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A Palestinian village’s preservation opportunity

posted Jul 9, 2011, 11:20 AM by Lifta Society   [ updated Jul 9, 2011, 11:35 AM ]
Washington Post 
Letter to the Editor 
Lifta village
As a researcher and author on Palestinian villages and social history, I appreciate Joel Greenberg’s clear and insightful June 27 news story on the village of Lifta [“Development plan for abandoned Palestinian village stirs up a troubled past”].

 Of the 418 Palestinian villages that were depopulated of their Palestinian Muslim and Christian residents in the 1948 war, only 20 have more than a few buildings still standing.

The other 400 have been almost entirely destroyed. In that sense, the development plan for the village of Lifta offers a rare opportunity to preserve the heritage of the entire area, including the material evidence of a prosperous Arab village in the mid-20th century.

Any development should include the village’s former residents, who have published three detailed books on village history.

This development plan presents a symbolic opportunity: Preserving Lifta’s heritage as a Palestinian village would be a significant step the Israeli government could make toward living with its Palestinian citizens and acknowledging their past on the land.

Rochelle A. Davis, Washington

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