Hidden in Plain Sight. The Nakba and the Heritage Legacy of the Israeli Historians’ Debate

  • ›1948‹ is a key concept in Israeli identity discourse. A signifier of the violent clashes that took place at the end of the British Mandate in Palestine (between the fall of 1947 and the spring of 1949), it encompasses both the foundation of a democratic Jewish nation-state and the destruction of numerous Palestinian communities during the Israeli ›War of Independence‹ and thereafter. The Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe, could not be overlooked by Israel’s ›generation of 1948‹ and those that succeeded it: it was present in the deserted fields and houses now occupied by Israelis, in the names of the streams, hills and roads Israelis now visited during military drills or school field trips, and in the frequent encounters with Arab ›infiltrators‹ who sought to return to their abandoned homes and lands.1 The mass expulsion and the killings of Arab civilians by Jewish forces were regularly discussed and debated by Israeli politicians, intellectuals, journalists and artists in the ensuing decades.2 Yet with few exceptions, Israeli historians and politicians have seemingly effortlessly merged these atrocities with a commonly accepted ›narrative‹ by, for example, attributing them to rogue, marginal, right-wing militias; depicting cases of expulsion as sporadic and spontaneous events; or justifying them as ad hoc measures taken against the initiators of the violence during the war.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Author:Ofer AshkenaziORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Zeithistorische Forschungen – Studies in Contemporary History
Publisher:ZZF – Centre for Contemporary History: Zeithistorische Forschungen
Place of publication:Potsdam
Document Type:Journal Article
Date of Publication (online):2020/03/30
Date of first Publication:2020/03/30
Release Date:2020/04/02
First Page:549
Last Page:563
ZZF Chronological-Classification:1940er
ZZF Topic-Classification:Gewalt
Friedens und Konfliktforschung
ZZF Regional-Classification:Asien
Asien / Vorderasien
Asien / Vorderasien / Israel/Palästina
Web-Publications:Zeithistorische Forschungen
Studies in Contemporary History: Articles:3 / 2019 Israel, Palästina und die deutsche Zeitgeschichte
Licence (German):License LogoZZF - Clio Lizenz