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Tel Aviv University
Response to TAU Ariella Azoulay: The Palestinians rejected 1947 U.N. Partition Proposal, started a war and lost

[TAU, Minerva Humanities] Dr. Ariella Azoulay

Dirctor of Photo-Lexic, International Research Group, Minerva Center

Email: rellyaz@netvision.net.il

Editorial Note:
Here are a few thoughts for Ariella Azoulay (TAU, Minerva Humanities) who laments the fact that Nakba is not recognized enough.
First, no one would deny that the Nakba was a personal tragedy for the Palestinians.  However, the Palestinians rejected the 1947 U.N. Partition Proposal and, with the help of five Arab countries, started a war against the Jews and lost.  Like other losing belligerents in international relations they paid the price for initiating a conflict. 
Second, the 1948 war is one of the most researched topics in contemporary history.  A Google search of Katyn Forest Massacre and Dir Yasin illustrates the point.  The former, a notorious massacre of more than twenty thousand Polish army officers and officials at the hands of the KGB during WWII has 235,000 entries.    The latter, referring to the killing of some 200 Arab villagers by the right-wing Irgun that was roundly condemned by the leadership of the Yishuv, has 350,000 entries.  
Third, Israeli universities face financial problems and need to prioritize the allocation of public funds and private donations. IAM has repeatedly reported that at Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion universities, a disproportionately high number of faculty engage in the study of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even when they were hired to teach and research in unrelated fields.   At the same time, entire segments in sociology, political science and psychology go unattended. Other tenured academics stop researching in order to devote their time to political activism.
The real question is whether students and tax payers are getting a good deal for their money.



A few thoughts for Nakba Day

By Ariela Azoulay,
Armed people gathyering outside the fence at Ramat Hakovesh, 1935
Armed people gathyering outside the fence at Ramat Hakovesh, 1935

A ceremony marking Nakba Day is planned for tomorrow, outside the fence of Tel Aviv University.
Such a ceremony is not just a matter for Palestinians. 
The disaster that took place here was a disaster for those who did not wish to surrender to the intoxication of military logic and the violence it entailed - and they were the majority. 
Regarding tomorrow's ceremony, we should note that even a serious study of the Nakba and the civil disaster accompanied the destruction of the obvious existence-together of Arabs and Jews until the founding of the State of Israel, even the little that is addressed regarding the disaster of such magnitude - is outside the fence. 
Has not the time come to produce civil statistics in the study of 1948? Has not the moment come for us to know how many naissant doctoral theses have been blocked, mostly even before sprouing, when arab students - but also Jews - wanted to research the Nakba? Has not the time come to count how many serious Nakba scholars among the citizens of Israel are forced to pursue their research outside Israel's borders? Has not the moment come to ask university directors why have resources not been allotted to Nakba research before the Nakba law authoritzes them not to finance security at a memorial ceremony? Has not the time come for us to know how many doctoral theses with a truly civil perspective of 1948 have actually been written between the walls of Israeli universities? Is it not time to ask why the State's hegemonic conception that in 1948 a war took place here that ended in the founding of a state - why this idea has not been contested within academia? Does what we already know not suffice to realize that most of the violence in 1948 was constituent violence that enabled the Jewish demography for founding the State of Israel?



York University, Canada


Goldfarb Summer Institute in Visual Arts: Ariella Azoulay - "Potential History"

May 3, 2012, 7pm-9pm


Ariella Azoulay presents a public lecture titled  "Potential History” for The Real and the Political, the fourth annual Joan & Martin Goldfarb Summer Institute in Visual Arts.

In her talk, Dr. Azoulay addresses the possibilities that motivate and direct civic actions that critique or supplant without being exhausted by state order. She discusses these issues in relation to two photographic archives she assembled that deal with Israel’s representation of the state and its history.

Azoulay is director of the Photo-Lexic International Research Group at the Minerva Center, Tel Aviv University, Israel. Among her ground-breaking studies of photography and politics are Death’s Showcase (MIT Press, 2001), The Civil Contract of Photography (Zone Books, 2008) and the forthcoming Civil Imagination: A Political Ontology of Photography (Verso, 2012).

Admission is free | Map

The Joan & Martin Goldfarb Summer Institute in Visual Arts offers York University graduate students and the wider community the opportunity to engage with prominent international artists, curators, critics and theorists through seminars, workshops, courses and public lectures. The Summer Institute is named in recognition of Joan and Martin Goldfarb, longstanding supporters of York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, whose generous gift has made this annual residency program possible.




תהיות לקראת יום הנכבה

מאת אריאלה אזולאי,
התכנסות חמושים מחוץ לגדר ברמת הכובש, תרצ
התכנסות חמושים מחוץ לגדר ברמת הכובש, תרצ"ו / פיקיוויקי

טקס לציון יום הנכבה אמור להתקיים מחר מחוץ לגדר באוניברסיטת תל אביב. חשוב לזכור שטקס כזה אינו רק עניינם של פלסטינים. 
האסון שהתרחש כאן היה אסון לכל מי שלא רצה להתמכר להגיון הצבאי ולאלימות שהיתה כרוכה בהשלטתו - ואלה היו הרוב.
בין יתר הדברים שחשוב להזכיר ביחס לטקס מחר הוא שגם מחקר רציני של הנכבה והאסון האזרחי שהתרחש כאן עם החרבת המובן מאליו שבקיום-יחד של יהודים וערבים עד הקמת מדינת ישראל גם הוא מתנהל - המעט שמתנהל ביחס לגודל האסון - מחוץ לגדר‬. 
האם לא הגיע הזמן לייצר סטטיסטיקות אזרחיות לגבי חקר 48? האם לא הגיע הזמן שנדע כמה עבודות דוקטורט נחסמו באיבן ורובן אף לפני שנבטו כאשר סטודנטים וסטודנטיות ערבים - אבל גם יהודים - רצו לחקור את הנכבה? האם לא הגיע הזמן לספור כמה מבין חוקרי הנכבה הרציניים מבין אזרחי מדינת ישראל נאלצים להמשיך את מחקרם מחוץ לגבולות מדינת ישראל? האם לא הגיע הזמן לשאול את ראשי האוניברסיטאות מדוע לא הקצו כספים לחקר הנכבה לפני שחוק הנכבה נותן להם את הגושפנקא שלא להקצות שקלים לאבטחה של טקס זכרון? האם לא הגיע הזמן שנדע כמה עבודות דוקטורט בעלות פרספקטיבה אזרחית באמת על 48 נכתבו באוניברסיטאות הישראליות? האם לא הגיע הזמן לשאול מדוע התפיסה ההגמונית של המדינה, שהיתה כאן מלחמה ב-48 והיא הסתיימה בהקמת מדינה, לא עורערה מתוך האקדמיה? האם אין די במה שאנחנו יודעות כדי לדעת שעיקר האלימות של 48 היתה האלימות המכוננת שאיפשרה יצירה של דמוגרפיה יהודית שאיפשר את הקמת מדינת ישראל?

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