The Nakba Files

The Nakba, the Law, and What Lies In Between


May 2016

Of Scholars and Secrets

Shira Robinson: The erosion of the already deeply limited access to Israel’s archival record has been at least a decade in the making, following a period of relative openness in the 1990s.

Establishing a Legal Counter-Archive in Palestine

Haneen Naamneh: The impasses of liberal legalism, as have been experienced by the Palestinians since the Nakba, can be critiqued by utilizing law in constructing a counter-archive to the one produced by Israeli legalism.

Archives Week on The Nakba Files

This week, The Nakba Files will feature a series of posts on the theme of the archives. We hope to expand the discussion on archives in Israel, which has tended to emphasize abstract liberal values such as freedom of information or the public’s right to know. It is also a discussion that has not included many Palestinian voices.

Zion’s Post-Mortem Prisoners

Randa Wahbe: By detaining the cadavers of Palestinians, Israel turns the dead body itself into a site of domination. It is not enough for Israel to kill or eliminate the living Palestinian, it is necessary to dehumanize and degrade the body in order to control it.

The Nakba and Anti-Blackness

Noura Erakat: An anti-blackness framework urges us to think about other communities, besides native Palestinians, that intersect with the category of “black.” People of African descent have long been in Palestine/Israel, and their presence cuts across dominant categories: there are Afro-Palestinians (predominantly Muslim), Ethiopian Israeli Jews (whose mass migration begins to achieve momentum in the mid-eighties), and recently-arrived asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea (both Muslim and Christian). Such provocations unsettle a stark native-settler binary and illuminate broader implications for anti-racist commitments within the Palestinian liberation struggle.

The Nakba Files — An Inaugural Editors’ Roundtable

To mark the launch of The Nakba Files, three of the site’s Editors — Hassan Jabareen, Katherine Franke, and Suhad Bishara — share their thoughts on the Nakba, the law, and what lies in between.

The Logic of No Reasoning

Suhad Bishara: The story of the Nakba often focuses, rightly so, on the 750,000 Palestinian refugees who were exiled, as well as the destruction of their villages and loss of their lands. Less well-known is how the state of Israel confiscated the land of even those Palestinians who never left.

A Tale of Two Villages

The Green Line runs between the villages of Lifta and Beit Iksa but also ties them together. As a porous and contingent boundary, the Green Line is a reminder that the Zionist project has always needed the flexibility to choose, combine, and discard different legal regimes in order to carry out its aims and to produce justifications for its actions.

A Beginning — and a Displacement

Welcome! This blog post marks the online launch of The Nakba & The Law, an exciting collaboration between Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and Columbia University’s Center for Palestine Studies (CPS). Over the coming months, this site will… Continue Reading →

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