Ryuichi Hirokawa Archives : Palestine 1948 NAKBA

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Preface

I first visited Israel in 1967.

A few weeks after my arrival, war began and Israel occupied vast territories.

After some time, I saw some white rubble scattered on the field around a kibbutz. It was only after seeing an old map, which had been printed before the creation of the state of Israel, that I understood that these were ruins of Palestinian villages.

This was how I came to know about the issue of Palestine.

People have disappeared from the villages, the names of the villages have disappeared from maps, and people who remember about the old times pass away one after another. On top of it, the world has kept hiding all this.

Nowadays, only extremely few people who remember about 1948, when people became refugees and the villages were destroyed, remain.

60 years from this Palestinian catastrophe called Nakba, the number of people who suffer keeps increasing.

I wanted to make records of the vanished villages and people, and also to remember them, so I have started to work on this vast archive with the help of many people.

« Ryuichi Hirokawa Archives - Palestine 1948 NAKBA » consists of nine chapters with thirty DVDs, as we will show you in the « contents » section later.

I have devoted many chapters of this work to issues that the Jewish people and Israel are currently facing, so that the audience can understand the depth of this problem.

In the English version, we have inserted timing codes in each chapter for researchers to reference in articles or reports.

I have tried to make the last chapter, Chapter 9, into a structure which I hope second and third generation refugees might find helpful to investigate about their ancestral villages.

I hope this work will be useful to help people understand the issue of Palestine. Even more, I hope that it will contribute even slightly to resolution of the issue.

October 2008

Ryuichi Hirokawa

Endorsements to Ryuichi Hirokawa Archives Palestine 1948 NAKBA

The massive film archives, which Ryuichi Hirokawa has accumulated during the course of his forty-year engagement with the Palestine Question, have immeasurable value as oral history documents as well as a compilation of oral-visual histories offered in a package fitting to a new era. No intellectual attempts, be it a study on Palestine -Jewish questions, the Middle East and Islamic world, International Relations or War and Peace, can ignore this important work. The archives are equipped with a search and adduction function to accommodate the needs of academic researchers. This will likely facilitate widespread use in the international community. Given this potential of opening up a new public sphere, the arrival of the archives edition surely is a groundbreaking event for the Japanese society that has been seriously committed to the Palestine Question. — Yuzo Itagaki, Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo

The archives edition is extremely valuable for researchers in Israel-Palestine issues as it contains many testimonies and visual images made available for the first time in the world. I believe the archives will not only help rethinking of the NAKBA and wider sharing of its memories but also mark the beginning of a new quest for solutions to still-lingering problems and those issues not well-known to the Japanese society, such as the question of the state and identity. — Akira Usuki, Professor of Japan Women’s University

Contents of Ryuichi Hirokawa Archives : Palestine 1948 NAKBA

Film review : Palestine 1948 Nakba by Maureen Clare Murphy in
The Electronic Intifada