Palestine: Following Naomi Wolf’s “Witnessings” & Images from pre- & early Naqba times

Joe Lauria: Palestinian Arabs expelled from Haifa under supervision of Haganah members in 1948 / Getty Images

Joe Lauria: Palestinian Arabs expelled from Haifa in 1948 by Haganah members / Getty Images

A fascinating, illuminating (& painful, but the kind of pain that must be borne if one is to be honest with oneself & conscious of one’s complicity, however tacit – the non-indigenous resident’s burden everywhere where indigenous people have been dispossessed, dehumanized, deprived of basic human rights, humiliated, marginalized, decimated, massacred, or whatever) part of the last few days since I published my earlier post on these “Witnessings” being collected by the indefatigable Naomi Wolf on her “Daily Cloudt” page has been following the continuation of the posts that have been rolling in, & that she has been publishing in between her numerous posts on more current matters in Israel in Palestine & elsewhere in the world. I think this is a wonderful use of social media, & serves a good purpose, because it makes us aware of the reality of the life in Palestine that was changed so radically by the Zionist project, & forces us to acknowledge that driving out Arab Palestinians was a deliberate part of that project at least among the Zionist leadership.  How much the majority of the Jewish population of the Yishuv knew about this is a different question, & is perhaps similar to the question of how much the majority of the Germans knew what the Nazi leadership was ordering to be done, or how much the majority of Australians in the 19th century knew what measures were being taken against the Aborigines here (“It is impossible to know how many Indigenous people were in Australia before the arrival of the first white settlers, but it has been estimated to be anywhere between 300 000 and one million. By Federation in 1901 that number had dropped to as few as 20 000” [source]).

I think of Palestine & of Australia more than I think of America or Africa or other places where the processes of colonialism have brought much misery as well as “progress”, & where many of us non-indigenous people live our lives on land once populated or worked by now-excluded (if not eliminated) indigenous people, because I have a special & complex biographical connection to, & emotional involvement with, both (see About me & this blogsite).

I’ve once more collated these posts in the order they appeared, from earliest to latest, starting from where I left off last time (the 4th to the 11th items in the list are photos, preceded by the text that appears in Naomi’s post). Going through them in this sequence can recreate the order in which they became part of recorded history thru this Facebook project initiated by Naomi. Remember: in many of them the comments are as much (& sometimes more) worth reading as (or than) the posts themselves.

Palestine pre 1948. Via Arthur King

Via Joe Lauria. Reportedly Palestinian Arabs being expelled from Haifa. More sourcing please. Saddest image.

Palestine 1920. Via Eman Bader

Palestine, 1922. Thank you to Eman Bader

Palestine 1940 via Eman Bader

Palestine 1940. Via Eman Bader

A silk and rayon factory in Jaffa..via Eman Bader

Via Eman Bader: a bus company in Jaffa



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