Thursday, April 24

Join the party, demonstrate!

The Etzel (Irgoun) museum is having a party tonight, to "celebrate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Jaffa" on "Manshiye" beach, just north of today's Jaffa border, at the Etzel Museum, that architectural monstrosity next to Alma Beach. (in case you're confused by now, Manshiye was the mixed Palestinian Jewish poor quarter of Jaffa, around the area of the Turkish railway station more or less. Today's "Alma Beach" and the Charles Clore Park are located on what used to be Manshiyeh beach).

Jaffa, the "Bride of of the Sea", the "Pearl of Palestine", was destroyed in 1948. Jaffa's people were murdered and expelled. In 1949 there were less than 4000 Palestinians left in Jaffa (about 15% of the population prior to 1948). Jaffa was the cultural center for Palestine, with its theatres, cinemas, radio station, printing houses, newspapers, schools etc. About 85.000 Palestinians were forced to leave Jaffa. Many of their homes were destroyed and their property looted.

The irgoun used methods of terror and extreme violence, such as placing bombs in the market, in cafes, in a children's soup kitchen etc, all civil targets, killing innocent citizens. As they said it in their own words "to demoralize the Arabs of Jaffa".
And today they are having a party to commemorate these "heroic acts".

We 'll be "joining them" in order to make sure the other narrative will be heard as well. To make people understand that what is happening today in Jaffa, is a direct continuation of the other process, the "liberation", or rather, destruction, of Jaffa in 1948.

Join us at 19.00 outside the Etzel Museum, today, April 24th.


Anonymous said...

Considering the Arab snipers firing repeatedly at the Jewish quarters along Jafo's border with Tel Aviv around May 1948 and b4,the Haganah and Irgun fighters were pretty heroic in defending the Yishuv.

Another point is that many of the Arab inhabitants prior to May 1948 in Jafo,were in fact Egyptian-born who came with their families to work in Tel Aviv builing sites in 1930's/1940's (Yael of "Step-by-Step: Making Aliyah to Israel" blog had a whole post about the subject a few mnths ago from info given to her by some Arab friends from Jafo)


yudit said...

The large migration from Egypt (and ofr that matter from all over the country) took place in the end of the 19th century.
A much smaller move was made in the early twenties of the twentieth century, by some bedouin families.
I read Yael's post and historically speaking she's way off.

Yes, there was fighting, but there was so little of it, the hagana decided not to push for Jaffa as, from their point of view, there was no stategic logic in it.
The irgoun went on, using their favorite technique of terror: bombing civilians. They themselves wrote extensively about it. Today one would call them terrorists. If you think that heroic, well, i guess it says more about you than about these so called heroes.

Jaffa was occupied and its civilians were expulsed, their homes and stores looted, but i guess that's all a part of "heroism" to you.

yudit said...

And something else, when some 85.000 people are turned out of their homes to become refugees, that is a tragedy.

The unwillingness of many Israelis to recognize Palestinian suffering and the ongoing denial of the Palestinian tragedy is perhaps at the very basis of the conflict.It also prevents finding a solution, as we do not see the other.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention that both Yasser Arafat and Edward Said were born in Cairo,although both tried to lie about the fact they were Egyptian-born.



yudit said...

i completely fail to see any connection between those mentioned and Jaffa.
The expulsion of Jaffa was widely documented, funny enough, by the irgoun, who at that time prior to PC, were rpoud of their acts of terror.
Jaffa was left empty and partially destroyed. Her people had become refugees. And that, by humane standards is a tragedy. But perhaps your standards are humane only when they apply to Jewish people?
Are you trying to say that Jaffa prior to 1948 had only 3000 Arab inhabitants? As there were in 1949 according to the Tel Aviv municipality who did a head count.
Because according to British AND Jewish sources there were almost 100.000 Jaffa born Arabs in Jaffa in 1946. When the destruction of the surrounding vilages (Azur, Jamousin, Ouga, Salame etc.)started, some of their inhabitants initially fled to Jaffa (according to Palmach sources, by the way) and the Jaffa population increased even more.

Did all these people disappear into the air? The escape from Jaffa has been well documented, including by Zionist historians. There are film and photograph materials, there are written records made by Israeli and Palestinian sources.