New Israeli film profiles the soldiers who carried out the Nakba

Israel/Palestine
on 25 Comments

Activist Frank Barat recently interviewed Israeli filmmaker Lia Tarachansky about her new film on Le Mur a des Oreilles (LMaDO), a Brussels-based radio show about Palestine.   Tarachansky’s movie, “On the Side of the Road,” tells the story of the fighters who sought to erase Palestine by perpetrating the Nakba. Here’s a transcript of Barat’s and Tarachansky’s conversation.

LMaDO: Your film “On the side of the road” will premiere in Tel Aviv on the 28th of Nov during a festival called “International film festival on Nakba and Return.” Can you tell us about this festival, and the subject of your film?

Lia Tarachansky: This will be the first film festival in the world that focuses entirely on the return of the refugees that were expelled and fled in 1948 and the Nakba itself. It will be held in Israel which is revolutionary on its own. My film opens the festival. It’s a film that has never been done here, in Israel, before. It includes my story, someone that grew up in a settlement, deep inside of the colonial mentality and colonial project of Israel and wakes up to the Palestinians and the Nakba. It profiles the soldiers who perpetrated the Nakba who expelled and massacred the palestinians. They talk about what they’ve done and return with me to the places that they have destroyed. The film focuses on the concept of return not from the perspective of the refugees, but from the view of the perpetrators. In that way the film connects 1948 and 1967 to today, as one continuous project of dispossession.

LMaDO: Only two former israelis soldiers are testifying in the film even though you got in touch with many more. So how difficult is it to talk about the Nakba in Israel?

LT: It’s incredibly difficult. As soon as you start talking about the conflict whether it is with Israelis or Palestinians, you inevitably end up at 1948 within five minutes. 1948 is not just something that happened, it’s an entire ideology, a mentality. The Israeli fear is based on the fact that what we did to the Palestinians in 1948 will be done to us. When I contacted other veterans, most of them did not want to talk about it in a critical light. They wanted to talk about it as this miraculous victory in a war where all odds were against us. Now that historians have started digging up the facts of the war, we’re starting to discover that what we believed about the State of Israel is pure mythology. The first turning point in that journey of uncovering the mythology started in 1967 with the book by Simha Flapan “The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities”. When you talk to Israelis, if you start talking about the Nakba, it brings up this intense fear. In fact veterans tend to be a lot more honest, because they did those things, but for their children or their grandchildren for whom 1948 is just a concept, it’s brings this deeply embedded fear. The strongest element of Israeli DNA is knowing what questions you cannot ask. Once you start touching these questions with 1948 and its core, everything else starts to unravel. It’s an incredibly violent and terrifying process.

LMaDO: The film shows a scary side of Israeli society, racist and violent. Is it really that bad?

LT: I am not sure how to answer this question. Israelis and Palestinians are incredibly politicised. The conflict is an everyday thing. Violence is a daily reality here and its mostly experienced by Palestinians and mostly perpetrated by the colonial project. The State, soldiers, the settlers and everyone else. The film itself shows violence against an idea. The film profiles the Nakba as a very violent process of ethnic cleansing and destruction, where hundreds of villages were wiped of the map and refugees forbidden to return. The film focuses specifically on the psychological violence against the idea of questioning. It starts and ends with Israeli independence day, one year apart. The whole film fits into what happened within one year, when the Israeli parliament tried to pass a law that forbids mourning what happened in 1948. It tried to silence history, silence people feelings about history, something that on its surface is an incredibly fascist move. The film starts and ends with this one day when we celebrate this big mythological bubble. On that day when we are supposed to be celebrating our miraculous victory, our State, everything, activists from the organisation Zochrot tried to question what this mythology is based on. The response from not only the State and the Police but also from people is incredibly violent. They try to violently shut up these activists because you cannot talk about 1948 in Israel and certainly not on independence day. That’s why this festival is so important.

LMaDO: The film touches upon your own story. When did you, a girl that was raised in a Zionist family and that moved to one of the biggest settlement in Palestine, Ariel, realise that what you thought was the truth was not?

LT: I’m still realising it. Unlearning and decolonising your understanding is a life long process. The first time that I started to question things was at University in Canada. There was an Israel week organised by the Jewish student organisation along with the Israeli affairs committee on my campus. These two zionist groups organised what they thought was a celebration of Israel. For a whole week we had israeli flags everywhere, displays showing that Israel is a democratic country, a queer friendly country….You know, I am a Russian jew that grew up in Israel. I know what it is like for a jewish immigrant to live here, in Israel because I was born in the Soviet Union. Unless you are a member of the white elite, of the ashkenazi elite, you were always trying to fit into something. The democracy somehow does not touch you. I therefore remember thinking that it was crazy for them to organise such an event on campus and say such things. I then realised none of them had ever lived in Israel. They only visited on birthright trips. The same week I met a Palestinian for the first time and had a conversation with him. I think he asked me for directions or something and somehow I found out he was a palestinian. The first thing that came to my mind was:”Oh my god, he knows I am a Jew and he is not trying to kill me”. The only thing I knew about them at the time is that they are trying to kill israelis and jews, that’s all they care about. This person, on the other hand, was just friendly. That unravelled an entire violent process where all what I thought was true came under question.

LMaDO: There is a very powerful scene in the film when you go back to Ariel settlement and talk about the fact that this is where you grew up, where you learned about love and your love for this place. The settlements are always presented as this obstacle to peace so what about if Ariel had to be emptied to ensure the viability of a 2 States solution?

LT: First of all I disagree with the assumption. The settlements are not an obstacle to peace. Colonialism is an obstacle to peace. The actual space on which the settlements are built is 1% of the West Bank. If we had one country from the river to the sea where everyone had equal rights, the settlements will not be an impediment to peace. It’s the idea that we must be in control, we as Jews, must have superior rights. We must control and oppress the palestinians that is an obstacle to peace. If you want to understand the situation here, it’s not in the black or white. You have to look into the deep grey. It’s like that for everyone. Just today, I was looking for an apartment in Jaffa. Me and my room mate got together with the estate agent who was Jewish. She is renting out a home that is obviously built on a piece of land where palestinian homes stood. The actual landlord, is a palestinian. What she called an Israeli-Arab. She tried to convince me that it was ok to have a palestinian landlord. She told me that he was the nicest Arab I had ever met. He is a good Arab, not the Arab you think. This is just one tiny example in a daily negotiation that goes on and is part of living here.

LMaDO: So what do you want to achieve with this film? Do you want to change people’s views? Have your parents seen the film? What did they make of it?

LT: My parents refused to watch it, for different reasons. My whole family treats my journalism (for the Real News Network) as this thing that Lia does and that we do not talk about. My journalism and my filmmaking is something that we don’t talk about because every time they try to talk about it, it turns into me asking them uncomfortable questions and it is not a conversation you can have on a daily basis. We had a very deep conversation with my mum about the film and what is in the film and what is not. She believes it is a very dangerous film because it gives ammunition to the people who are resisting Israel.

As for the process of the film, it started as a very journalistic movie. It was going to profile the 7 myths that we believe about the founding of the state of Israel through the stories of the historians and the journalists that have covered that history. As I evolved with the film, into someone who started to understand that you can not fit this place into black and white, you can not fit this place into any other kind of political conflict, it is a different place in some ways. The film evolved with me. I realised that the facts do not convince, the facts weren’t what changed my mind. It was that person that I met that changed my mind. Even when you bring every facts in the world into a conversation with Israelis they will bring you 400 other kind of facts and you will never be actually talking about the essence of the thing. I wanted to touch on the essence of the thing and the only way to do that would be to talk to the persons, the individual people and the only way to do that honestly it’s to also doing that within myself which is why the film includes my personal story.

LMaDO: I remember when we talked about the film about 2 or 3 years ago, you did not really want to have your personal story in the film.

LT: I did not! And in fact, it was only recently when I was filming for the Real News Network and doing other kind of things that I ended up being on camera a few times. That scene in Ariel is actually a scene that was supposed to be for a Real News piece and I just ended up breaking down in the middle of it! I just had this scene in my hard drive, just sitting there and bothering me in the back of my mind as I was trying so hard to do this film about these people, them, what they did. Having taken 4 and half years to make this film, I really had the luxury of reflecting and re reflecting on it. And again, and again and again the people in my life kept questioning the honesty of it if it did not include my story and so it sort of forced me to say “well you know what? Here is my story” and I think that the film is stronger as a result.

LMaDO: Yes, I agree actually. I think the film is great, I was not to be convinced but inshallah it will have an impact on people.

Final question, to make such a film that criticises and opens the debate and demystifies 48 and the creation of Israel, how did you manage to raise the money?

LT: Well, I have a sugar daddy! I’m joking! No, the entire film is funded by individuals. We did a crowd funding, there were 2 associate producers who donated quite big sums to the film and also regular people who care about this issue, who know me and the film and heard about the Indie Go Go campaign we did, people who heard about me from my journalism work…It is just individuals and in fact the vast majority of the people who donated to the film are struggling themselves financially. It is an enormous honour to see that people see the power in such a story that they are willing to put their wallets where their mouth is.

LMaDO: Thanks a lot Lia. Do you have anything else to add?

LT: Well, I would like to invite anyone who is in Israel/Palestine on the 28th of November at 6.00pm to Cinemateque Tel Aviv which is one of the most prestigious theatre that we have here in the country, it is a huge thing that the festival is being held there, to come. Not only to my film but to the whole festival. So come! And you can also find out more about the film at http://www.naretivproductions.com/

LMaDO: Thanks again Lia and I do also want to say that this is a great film and that everyone should see it. Good luck with everything.

LT: Thanks so much.

About Frank Barat

Frank Barat is a Human Rights activist based in London. He is one of the coordinators of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, a popular tribunal created in 2009 to expose and examine Israel's impunity in regards to its treatment of the Palestinian People. He has edited two books; 'Gaza in Crisis' with Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe, and 'Corporate Complicity in Israel's Occupation' with Asa Winstanley. He has also participated in the book 'Is there a court for Gaza?' with Daniel Machover.

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25 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    November 13, 2013, 3:22 pm

    The Israeli-Jewish fear of being expelled is interesting. Think it’s called “projection”.

    Psychological projection was conceptualized by Sigmund Freud in the 1890s as a defense mechanism in which a person unconsciously rejects his or her own unacceptable attributes by ascribing them to objects or persons in the outside world.[1] For example, a person who is rude may accuse other people of being rude.

    There are so many mirrors in I/P.

    Israeli-Jews accuse Palestinians of thinking about doing what the Israeli-Jews are in fact doing.

    The Israeli-Jews accuse the Palestinians of wishing (or planning) to expel them (into the sea) and then methodically (and without seeing any harm in it) expelling the Palestinians. The Israeli-Jews accuse the Palestinians of planning “salami-tactics” (first the West Bank adn Gaza, next the Galilee, etc.) and then apply “salami-tactics in the gradually slicing settlement project. The Israeli-Jews complain of Palestinians teaching hate, but apparently they teach hate (and fear) at very age level, especially preparatory to the army. (The landlord is a good Arab, not the sort you fear.)

    The propaganda pictures of Jews (in Germany, 1930s) are detested by Israeli-Jews, but the propaganda pictures of Arabs (and the manner of speaking about Palestinians and other Arabs: “cockroaches in a bottle”) seem to mirror what the Israeli-Jews claim to hate.

    Be comforting to suppose there was a peaceful way out of this mess.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      November 13, 2013, 7:24 pm

      Regarding the fear of being driven “into the sea,” many Palestinians in coastal villages, Haifa, Akko etc. were literally driven into the sea in the Nakba as they struggled to escape under Zionist gunfire. Some directly into the sea, others onto vessels that capsized because they were overloaded. Either way they drowned.

      It wasn’t 100% projection though. There were also Shukheiry’s speeches about driving the Jews into the sea.

      While on the subject of Nakba films, please don’t overlook Hala Gabriel’s project to make a film about the Haganah massacre at the coastal village of Tantura, her family’s home place — “The Road to Tantura.” See http://www.roadtotantura.com

  2. eljay
    November 13, 2013, 3:51 pm

    Zio-supremacists should not face or fear retribution. What they should face – and what they likely do fear – is justice and accountability for their 60+-year-long (and counting) crime spree.

  3. Annie Robbins
    November 13, 2013, 4:41 pm

    ”Oh my god, he knows I am a Jew and he is not trying to kill me”. The only thing I knew about them at the time is that they are trying to kill israelis and jews, that’s all they care about.

    it’s still strange to me to think someone like lia ever thought like this. i always think it’s those other people. but for someone to come so far in ones lifetime, because i don’t think fears like that are easily overcome, even if you understand they are wrong or understand they are inaccurate. stuff we internalize in childhood have a lot of power. i’m glad lia included her own story in the film.

    My whole family treats my journalism (for the Real News Network) as this thing that Lia does and that we do not talk about. My journalism and my filmmaking is something that we don’t talk about because every time they try to talk about it, it turns into me asking them uncomfortable questions and it is not a conversation you can have on a daily basis. We had a very deep conversation with my mum about the film and what is in the film and what is not. She believes it is a very dangerous film because it gives ammunition to the people who are resisting Israel.

    wow. someone, such an incredible journalist as lia. someone so many people look up to. i hope her family appreciates how huge she is, what an accomplished person. who has done such an incredible job for so long. i hope they are proud of her.

    • Ellen
      November 13, 2013, 5:26 pm

      Yes, she comes across as thoughtful, intelligent. An impressive person. Her comments on the occupation/colonialism rather than the settlements themselves as the obstacle are much to think about — and in the arc of history between the occupied and occupiers isn’t it always that way?

      I hope voices like Lia’s are heard.

  4. seafoid
    November 13, 2013, 5:45 pm

    “The strongest element of Israeli DNA is knowing what questions you cannot ask. Once you start touching these questions with 1948 and its core, everything else starts to unravel. It’s an incredibly violent and terrifying process.”

    Super quote.

    Zionism is different to other forms of nationalism because it had zero shared history pre 48. The ‘land without a people’ for the people without any connected to a shared history. The memes were more or less created overnight. Hence the need for the indoctrination and hasbara.
    Artificial. Artificial. Artificial.

    A Turk can listen to a piece of Turkish music from the 15th century and feel a connection to Turkey.

    Bots can’t do that.

    And the thinking ones have to stop asking questions because the ideology is so fragile.

    They must envy the Palestinians with their historical continuity. Perhaps that is what drives the hatred.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      November 14, 2013, 9:05 pm

      I suspect there is some connection but it is difficult to get at.

      Zionists (like anti-Semites) devalue diaspora Jews as lacking the rootedness and historical continuity of a “real” nation attached to “its” soil. They fight to liberate the Jews from this despised condition of rootlessness by imposing it on the formerly rooted Palestinians. I think they feel that while this may not be just it is at least not completely unjust. We have been “Jews” for a long time, we are fed up to the teeth with it, now we are going to stop being “Jews” and turn ourselves into a “real” nation. We shall impose the condition of being “Jews” (because some group has to be “Jews”) on some other nation. Our shift is over, now it’s their turn. We (Jews in the process of throwing off our identity as “Jews” and becoming Israelis) force you (Palestinians) to become what we used to be so that we can take your place and become what you used to be. Of course it is arbitrary to choose the Palestinians for this fate rather than some other non-Jewish nation, but it is they who happen to be in our way. They don’t like it, but that’s just too bad.

      Now we humans, if we wish to survive, must overcome the dichotomy between rootedness and rootlessness. We are all rooted in the planetary ecosphere and cannot survive outside it, or if we destroy it. From this point of view, the lack of narrow rootedness that accompanies life in a diaspora is a positive value, offering a broader perspective and prefiguring the future unity of mankind.

      When the Zionists learn to accept, value and return to the traditional identity of the Jews as a diasporic people, they will no longer feel the need to strike root in Palestinian soil and no longer be driven to hate, torment, and replace the Palestinians.

      • just
        November 14, 2013, 9:15 pm

        Good and interesting comment. Thank you.

    • jon s
      November 15, 2013, 11:06 am

      Seafoid, Are you really denying the connection of the Jewish people to their historic homeland?

  5. tree
    November 13, 2013, 5:52 pm

    …it’s still strange to me to think someone like lia ever thought like this. i always think it’s those other people. but for someone to come so far in ones lifetime, because i don’t think fears like that are easily overcome, even if you understand they are wrong or understand they are inaccurate. stuff we internalize in childhood have a lot of power.

    Neta Golan, one of the co-founders of ISM, describes dealing with the same internalized fear in the first years of her questioning of the Israeli myths by meeting Palestinians as equals…

    My name is Neta Golan. I was born in Tel Aviv. My childhood was scary, and simple. There were good guys and bad guys. We were the good guys. The bad guys could be anyone, but they were mostly Arabs. Now I’m a 3rd generation Israeli: my grandmother was born in what was still called Palestine. My mother was born in 1948. And yet, I grew up in the shadow of the holocaust. It was always my reference point, for everything.

    As a child, I met Palestinians. They were there, working in construction or sanitation. But there was never a chance to meet as equals. Instead there were fears, being fed by the media, by what we learned in school. I learned always that we were defending ourselves from people who wanted to kill us.

    (snip)

    …the conditioning runs very deep. So deep that when I first went to the West Bank, during Oslo, I would have anxiety attacks. Once a week I would go, and every trip I would be filled with anxiety, filled with fear, thinking: “they all want to kill me!” And it took at least fifteen minutes of seeing people going about their business, talking to each other, working, doing almost anything other than thinking about how much they wanted to kill me, before I calmed down. Seeing their openness, their willingness to accept me, their generosity, that has been the greatest gift of overcoming my fear-the chance to discover the wisdom, the beauty of the Palestinian people. Israelis who can’t overcome their fear are much poorer for not having the chance to do that.

    After a year and a half of this anxiety, it mostly went away. But as soon as things changed, when the political situation would become worse, I would fall back on that conditioning and become afraid again. In 2000, when the second intifada broke out, I was afraid. I was in Nablus and asked my fiance, am I being paranoid because I’m afraid? He said: “yes!”

    link to zcommunications.org

  6. seafoid
    November 13, 2013, 5:54 pm

    “the psychological violence against the idea of questioning”

    Fragility

    And she mentions the Zochrot independence day phenomenon.

    So significant in terms of the ideology. They can’t tolerate it because it is so dangerous. Zochrot ask questions. And you can’t ask questions. You can’t possibly ask questions.

    Chinks where the light breaks through.

  7. just
    November 13, 2013, 7:25 pm

    I look forward to viewing this film– if it ever makes it here–, and very much appreciate this interview presented here @ MW. Lia Tarachansky demonstrates a self- examination that is heartening, indeed. Best of luck.

    • just
      November 13, 2013, 7:45 pm

      “Unless you are a member of the white elite, of the ashkenazi elite, you were always trying to fit into something.”

      That is a very telling declaration.

  8. Walid
    November 13, 2013, 9:20 pm

    “The only thing I knew about them at the time is that they are trying to kill israelis and jews, that’s all they care about. “(Lia T.)

    Because of the steady flow of horror stories since ’48, that’s exactly how most Arabs would feel about what Israelis and Jews cared all about, until they had the good fortune of meeting an honest person like Lia. That was a pleasant and refreshing interview with someone from the other side and reading through it, as a non-Palestinian, I could feel the anger in me slowly subsiding. But I know that with the inevitable coming of more bad news, the anger will again start building up.

    Sounds like a great effort and a great documentary .

    • Inanna
      November 14, 2013, 4:12 am

      That’s funny Walid because my response was the opposite to yours. I’ve known about his film for a while and have been looking forward to its release. However, in this interview Lia says all sorts of things that make me rather angry – like the settlements aren’t obstacles to peace. That triggers me because I have a close friend from Bethlehem whose father’s land was stolen by the Israelis and her father died a broken man as a result. That land belongs to real people who are Palestinian and the fact that it was stolen from them is a crime that should be rectified, not overlooked.

      • Walid
        November 14, 2013, 9:42 am

        Inanna, I was taken up by what seemed to me a sincere person that regretted what her people had done to the Palestinians and wanted to tell the whole world about it, so I didn’t stick to any of the particulars. I just went back to look at it to see how I could have missed such a blatant issue and saw that if what she said about Ariel is taken in the full context in which she said it, it didn’t sound so bad. I gathered that it was the colonial aspect of the settlers being at Ariel and stealing most of the water and dumping their garbage on Palestinian villages that was being an obstacles in her view more than the fact they were Israelis. She said if the Palestinians were to be welcomed into a one state with equal rights, the 1% of Ariel wouldn’t be such a bad deal. It was a refreshing change from those that rationalize everything Israel does to the Palestinians. She is talking more about the Palestinians’ right of return than most Arabs I know. She’s taking a big risk showing her film in TA and I hope the crazies there don’t spoil things for her and the rest of the festival on the 28th.

        Sorry about what happened to your friend’s dad and how he died a broken man because of those thieves.

      • Inanna
        November 14, 2013, 9:15 pm

        Look, I hear what you are saying. It’s great when you hear someone from the other side recognise the injustice of what their government is doing and is actively fighting against it. I do understand her rationale. But this is precisely what separates me from zionists. I don’t recognise the legitimacy of the theft of Palestine. And I refuse a solution that does legitimise it. That means that just as European Jews were allowed to retrieve the property stolen from them during WW2, Palestinians have the right to retrieve the property stolen from them since 1947. That means that zionist colonial laws like the Absentee Property Law and zionist colonial institutions like the JNF should be abolished. Compensation should be paid in lieu of rent for the illegal confiscation of that property for the last 60+ years. And not to the Palestinian state but to the rightful owners and their descendants. People’s individual rights to their property is not a bargaining chip for their political equality.

      • just
        November 14, 2013, 9:41 pm

        I must agree with you Inanna.

        Yet, I remain swept up in Lia Tarachansky’s understanding and her earnestness, and choose to not focus on what I disagree with. Instead, I looked for the opportunities to agree, not disagree. This is new for the world–it’s not too late to find peace and gentleness among those that remember. She chooses to speak up. She’s brave in the world she comes from.

        I am grateful that the realization of the horrors visited upon the Palestinians is realized, not completely, but somewhat by someone who has grown up in a settlement and has found the wrongness of the stuff that was stuffed into her ears– a one- sided history that left out the suffering of the indigenous and persecuted others… that is brave and difficult.

        This is, I believe, another potential step toward justice. I hope so.

  9. kayq
    November 14, 2013, 7:28 am

    Thanks Frank, and Lia. This sounds so good, and I can’t wait to see the film.

  10. Ramzi Jaber
    November 14, 2013, 2:54 pm

    Thinking of the Nakba makes me cry, just like thinking of the 67 war does. I cry for what could have been in Palestine had it not been for the zionist crimes. But mostly I cry for the people – my people – who died, who were made refugees, who lost everything most important of all their dignity and identity. And the world stands idle about the Nakba, not even knowing what it is. So thanks to Lia, Frank, and MW for keeping the Nakba alive.

    I believe there will be no peace, regardless to what the agreement and final deal looks like, if there is no acknowledgement by the zionists of the crimes they committed against us. The heart of the Palestinian soul has been killed by the zionists and no “mechanical” solution can fix that. It must heal through a personal and psychological process that starts with the one committing the crime (zionists) admitting and accepting responsibility, indicating true sorrow and remorse, acknowledging the pain inflcitied on the victims (us Palestinians), humbly asking for forgiveness, and duly making amends (and I don’t mean monetary although that must be part of it). Myself, you can give me back my houses and my lands and you can also pay me millions of dollars, but without this personal and psychological process, I cannot arrive at a peaceful place. Because the impact to my soul, spirit, and psyche is much greater than any materialistic impact. I will not feel whole and I will not feel that the conflict has been resolved with such personal and psychological dimension to the solution. I’m sure many of my Palestinian sisters and brothers inside Palestine and beyond share the same feelings.

    I also would like to pay your attention to Zochrot, link to zochrot.org, an Israeli NGO that is working hard to raise awareness about the Nakba. On their homepage, you’ll see their ad for the First International Conference on Nakba and Return that will be held in Israel at the end of this month. They also have great books. Check out link to zochrot.org. One of the latest books is “Once Upon a Land”, written collaboratively by Palestinians and Israelis (Jews and non-Jews). It’s only in Arabic and Hebrew. The Arabic title is “حكاية بلد، دليل مسارات”, which means “story of a village, a walking guide”. This book maps out 18 walking trips through villages in pre-1948 Palestine, explaining what was and what was destroyed along with personal stories of Palestinian people’s memories and their personal sufferings when the zionists came in destroyed, pillaged, murdered, and forced us out of our homes and lands. It’s really very hard to read and very sad.

    The first paragraph in the preface goes something like this: “This book is a proposal, an invitation, a call to the readers to know. To know Palestine that existed within what is Israel today. To know the Palestinian Nakba and to acknowledge it. So this book, before the reader meets the words and the pictures, before walking the walks, before going out into the light, this book is fundamentally a process of acknowledging the Nakba. A political and civil acknowledgement of the Palestinian Nakba.”

    I wish it were in English so most of you can read it. Maybe it will be translated to English one day.

    • just
      November 14, 2013, 3:07 pm

      A big hug, and thanks for your wonderful expression of the reality, Ramzi. Your voice and continued commitment to justice actually refutes your statement that “The heart of the Palestinian soul has been killed by the zionists”. The zionists will not “win”.

      I am aware of the incredible pain that you bear, but the heart and soul of the Palestinians will never be vanquished– I remain in awe of it, and stand in solidarity with you and your amazing brothers and sisters.

    • Shmuel
      November 14, 2013, 3:26 pm

      Thinking of the Nakba makes me cry, just like thinking of the 67 war does. I cry for what could have been in Palestine had it not been for the zionist crimes. But mostly I cry for the people – my people – who died, who were made refugees, who lost everything most important of all their dignity and identity.

      The individual tragedies are intimately linked to the tragedy of the societies they lived in – the towns, neighbourhoods and villages wiped from the face of the earth; the lost living tissue of human interaction. I live in a Mediterranean country that reminds me so much of Palestine sometimes, but mostly of the Palestine that could have been. And it makes me cry too.

      • Ramzi Jaber
        November 14, 2013, 4:11 pm

        Thank you just and Shmuel. I am touched.

      • Ellen
        November 14, 2013, 5:16 pm

        Ramzi, I was very touched by your post. And also touched by just and Shmuel.

        If we could take the words of all three of you and put it into expression that would reach popular culture (instead of the pornographic disgrace of shows like “Homeland”) we would have big changes. Hearts and minds would be moved forward.

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