A childhood memory: A group of kids and their teacher on a school trip. They are walking through excavations, listening to explanations from a tour guide about their ancestors who lived there 2000 years ago.
After a while, one of the kids points to some ruins between the trees. “Are these ancient homes as well?” he asks.
“These are not important,” comes the answer.
Growing up in the ’70s and the ’80s you couldn’t miss those small houses scattered near fields, between towns and in national parks. Most of them were made of stone, with arches and long, tall windows.
They are gradually disappearing – partly due to the “development” trends which have left very few corners of this country untouched, but also due to a policy that is meant to erase any memory of the people who used to live in this land. But one can still find them sometimes, and in the most unexpected of places – the mosque which stands between the hotels on Tel Aviv’s beach, or a few homes which stood until recently behind Herzliya’s monstrous Cinema City complex.I never heard the word “Nakba” before the 1990s. It was simply not present in the language, or in the popular culture. Naturally, we knew that some Arabs left Israel in 1948, but it was all very vague. While we were asked to cite numbers and dates of the Jewish waves of immigration to Israel, details on the Palestinian parts of the story were sketchy: How many Palestinians left Israel? What were the circumstances? Why didn’t they return after the war? All these questions were irrelevant, having almost nothing to do with our history – that’s what we were made to think.Read the full article by Noam Sheizaf in The Age. [Noam Sheizaf is an Israeli journalist and editor who writes for the anti-Zionist Israeli site +972 Magazine.]