July 27, 2006

Israel targets Nablus administrative records for destruction

Prior to Wednesday, the muqata’a was a large government building in Nablus, Palestine, originally built by the British in the 1920s and used until this week for civil government functions. It contained the archives of civil documents of the region, containing “hundreds of thousands of file cases and documents — birth and death certificates, identification records, passports and other travel documents, ledgers of hand written information — a heritage of historical information about Nablus residents that covered more than 100 years of successive Palestinian occupations under the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate, the Jordanian kingdom, and the current Israeli regime.”

On Wednesday, Israeli troops showed up and destroyed the building with explosives – after staffers offered them entry to the building in order to go after the militants they were seeking. Once the building was reduced to rubble, according to Gale Courey Toensing in “First, Destroy the Archives,” Israeli soldiers drove over the broken file cabinets with bulldozers, mixing their contents with the earth to prevent their recovery. Destruction of the enemy’s information infrastructure is strategically understandable as a way of further weaking their ability to function as an organized society, but strictly in terms of fairness and human rights it’s the kind of thing that makes sympathy with Israel’s position impossible for me. (And I say that without losing any of my great pride in my Jewish heritage. Israel does not represent me as a Jew.)

7 Comments »

  1. It’s ironic that in the news today I read:

    “Germany officially opens up extensive Holocaust archive

    27 July 2006

    BERLIN – Researchers will gain access to the world’s biggest archive of Nazi documents under an agreement signed by Germany and seven other nations in Berlin on Wednesday.

    Administered by the International Tracing Service, an arm of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the archives in the German town of Bad Arolsen encompass 50 million documents, among them Schindler’s List.”

    more at Germany opens up extensive Holocaust archive

    Comment by Isabel Espinal — July 27, 2006 @ 7:10 pm

  2. That is ironic.

    Comment by Rory Litwin — July 27, 2006 @ 9:13 pm

  3. […] However, from Library Juice I got this report that Israeli troops targeted a Palestinian archive full of government records–passports, birth and death certificates, other identification documents–destroying the contents beyond recovery. Library Juice quotes the original article, and I am going to use the same quote because it illustrates the historical importance of the archive: hundreds of thousands of file cases and documents — birth and death certificates, identification records, passports and other travel documents, ledgers of hand written information — a heritage of historical information about Nablus residents that covered more than 100 years of successive Palestinian occupations under the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate, the Jordanian kingdom, and the current Israeli regime. […]

    Pingback by Subject/Object :: Israel destroys Palestinian administrative document archive — August 5, 2006 @ 2:12 pm

  4. […] Apparently–and who can say with certainty in these times of “he says, she says”–Israel has targeted administrative records for destruction in Nablus. To the point where, once the bombing had been done, tanks rolled over the filing cabinets to ensure the records were destroyed. […]

    Pingback by Citadel of the Blogs » Blog Archive » Israel targets archives — August 5, 2006 @ 3:42 pm

  5. I was there, in Nablus, when the muqata was demolished.

    The files written before ’82 were not saved on the computer: just paper. We were able to see all those papers destroyed all around.

    Just… incredible. But, unfortunately, this piece of news was not showed by the media, at least not in Spain.

    Once and again the same story.

    Comment by Carmen — October 21, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

  6. […] Daugiau galite skaityti čia ir čia. […]

    Pingback by Bandoma sugriauti vienÄ… svarbiausių JeruzalÄ—s bibliotekų « VU bibliotekos blogas — May 23, 2007 @ 12:50 am

  7. Kramer auto Pingback[…] of Palestinian Archives Rory Litwin at Library Juice writes:Israel targets Nablus administrative records for destruction.Once the building was reduced to […]

    Pingback by Librarian 1.3: July 2006 — November 15, 2012 @ 3:31 am

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