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Ronit Lentin

2 Memory sites, postmemory, co-memory Why do some people have the power to remember, while others are asked to forget? ... No ethical person would admonish Jews to forget the Holocaust ... yet in dialogue with Israelis ... Palestinians are repeatedly admonished to forget the past ... ironically Palestinians live the consequences of the past every day – whether as exiles from their homeland, or as members of an oppressed minority within Israel. (Bishara 2007) Introduction In ‘Categorial murder, or, how to remember the Holocaust’, Bauman (2004a) argues that

in Co-memory and melancholia
Israelis memorialising the Palestinian Nakba
Author:

The 1948 war that led to the creation of the State of Israel also resulted in the destruction of Palestinian society, when some 80 per cent of the Palestinians who lived in the major part of Palestine upon which Israel was established became refugees. Israelis call the 1948 war their ‘War of Independence’ and the Palestinians their ‘Nakba’, or catastrophe. After many years of Nakba denial, land appropriation, political discrimination against the Palestinians within Israel and the denial of rights to Palestinian refugees, in recent years the Nakba is beginning to penetrate Israeli public discourse. This book explores the construction of collective memory in Israeli society, where the memory of the trauma of the Holocaust and of Israel's war dead competes with the memory claims of the dispossessed Palestinians. Taking an auto-ethnographic approach, it makes a contribution to social memory studies through a critical evaluation of the co-memoration of the Palestinian Nakba by Israeli Jews. Against a background of the Israeli resistance movement, the book's central argument is that co-memorating the Nakba by Israeli Jews is motivated by an unresolved melancholia about the disappearance of Palestine and the dispossession of the Palestinians, a melancholia which shifts mourning from the lost object to the grieving subject. The book theorises Nakba co-memory as a politics of resistance, counterpoising co-memorative practices by internally displaced Israeli Palestinians with Israeli Jewish discourses of the Palestinian right of return, and questions whether return narratives by Israeli Jews are ultimately about Israeli Jewish self-healing.

Ronit Lentin

8 Melancholia, Nakba co-memory and the politics of return Introduction In publicising its activities, Zochrot emphasises the shift from denial to Israeli acknowledgement of the Nakba, rightly arguing that denial is no longer tenable. Chapter 7 discussed the performance of co-memory through an analysis of Zochrot’s commemorative practices. This chapter revisits the link between melancholia, race, memory, identity, and politics. Zionist state memory construction involved the creation of myths in the foundation of culture, society and nation (Ohana and Wistrich

in Co-memory and melancholia
Ronit Lentin

3 Memory and melancholia This world has been destroyed forever. And my heart often cries when I recall it. Because it was part of my life, my childhood, and it had beauty and connections. Not only fear, not only death. Many of us loved the villages we detonated, that world gone forever. (Haim Guri 2004: 189, emphasis added) After the 1967 war I went to the Shuafat refugee camp as part of my work in order to study its problems ... I asked those who attended the meeting about their villages ... and suddenly another geography, the geography of my childhood, was

in Co-memory and melancholia
Synchronicity in Historical Research and Archiving Humanitarian Missions
Bertrand Taithe
,
Mickaël le Paih
, and
Fabrice Weissman

previously in the area I was intervening, to compare the scale of the disasters, etc. I managed to retrieve few documents from previous expatriates, whom I contacted by mail through my personal network. But it is primarily thanks to key Malawian staff, who had kept operational documents on their personal hard drives and who remembered the mission, that I managed to reconstitute a little of the history of previous interventions. Institutional memory is fleeting in MSF. There was no policy on archiving

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
David Rieff

The political landscape in which the humanitarian movement took current form has changed radically. If humanitarian certainties have been upended, it is not in Sri Lanka, or even Syria or Afghanistan, but in the NGO response to the migration crisis in Greece and in the Mediterranean. However overstated, the claim of neutrality has always played an important role in establishing the legitimacy humanitarian action has enjoyed in Europe. But it is no longer possible, if it ever was, for relief workers to separate their ethical commitment to helping people in need from their political convictions, including about what the EU should stand for.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Phoebe Shambaugh
and
Bertrand Taithe

outbreak in refugee and displacement settings. COVID-19 has illustrated the risk posed by pandemics in close-confine settings, but decades of analysis and introspection have mainly identified, rather than addressed, the racial and power hierarchies in aid work. If addressing plague requires trust and cooperation, experiences with Ebola response demonstrates that this is in short supply in areas with generational memories of colonial medicine and exploitations. Questions of trust and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editors’ Introduction
Marc Le Pape
and
Michaël Neuman

aftermath of the events in Biafra – in particular, the emergence of different types of humanitarian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and use of the word ‘genocide’ – and memory of the Holocaust – to internationalise a cause and mobilise against extreme acts of violence. Hakim Khaldi, Abdulkarim Ekzayez and Ammar Sabouni were all aid workers during the Syrian conflict and all analysed the situations they observed in the field. Khaldi, as a member of an international humanitarian organisation, tells of the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector
Kevin O’Sullivan
and
Réiseal Ní Chéilleachair

actors to ‘do no harm’ as they prevent, respond to and ease suffering in times of crisis, taking a moment to reflect on various aspects of that response and to consider the humanity within humanitarian action can only be a positive step. Put simply, there is great value in asking what happened? How can we translate the considerable knowledge that has been accumulated in the humanitarian sector (from institutional memory to experiential learning) into informed decision

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Jeffrey Flynn

not need a camera to etch realistic depictions of brutality in The Disasters of War . Completed between 1810 and 1820, they were published in 1863, a year after Henry Dunant’s impassioned plea for the humanitarian reform of war-making in A Memory of Solferino . Goya’s images of suffering and atrocity, as Sharon Sliwinski aptly puts it, were ‘informal training for the spectator of human rights’ (2011:12). Even if the visual culture of humanitarianism precedes the birth of photography, it is

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs