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Contemporary Islamic Art
October 24, 2003 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Contemporary Art from the Islamic World, including Emily Jacir's Where We Come From, which deals with Palestinians living in exile.
posted by Ty Webb (6 comments total)

 
Very moving, nice, but as expected of Postroad, a quibble: under each photo, a brief bio and then the statement in many cases, "exiled from .....," a place in Israel. Fact is, there are over one million arabs living in Israel and they were not "exiled." Most arabs either fled because they were told to by Arab leaders in '48 war to exterminate Israel (and told they would get back but for now to stay out of the way), or, in some cases, they had sold land to Israelis before 1948...some of course, were exiled, much as the 750 thousand Jews living in Arab countries were tossed out of many arab countries.

Always interesting the way people dream of a paradise/home/place where they long to be--and accounts for many born in America who want to be buried where their parents are/wer3e from, as in Italy, Ireland, Israel, etc etc.
posted by Postroad at 9:54 AM on October 24, 2003


If you haven't clicked yet, the site is short on actual art and full of descriptions of art shows. Because just having an art show isn't boring enough. Plus, the art is, as you might have guessed, largely political.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:58 AM on October 24, 2003


Postroad, your comments appreciated but I have to point out that this myth:

Most arabs...fled because they were told to by Arab leaders in '48 war to exterminate Israel (and told they would get back but for now to stay out of the way),

has been pretty well discredited.

Israeli historian Benny Morris, in a January 1986 article for Middle Eastern Studies, cited a 1948 report from the intelligence service of the Israeli Defense Forces entitled The Emigration of the Arabs of Palestine in the Period 1/12/1947 – 1/6/1948. In this report – declassified in 1985 – the IDF listed three primary causes for the departure of 391,000 Palestinians:

1) "Direct, hostile Jewish operations against Arab settlements";

2) "The effect of our hostile operations on nearby settlements … especially the fall of large neighboring centers";

3) "Operations of the dissidents." The "dissidents" were the violent Zionist organizations, the LEHI, Stern Gang, and Urgun. Their "operations" consisted of a number of atrocities against Palestinian villagers, with the massacre at Deir Yassin being the most notorious.


We can take this issue to email if you like, rather than start up another I/P flame war.
posted by Ty Webb at 10:24 AM on October 24, 2003


Only discredited by certain revisionist historians.

Here's a thought: none of these Arabs would have left their homes had 5 Arab nations not declared a war of extermination against the Jews of the fledgling nation of Israel.

And, that link you graced us with, Webb, is merely one man's opinion, with nary a source cited to back-up his assertions.

For those with a genuine interest in these events, read the brilliant, and epic, work of Howard Sachar -
A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time.
posted by saturn5 at 11:13 AM on October 24, 2003


And, that link you graced us with, Webb, is merely one man's opinion, with nary a source cited to back-up his assertions.

Uh, the first link clearly cites (and I quoted) "a 1948 report from the intelligence service of the Israeli Defense Forces entitled The Emigration of the Arabs of Palestine in the Period 1/12/1947 – 1/6/1948."
posted by Ty Webb at 12:18 PM on October 24, 2003


Ok, I stand corrected. There isn't a complete and total absence of cited sources; my statement was exagerated. However, the overwhelming majority of claims by the Steven R. Shalom are without citation, or source.

On the topic of who is responsible for the Palestinian refugee problem, let me also cite Benny Morris:

In some areas Arab commanders ordered the villagers to evacuate to clear the ground for military purposes or to prevent surrender. More that half a dozen villages - just north of Jerusalem and in the Lower Galilee - were abandoned during these months as a result of such orders. Elsewhere, in East Jerusalem and in many villages around the country, the Arab commanders ordered women, old people, and children to be sent away to be out of harm's way. Indeed, psychological preparation for the removal of dependents from the battlefield had begun in 1946-47, when the AHC and the Arab League had periodically endorsed such a move when contemplating the future war in Palestine. Altogether about two to three hundred thousand Arabs fled their homes during this second stage of the exodus.

Benny Morris
Righteous Victims p.256

And some very telling words on the topic of the massacre at Deir Yassin:

Deir Yassin stands out in the history of Arab-Jewish conflict in Palestine precisely because it was so unusual and so out of character for the Jews. No single Arab massacre of Jews has that status, because there are too many to list. Yet every Arab schoolchild and propagandist knows of and speaks of Deir Yassin, while few ever mention Hebron, Kfar Etzion, Hadassah Hospital, Safad, and the many other well=planned Arab massacres of Jews to come, except when extremists proudly take credit for them.

Alan Dershowitz
The Case for Israel p.82

It has also been noted that many of the male combatants in the village of Deir Yassin were dressed in women's garb, something we saw just this year, in Iraq.

Here's Howard Sachar on both the exodus...

The most obvious reason for the mass exodus was the the collapse of Palestine Arab political intitutions that ensued upon the flight of the Arab leadership - at the very moment when that leadership was most needed. The departure of mukhtars, judges, and cadis from Haifa and the New City of Jerusalem, from Jaffa, Safed, and elsewhere, dealt a grave blow to the Arab population. The semifeudal character of Arab society rendered the illiterate fellah almost entirely dependent on the landlord and cadi, and once this elite was gone, the Arab peasant was terrified by the likelihood of remaining in an institutional and cultural void. Jewish victories obviously intensified the fear and accelerated departure.

...and the Deir Yassin massacre:

The Etzel and Lech'i initiated the operation, and the ruthlessness these groups had earlier demonstrated against the BRitish was now applied in even fuller measure against the Arabs. The village was captured, and more than two hundred Arab men, women, and children were slain, their bodies afterward mutilated and thrown into a well. Although the deed was immediately repudiated by the Haganah command, then by the Jewish government, which arrested the ETzel officers responsible, the consequences of the massacre were far-reaching. News of the outrage rapidly circulated of the throughout Palestine, and characteristically was embellished and soon dramatically exaggerated by the Arab population. The fellahin found these accounts wholly credible, for they knew well how their own guerrillas had stripped and mutilated Jewish civilians; photographs of the slaughter were peddled openly by the Arab street vendors. Later, too, the villagers were to recall the words of Azzam Pasha on the eve of the Arab invasion, describing the coming fate of the Jews: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades." It was not unnatural for the Palestine Arabs to expect the same treatment from the Jews.

Howard Sachar
A History of Israel p.334
posted by saturn5 at 3:55 PM on October 24, 2003


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