In a newly-published book (discussed in recent blockbuster Haaretz article), Israeli historian Adam Raz shatters the “conspiracy of silence” that surrounds the widespread Jewish looting of Palestinian property that took place in 1948. Drawing from materials he found in more than 30 archives, Raz documents how in the period around the 1948 War, Jewish civilians - who after the war became the founding generation of the state of Israel - pillaged private Palestinian property throughout the land. Raz also documents how, as the looting took place in full public view, Jewish leaders - including David Ben Gurion - knew what was happening and, even as some expressed disapproval, did nothing to stop it.
Raz’s research sheds light not only on this phenomenon of widespread theft by Israel’s founding generation, but also on the political impact this looting had on Israel’s relations with Palestinians and the fate of Palestinian refugees. As Raz observes, having robbed their neighbors, Israeli civilians became “accomplices to the political situation,” with a “vested interest” in preventing their former neighbors from ever returning.
To discuss this research and what it means for both Israelis and Palestinians, as well as the process of using archival materials and retelling history to achieve a more just future, we invite you to an FMEP webinar featuring: Adam Raz, researcher at Akevot: Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research and author of Looting of Arab Property in the War of Independence (Carmel Publishing House, in association with the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research; in Hebrew), and Yousef Munayyer, non-resident fellow at Arab Center Washington DC; in conversation with Sarah Anne Minkin, FMEP’s Director of Programs and Partnerships.