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).