Ilan Pappe in his "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" describes in detail how the village files were compiled and the role they played in the ethnic cleansing operations of 1948. It is pretty callous to abuse the hospitality of Palestinian villagers to spy on them and their village for military purposes. Pappe writes that the final update of the village files took place in 1947. It focused on creating lists of 'wanted' persons in each village. These lists were used by the Jewish troops for the search-and-arrest operations they carried out as soon as they had occupied a village. Anyway, I agree with Rona Sela that the files, including the many photographs, are of great importance and paradoxically can help put pre-1948 Palestine back on the map. It will add to Walid al-Khalidi's "All That Remains", Salman Abu Sitta's encyclopedic 2010 edition of the "Atlas of Palestine 1917-1966" and the other huge efforts being made to ensure that Palestine will never be forgotten (see the PalestineRemembered website for instance). In future it may help in the process of reconciliation as Israelis learn about the Palestinian Naqba. Here the people of Zochrot in Israel are leading the way.
- 10:21 AM
from the article: It took a village