Immediately following the forced expulsion of Palestinians from their communities in 1948, Zionist forces set about to destroy the evidence that this had not been "a land without a people" and that the new state had been established by armed force - illegal since 1928 under international law. Some villages were bulldozed into invisibility and covered with cactus plantings (see www.cactus48.com) . Others were immediately occupied by Jewish settlers and the names of the villages changed.
Moshe Dayan stated famously stated that "There is not a single village here that was not previously occupied by Arabs, but nobody knows their names since maps no longer exist." Israel has continued to omit any recognition of the preceding 1,300 years of Arab culture in their historical markers.
An outstanding Israeli NGO, www.zochrot.org, is now reviving this historic memory by conducting tours of Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs in mixed groups to the sites of destroyed villages and placing historical markers there as joint Arab/Jewish projects.
Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, has called this "memoricide."
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