Books--a Palestinian tale

The plunder of books and how libraries might respond.

This is a story of a now old book and its connections to war, displacement, cultural destruction; the possibilities of an apology and reconciliation; and the remarkable things that connectivity can achieve.  This is about my efforts to track the  original owner of a book that came into the possession of the occupying forces during the Naqba. In the late 1970’s it came into my possession.By engaging in such micro-history we can challenge the prevailing nature of the discourse and myths that exist in Israel and the diaspora and who were the Palestinians in 1948.  It is a particularly personal story, because the owner of the book and the buildings that belonged to his extended family are in a part of Jerusalem I know very well.

Originally published in Arena Magazine (Australia), 120 (Oct-Nov2012).

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