RAMALLAH, May 17 (JMCC) - Author Noga Kadman shares a chapter
from her book, Erased from Space and Consciousness
, that describes the early Israeli settler's thoughts about the emptied Palestinian villages that they were now inhabiting.
Unlike all other communities covered in this research, the members of Sasa have given considerable time in their writings to the moral questions arising from building their kibbutz on the depopulated village of S’as’a. They discussed it and expressed their feelings and opinions on the matter on several occasions. In some cases – in early as well as late publications – they brought up what they saw as an fundamental contradiction between their ideology of building a new and just society and its implementation upon the site of a depopulate village (Sasa, 1951: 17-18):
I’m thinking of the deserted village of Sasa, which we entered so proudly and energetically this morning and the lives of the Arabs, who lived here. I wandered through some of the hovels, looked at the overturned jugs, grain, books, baby shoes, and smelt the smell of destruction […]. Are we also destroying, pillaging, being cruel, […], with our ideals and our refusal to stoop to the worlds’ rottenness?”
And elsewhere (Sasa, 1984):
Living in an Arab village, in homes of people who had left in an awful hurry, a short time before we arrived. […] Here we were, American Jewish pioneers, come to help build a new homeland and create a new society […]. We were bred on American fair play, and Hashomer Hatsa’ir bi-nationalism, living in harmony with our Arab brothers. It was bad enough living in the village were you could almost feel their presence, where part of their possessions were left behind, with their store rooms filled with last seasons’ crop. […]If all this wasn’t enough to destroy our ideological balloon, there was a problem of what to do with the mosque […].