Erased from Space and Consciousness

Erased from Space and Consciousness

Israel and the Depopulated Palestinian Villages of 1948
Kadman, Noga
Distribution: World
Publication date: 09/07/2015
Format: Paperback 30 b&w illus., 9 maps, 15 tables
ISBN: 978-0-253-01676-8
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Description

2016 AAUP Public and Secondary School Library Selection, Outstanding Rating

Hundreds of Palestinian villages were left empty across Israel when their residents became refugees after the 1948 war, their lands and property confiscated. Most of the villages were razed by the new State of Israel, but in dozens of others, communities of Jews were settled—many refugees in their own right. The state embarked on a systematic effort of renaming and remaking the landscape, and the Arab presence was all but erased from official maps and histories. Israelis are familiar with the ruins, terraces, and orchards that mark these sites today—almost half are located within tourist areas or national parks—but public descriptions rarely acknowledge that Arab communities existed there within living memory or describe how they came to be depopulated. Using official archives, kibbutz publications, and visits to the former village sites, Noga Kadman has reconstructed this history of erasure for all 418 depopulated villages.

Author Bio

Noga Kadman is a researcher and licensed tour guide whose main interest is to explore the encounter between Israelis and the Palestinian presence in the landscape and history of the country. She is co-editor of Once Upon a Land: A Tour Guide to Depopulated Palestinian Villages and Towns (in Hebrew and Arabic).

Reviews

This remarkable book examines how the issue of the Palestinian villages whose inhabitants were expelled in 1948 has evolved in Israeli consciousness. Kadman looks at official Israeli discourse, kibbutz and moshav diaries and records, and the maps produced by the Israeli state to show in disturbing detail how the dispossession of the population of over 400 villages, most of which have since been destroyed, has been largely eliminated from the imaginary of most Israelis.Poignant, sensitive, and compassionate, Kadman’s deeply-informed inquiry exposes graphically the process of 'demographic Judaization' of Palestine, in physical reality and cultural comprehension. It is an invaluable contribution, particularly at a moment of reflection and reassessment that might offer some hope of escape from a further plunge into darknes--if there is an honest and courageous engagement with what has been done and why, and how some measure of healing might yet emerge.A very valuable contribution to existing scholarship. While many scholars have referred to the denial of the existence of a thriving Palestinian society before 1948 in Israeli culture, [Kadman] uncovers the 'black box' of the discourse of denial and eloquently demonstrates some major mechanisms of its production. . . . [A]ccessible to readers beyond the field of Palestine and Israel studies, including a general audience beyond academic circles.An excellent, original, and important work [that] will immediately become a textbook for courses in the US and elsewhere.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Oren Yiftachel
Acknowledgments
Note on Transliteration
List of Abbreviations
List of Foreign Terms
Introduction
1. Depopulation, Demolition, and Repopulation of the Village Sites
2. National Identity, National Conflict, Space, and Memory
3. The Depopulated Villages as Viewed by Jewish Residents
4. Naming and Mapping the Depopulated Village Sites
5. Depopulated Villages in Tourist and Recreational Sites
Conclusion: The Remains of the Past, A Look Toward the Future
Appendix A: Maps and Lists of the Depopulated Palestinian Villages
Appendix B: Official Names Given to Depopulated Palestinian Villages by the Government Names Committee
Appendix C: Mapping the Depopulated Palestinian Villages over the Decades
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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