Palestinian memory is being wiped out by fabricating history By: Ramona Wadi

14-10-2016 18:26

Source: MEMO


Fabricating history has become imperative across Israeli society to enforce the colonial narrative. The death of Shimon Peres has served as fuel for a debate that shouldn’t exist, given that Palestinian narratives about displacement and massacres are supported by historical evidence. Departing from MK Ayman Odeh’s reaction to Peres’s funeral, which was attended by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, a recent op-ed in YNet Newsdeclared: “Instead of serious research aimed at finding the truth, the world now sees reality through different stories, with each community, group, people and country having its own.” Memory has been deemed to be “the disease of narrative thinking.”


While not obliterating the Nakba, the op-ed has shifted the historical knowledge of early Zionist colonisation to a later date without acknowledging the existence of Israel as a colonial entity. By 1948, the colonisation of Palestinian territory was not simply a hypothetical scenario, but a very real experience for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. It must be added that the international community’s scheming on behalf of Israel in this regard has even corrupted the chance to refer to Israel as a colonial entity, something which would challenge the foundations of Israel’s fabricated history.


Apart from a divisive approach that separates Palestinians living in Israel from Palestinians elsewhere, be it in the diaspora or the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza, the condescending attitude that Palestinians have had their future decided for them decades ago is an insult to their tenacity about land and memory; this is something that they share with the struggles of other indigenous peoples. It also reinforces a false requirement for compromise by feigning abhorrence at such condescension. The repetitive history is not down to Palestinian responsibility but Israel’s adherence to the original Zionist plan for “Greater Israel”. Palestinians have a duty to resist occupation because of the fabricated history forced upon them by Zionist colonialism and the international community.


To dismiss memory as a mere collection of different stories is degrading and dangerous. If Palestine was left untarnished, memory would have taken a different course and its expression would not be debated within the context of a coloniser attempting to sabotage the remaining vestige of Palestinian authenticity. Memory is not a mere reflection of nostalgia; it is abundant and alive precisely because of its ties with actual events which, in turn, evolve into a narrative.


Hence, the notion of memory narratives as “different stories” is misleading, deliberately so. A story can be interpreted as anything while memory narratives are an expression combining history and an experience of that history. The parameters of narratives are vast due to the inclusion of memory, yet can still be channelled and analysed precisely due to historical facts which can be verified.


Zionism, however, has sought to dictate to Palestinians how their memory and narratives should evolve and how they should be interpreted. It is documented how the colonial state embarked upon shaping its own history through education and academia in order to garner legitimacy at an international level. Distortion has already occurred through colonisation; it is the disappearance of Palestinian memory that Israel is seeking to achieve, along with the disappearance of the people themselves.

Topics : #Palestine #Nakba #History #Israel

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