Palestines Lost Generations. A history untold
On this day in May 1948, up to 200 Palestinians were massacred by Israeli troops in the coastal village of Tantura, located 35 kilometres south of Haifa. It was one of the 64 Palestinian coastal villages on the road between Tel Aviv and Haifa, of which only two remain today, Furaydis and Jisr Al-Zarka. The rest were ethnically cleansed, as were hundreds of other villages, towns and cities elsewhere in occupied Palestine.
Source: Nakba: Remembering Israel’s Massacre of Palestinians at Tantura
A new documentary challenges Israel’s narrative about 1948 and the forced displacement of Palestinians.
The state of Israel so fears its own history that it passed a law, in 2011, penalizing anyone who commemorates the day of its establishment as one of mourning rather than celebration. Dubbed the “Nakba law” after the Arabic word for “catastrophe,” which Palestinians have always used in reference to the establishment of the Israeli state and their own displacement, the law captures the existential anxiety of a country that has never acknowledged its past even as it continues to struggle with its ramifications.
Israel’s narrative of its own birth is tightly orchestrated and controlled. Before the military opened its archives of the 1948 war, it issued a policy forbidding the release of any documents detailing the forced deportation of Palestinians; any human rights violations, including war crimes, committed by Israeli forces; or anything that might “harm the [Israeli Defense Forces]’s image” or expose it as “devoid of moral standards.”
Few in Israel are interested in finding out anyway. What happened in the days leading up to and following Israel’s establishment, at what cost their country came to exist, are questions that generations of Israelis have refused to ask. “For Israelis, the founding myth is that the Palestinians just ran away by themselves,” Alon Schwarz, an Israeli filmmaker, told me when we recently met. “Israel is lying to itself.”
Source: “Tantura” Exposes the Lie at Heart of Israel’s Founding