Over the past few weeks I have been working on updating the Freedom Archives’ collections on Human Rights in Palestine and Anti-Zionism. All of the documents in each collection now possess descriptions, as well as a more robust list of searchable keywords. In addition, there are now a few more digitized documents in each collection.
Given recent events in Palestine, I think it is especially important to look at some of these documents to be reminded both of the long history of Israeli abuses against Palestinians, and the fact that the Zionist ideology under-girding Israeli oppression is not a universal Jewish position. The Anti-Zionist collection presents numerous view points from individuals and groups opposing the Zionist attempt to claim a legitimate right to Palestinian land. One particular document that stands out is Moshe Menuhin’s essay, “Jewish Critics of Zionism,” which details the history of political Zionism, beginning in 1897 with Theodor Herzl’s World Zionist Organization and the numerous Jewish voices that have spoken out against the oppressive and colonial aspects of Zionism. This document, along with other Anti-Zionist pieces, can be found here.
In the Human Rights in Palestine collection I came across a few interesting and important documents relating to the imprisonment of Palestinians in Israeli detentions camps. Two particular camps, Ketziot and Ansar 2 (the “Shore Camp”), seem especially worthy of mention. Two 1988 reports on the horrible mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners at the Ketzoit camp, one written by lawyer Tamar Peleg Sryck and the other by Palestinian prisoners at the camp, can be found here. In addition, a description of the troubling practice of incarcerating Palestinian youth can be found in the document, “Minors in the Shore Camp,” also written by Tamar Peleg Sryck in 1988.
These documents provide a vivid depiction of Zionist Israel’s abuse of Palestinians and an inspiring reminder of all the voices which oppose the oppressive nature of Zionist ideology. Furthermore, these documents shed light on the ways that current Israeli actions mirror those committed in the past. Each outbreak of conflict in Palestine is not completely new, but is part of a recurring cycle of Israeli colonial violence against the Palestinian people which dates back to the birth of political Zionism and the creation of the Israeli state.