Majd Kayyal: Goats and colonizers are the oldest of foes, linked by an enmity that rages across all of Palestine, especially in the Naqab. It is a battle over the land: its dimensions, its shape, its uses.
The Nakba Files presents an original English translation of Military Order 58: Order on Abandoned Properties (Private Property), which was promulgated by the Israeli military command in the West Bank on 23 July 1967, at the dawn of the occupation of that territory.
A brief explainer on the Jewish National Fund and how Israel uses it to legalize the colonization of Palestinian land.
Suhad Bishara: Israeli authorities continue to deliberate over the fate of some 40 Israeli Jewish families living in the Amona settlement outpost in the West Bank, which is located on private Palestinian property. One “solution” under consideration is to relocate the settlers to adjacent plots of land that the state considers to be “absentees’ property.” Under the proposed arrangement, the state would “rent” out the land to the settlers on behalf of its unknown Palestinian owners using renewable three-year contracts. In other words, under Israeli law the state can remedy the theft of Palestinian land by compensating the thieves with other stolen Palestinian lands instead.
Nasser Rego: Palestinians are breaking the mold in their engagement with the Nakba in so many diverse and beautiful ways. In doing so, they reinscribe themselves in the very soil from which they have been forcibly separated for generations. In these acts, they are actively remembering. In these performances, they are not only surviving, but thriving, creating trajectories of possibility for independence and self-sustainability. Palestinians are exercising their right of return without seeking permission to do so. Palestinians are returning to destroyed villages as in Iqrit and elsewhere, organizing summer camps there, and ‘settling’ the West Bank as they did when they set up the Bab al-Shams encampment in 2013. And they are working the land.
The state of Israel has demolished the “unrecognized” Bedouin village of al-‘Araqib 101 times in order to allow the Jewish National Fund to plant forests. The Nakba Files spoke to 19-year-old Hala Abu Medeghem, who refuses to leave her land.
Majd Kayyal: The catastrophe that took place on 5 June 1967 boils down to one fact: it sealed the consequences of the Nakba. It marked the defeat of political projects that promised an Arab rebirth and refused to accept the 1948 ethnic cleansing of 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.
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.
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.