In a state so invested in unearthing, preserving, and commemorating Jewish history, Palestinian history is actively silenced, whether by prohibiting its inclusion in school textbooks, discouraging its cultural expressions, or by planting trees to occlude the remains of destroyed villages. Mada plays a key role in efforts to revive historical research on the Palestinians in Israel: collecting oral histories and assembling an archive of valuable documentation. Mada focuses on the stories of those who managed to stay in their homeland in 1948, the period of Israeli military rule (1948-1966), and the social history of the Palestinians.
Narrating a Silenced History Project
Mada has received seed money support for laying the foundation for this long-term project aimed at challenging the hegemonic state narrative of Israel’s history by unearthing and recovering the experience of the Palestinian minority and opening the way for its reintegration into the national consciousness of both Arabs and Jews. It will coordinate with and build on ongoing oral history initiatives in the West Bank, Gaza, and the exile. The project’s objectives are to gather oral histories on four historic periods among a range of geographic and kinds of locations, establish an open archive at Mada for use by both local and international scholars and researchers, and train local Palestinian researchers and scholars in the study and methodology of oral and written history.