It is less acceptable today to talk of a people without a land populating a land…

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