Opening credits



Archive film cans on shelves



Karnit walking in the film archive. working

VO KARNIT: For years I was an archival researcherfor the Israeli film and television industry. I found countless archival filmsto illustrate storiesfrom the history of the State of Israel.


Film runs through a Steenbeck editing table

and archival film is viewed in the archive.

VO ARCHIVE NEWSREEL: "In a wilderness of sand covering

thousands of acres, the cornerstone for the first fifty houses has


Karnit, her back to the camera, watches an old Israeli newsreel while operating the

Steenbeck's editing table.

VO KARNIT: I sat in the archives for days on end and in the process, familiarized myself with Israel's photographic history.



VO KARNIT: One project after another: Another kibbutz, another Ben-Gurion,another Moshe Dayan...Seems like I've seen it all. Phone line recording, ringing





POV Karnit walking through archive




Karnit opens a box in the archive. Text on

the box: "Films in Arabic, 1982"

Phone line recording, ringing








A black screen changes to a static visual of 6 VHS tapes stacked on top of each other.



KARNIT: I found tapes. They say "PLO loot 1982".


Inserting a VHS tape into a VHS player. Karnit in her work room watching the tape.

SENIOR ISRAELI TV OFFICIAL: It might be from a PLO archive. The archive was confiscated during the Lebanon War

and the Palestinians have asked for it ever since.


A tape plays on a TV monitor. Changing images of Palestinian life.

VO KARNIT: At first glance, the tapes containeda mix of raw footage.bits of unidentified, ownerless archive material, without any indication of their source or creator.Some of the materials were labeled: IDF and Defense Establishment ArchivesConfiscated footage from the PLO Archive in Beirut".


Images from the lost archive.

M.G (on phone): This is something I really dreamed of all my

lifeto have a hold on it, or to at least to see it.There is the






documentaries, cinema, drama, and actual raw footage,you know, like, raw material.And it's not in your country,it's not within your people,It's somewhere else.They took it.


Images from the lost archive.

ATEF SOURA (on phone): This much I know: The Palestinians don't know where this archive is. Someone took it and they don't know where it went and how it was kept, maybe it was lost altogether. I think it's very sad.


F.I on monitor: Title: SHALAL



Images from the lost archive.

VO KARNIT: The first frames I see look like footage from the





KARNIT: You're one of Israel's oldest historians, You've studied the first decades of the state, You are one of the few who were there at all the events that you have written about. I wanted to meet you because you also recorded those years visually.I want to show you some archival footage I've found.


Images from the lost archive.



MORALE BAR-ON watching the footage


MORALE BAR-ON Would you like me to comment?

KARNIT: If you want to.


Images from the lost archive.

MORALE BAR-ON: Okay. This is a family that owns an orchard and they're...doing their work. This looks like the '30s.


KARNIT: Were Palestinians filming at that time?



MORALE BAR-ON: They were not very organized. They were poor and could not afford to buy good cameras. I do know some photos that were undoubtedly taken by an amateur at the scene. So there were such photos, but not many, in my opinion. This of course has to do with the economic and cultural level of the Arabs at that time, who were much more backward than the Jewish settlers, in terms of organized communication, and various social and cultural networks.








PROF. MUSTAFA KABHA watching the footage (OTS)

KARNIT: I've found some footagethat I believe was shot by Palestinians. Does that make sense to you?










PROF. MUSTAFA KABHA: Of course it does! Palestinian cinema began in the 1930s. They started filming, yes? The Kayali company. There were cameras filming, even inside the houses, and daily life, and the markets in Tiberias, in Beit She'an, in Acre, in Majdal and in Gaza. Each photo can reconstruct an entire story. One can see clothing items, where they liked to be filmed, next to what The contents of the house, the dishes, All these things. You can reconstruct an entire history with these images.



KARNIT: So what happened to these materials?


PROF. MUSTAFA KABHA:Most of them are in Israeli archives,

the State Archives, for example, classified under: "Shalal" (seized materials).


KARNIT goes up the stairs in the archive, walks through the corridors, looking for films.

Y, ISRAELI TV PRODUCER: Hello KARNIT: I'm researching

the Palestinian archive in Beirut.


Y, ISRAELI TV PRODUCER (on phone): Let me tell you.



Y, ISRAELI TV PRODUCER (on phone): In 1982 the IDF took Beirut, and as part of its conquest, it took the PLO archives.


KARNIT: All I found were a few tapesit didn't look like an



Y, ISRAELI TV PRODUCER (on phone): The entire archive is

in the IDF ARCHIVE: .


TV news report from Beirut, 1982

REPORTER: "PLO headquarters in Beirut, IDF soldiers remove truckloads of files and documents in a race against time before

the IDF pulls out of West Beirut, probably this week. The






SABRI JIRYIS watching it at his home office.

removal of the loot is in full swing, including at the Institute for Palestinian Studies, the academic arm of the PLO, in the Hamra district. born in Fassuta in the Galilee, The director of this institute is Sabri Jaresh, born in Fassuta in the Galilee, co- founder of "El-Ard" (civil rights movement). Everything is packed, still unsorted, and ready to go. There's a large collection of photographs that were used for propaganda purposes: refugees, a funeral, and so on. Whole floors with massive collections on subjects of every kind, cataloged by both subject and author. It's definitely interesting to see how they worked, and the material itself which is a real treasure, even if it's in our possession. - And all this will be brought to Israel? - Certainly."










Cross cut to Archive films

SABRI JIRYIS: That was my work. And his words are true. It's true.


KARNIT (OFF SCREEN): What?                                                      SABRI JIRYIS: What he

said.How he described the material that was there. He's right. Go ahead.


KARNIT (OFF SCREEN):Do you remember that day?


SABRI JIRYIS: I remember it, but I wasn't there. I was in...I was hiding. Do you understand? I disappeared. Because they would have arrested me. When I came back after the IDF left it was all gone.


VO ARCHIVE FILM: "So the PLO established the Palestinian Research Centerto study how to raise awareness of the

Palestinian issue."






SABRI JIRYIS: I was the Director General of the Palestine Research Center. The Center's mission was to document the Palestinian question, to create an archive on the Palestinian question. There was a film unit and they made films. All kinds of films. And I think, what you've seen, is some of those things.

What exactly happened with these films? I don't know. When the IDF entered Beirut, they loaded all onto trucks and took it away. Where did you get it?


KARNIT: It is in the IDF ARCHIVE: s.


SABRI JIRYIS: And they allow you to...? KARNIT: Yes.


SABRI JIRYIS: I mean, they let you see it? KARNIT: Yes.


SABRI JIRYIS: Fine. You must be well-connected, because other people didn't get that permission.


Karnit walking in archive corridors, search for films



KARNIT (ON PHONE): This is Karnit, about accessing items taken from the PLO archives.


IDF ARCHIVE: : Have you seen some of these films?


KARNIT: I only saw a few tapes,and I understand that there's a

lot of other material.


IDF ARCHIVE: Since the films are spoils of war, and are classified, a committee discussion is necessary, it's not a standard procedure. Only the committee can discuss and approve it. You will need to submit a written request to the director of the archives, under the title "Request to view classified archival material". Should she approve, it will be processed Should she not approve it won't be processed. Goodbye. KARNIT: Good day. Bye.


TV monitor showing images of Gaza strip

VO KARNIT: The next tape reads: "Gaza Strip, 1956." This is






the first time I've seen a daily record of Gaza Strip residents from that period. I'm looking for Israeli newsreels.


Karnit watching Israeli newsreel in the archive

VO NEWSREEL REPORTER: "Life is quiet now in and around

Gaza City,after its liberation from Egyptian rule."


VO KARNIT: This reel reports on Israel's incursion into Gaza

November 3rd, 1956.


VO NEWSREEL REPORTER: "A new local council was appointed in Rafah, the largest settlement in the Gaza Strip,

with the participation of IDF officers and Arab dignitaries."


VO KARNIT: During the Sinai campaign the IDF captured the entire Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip in five days.


VO NEWSREEL REPORTER: "In addition, an Israeli post office

began operating in Gaza."


Newsreel end card: "The End" "Geva Films Ltd"



Images from the lost archive.

VO KARNIT: I go back to the Palestinian tape. I knew the Israeli newsreels quite well. I've never seen this stuff.

VO KARNIT: In the archive, among the files from that time, I found a leaflet. It was addressed to the forces occupying Gaza:


A leaflet is shown on screen. Fade to images from the lost archive.

VO KARNIT: "Gaza. A living organ torn from the State of Israel. A fist aimed at the state. "Gaza. A living organ torn from the State of Israel. A fist aimed at the state. A constant threat to our security. Fighters! Tonight we will break through and overrun the enemy's positions until we uproot Gaza's gates and locks. As war veterans, we will carry with us the best martial tradition, our military fitness and a will of iron to defeat the enemy and win them over."


Karnit watching the monitor. Images from

the lost archive.

VO KARNIT: And on the same tape, towards its end, I found the

same images of Gaza. This time, as a short extract of an






edited, narrated film.


Images from the lost archive.

VO ARCHIVE FILM: "Gaza, is one of the most highly populated regions of the earth. In a narrow strip of land there is a population of four hundred thousand, a quarter of million of whom are refugees. Every day, a hundred new births add to the complexity of the Arab refugee problem. The children who grow up up in the camps are surrounded by frustration and bitterness. If we cannot yet solve the problem, that overshadows the years of their youth, let us at least try to give to those dark clouds a silver lining."


TV news report from Beirut, 1982

VO NEWSREEL REPORTER: "The collection of material from PLO offices here and elsewhere continues. It will take a very

long time to sort through it..."



DR. BENNY MICHELSON: At the time, I was an assistant to the Northern intelligence officer. We came to the place that was

ours, and took everything.


KARNIT: What were you looking for there?


DR. BENNY MICHELSON: Intelligence, of course! Vast amounts of information. All the agents, all the... what they're interested in, their plans, their orders, whatever. It was all there, and not only that, but the entire history of the PLO. Tapes both video and audio, and computerized material.


KARNIT: What was on the tapes?


DR. BENNY MICHELSON: I don't know, I didn't examine everything, but I know there was a lot. Some movies they

recorded from TV and some footage they shot themselves.


KARNIT: Was there any pre-PLO material?Palestinian history

before 1964?


DR. BENNY MICHELSON: Yes, but just a few books, It's not






history, just a few books, of of Arab history, not...




DR. BENNY MICHELSON: Let me remind you that there were

no Palestinians in '64. The concept was invented later.


KARNIT: What do you think they were... trying to achieve with

the collection?






DR. BENNY MICHELSON: Nothing, it was for their use. Why

do we have an archive in Jerusalem? Why do we have an IDF ARCHIVE: in Tel HaShomer? It's a very useful thing.


KARNIT: What is it it used for?


DR. BENNY MICHELSON: What do you mean? It's used

for...It's processed and turned into intelligence. Whatever you


KARNIT: And then what?


DR. BENNY MICHELSON: What do you mean, "and then"?


KARNIT: Does it go anywhere? Is it stored? Destroyed?


MICHELSON: Of course, it goes to an archive.


KARNIT: Who owns the rights to the spoils of war?


DR. BENNY MICHELSON: The IDF, of course. All the spoils of

war belong to the IDF.


KARNIT: Is there access to these materials today?


DR. BENNY MICHELSON: You can make a request, maybe

they'll give you some.


Karnit walking in archive corridors, search for films



KARNIT: I wanted to ask you something about the PLO collection.I put in a request to see if there's more of these films

in the archiveAny idea if it was processed?


IDF ARCHIVE (ON PHONE): Not a clue. I don't do that.


KARNIT: And say, do you know where I can find outwho filmed

this footage?


IDF ARCHIVE (ON PHONE):I have no idea.


KARNIT: Okay, bye. - Bye bye.


Anan Barakat watching

ANAN BARAKAT: I don't know what to say, I mean, These materials,I don't know what to say, I mean, These materials,if

they were not in your movie, I wouldn't have seen






them.Because there is no shooting, no killing.It's amazing. Look how beautiful it is.Their beautiful white uniforms,It's beautiful.

These are images we rarely see.Palestinian girls' school, beautiful and tidy,with their hair in braids and hairbands. This is amazing.


M.S Anan Barakat / Images from the lost archive.

ANAN BARAKAT: The Palestinian peopleThey had camera awareness. Circa 1964, they formed the Documentation and Photography Unit. There were photographers before 1964 they were interested in documenting the Palestinian cause. But there was nothing that you could call an organized photography movement. Mustafa Abu Ali, Sulafa Jadallah, Hani Jawhariyeh,

Still images of the members of the PLO Film Unit

ANAN BARAKAT: Mustafa Abu Ali, Sulafa Jadallah, Hani Jawhariyeh, they are the trio who founded the Palestinian

cinema, starting with the photography department.

ANAN BARAKAT: I first met Mustafa Abu Ali in Ramallah, In 2004 I started meeting with him. "With our own teeth," he used to say, "With tooth and nail we protected every frame" He said they fought for every frame, image and scene. Without a visual record, it's like we didn't do anything. There was a lot of filmimng activity inside the PLO building and offices.

M.S Anan Barakat / Images from the lost archive.


M.S Anan Barakat / Images from the lost archive.

ANAN BARAKAT: "The Palestinian Filming Unit" - that's one name. "The Palestinian Cinema Institution", "The Palestinian Cinema Group", "The Photography Unit"... a different name each time. Many things have been documented, although there are no lists. According to the stories, and to what Mustafa Abu Ali told me, they used to shoot enormous amounts every day. "We plan to shoot in this refugee camp, or in that area... a movie can come out of it!..".


Images from the lost archive.

WOMAN (IN FOOTAGE, OFF SCREEN): What are they doing?

NURSE (IN FOOTAGE): She's being photographed. They're


CHILD'S VOICE (IN FOOTAGE): "Film her, film her"






...DIRECTOR'S VOICE (IN FOOTAGE): "Keep walking, keep


Images from the lost archive/ MS Anan Barakat.

ANAN BARAKAT: If you hold a gun you can shoot and kill, But if you pick up a camera and use it to document, the other person atarts to worry. He starts to feel that you're free. That you have power. That is, all the documentation, to this day, to this day, what do the Palestinians document? They document their story.


Images from the lost archive

ANAN BARAKAT (OFF SCREEN): I don't know where the archive is. I tried to look for it. One story says that the archive is buried in Beirut, in a cemetery. Another says the archive is within Israeli institutions, or in the archive of the Israeli army.



speak with Ilana?


IDF ARCHIVE (ON PHONE): Hold on, who is this? KARNIT:

Karnit Mandel


IDF ARCHIVE (ON PHONE): Does she know you? KARNIT:

She knows what it's about


IDF ARCHIVE (ON PHONE): Oh, okay. One moment.

KARNIT: Thank you.


IDF ARCHIVE (ON PHONE): She's busy now. KARNIT: How

can I reach her? She's never available.


IDF ARCHIVE (ON PHONE):Hello                                                          KARNIT: Yes





IDF ARCHIVE (ON PHONE): Yes, she's currently unavailable.

She's on the phone.



KARNIT (ON PHONE): Okay, fine. Thank you.


Karnit watching the monitor, showing archive foogate of the Karameh camp in Jordan.

VO KARNIT: At the beginning of the following tape a caption reads: "Karameh camp:before and after the IDF attack". The footage tells very little.


Karnit watching an old Israeli newsreel on a computer screen in the archive. Shots from

the newsreel, depicting IDF operation in

VO KARNIT: I find an Israeli newsreel dated March 21, 1968.

The newsreel reports a major IDF raid in Jordan, in response to a Palestinian terrorist attack, where a school bus hit a landmine






near Be'er Ora.


Shots from the newsreel, depicting IDF operation in Jordan.

NEWSREEL REPORTER: "On March 21, IDF troops set out on a mission to attack the terrorists' bases. These bases served as training camps and launching points for terrorist activities. Our troops captured Karameh, north of the Dead Sea. Our correspondent Yehiel Ne'eman accompanied one of the units. The locals were ordered to remain calm and to follow IDF instructions. Our troops were ordered not to harm civilians.

Houses were searched and places where terrorists or weopons were found were blown up."

Avraham Bar'am watching the newsreel.


MS Avraham Bar'am

GEN. AVRAHAM BAR'AM: This was seven or eight months after the Six-Day War. We were told that the village was being used as a Fatah training camp and headquarters. Our mission was to enter the village, attack the terrorists, destroy their base,destroy their ammunition, their weapons, everything they had, finish and leave.


Muki Betzer watching the newsreel.



MS Muki Betzer.

MUKI BETZER: Our feeling was: We'll have a win, it'll be easy. There are 2,000 Fatah men there, Arafat is there, we'll surround and pluck them like ripe fruit. When the operation was over our troops returned to their bases.


Shots from the newsreel. Sabri Jiryis watching the newsreel.

NEWSREEL REPORTER: The Israel Defense Forces dealt a heavy blow to the terroristsand proved that peace must reign on both sides of the border,Otherwise, Israel's military arm will

reach the murdererseven in places they deem safe."





MS Sabri Jiryis.

SABRI JIRYIS: That's nonsense, a distorted description. It was a real battle. Israel invaded, the Jordanian army supported the Fedayeen, and they joined forces against the IDF. It was the first battle, face to face with the Israelis. Conducted by the Palestinians. Here, even though we're outnumbered, we can

stand up to the IDF and fight back! Karameh became a symbol.






That's the story. As simple as that.


MS Avraham Bar'am

KARNIT: They think they have won.


GEN. AVRAHAM BAR'AM: Because, as far as they are concerned, they've never lost a war. Have they ever admitted defeat? Arabs don't think they lost. They knew how to use propaganda and turn around almost any war against them into a political triumph. I salute them, they know how to do it. We don't.


Karnit walks through the archive corridors and finds the rushes of the newsreel.

Watching the rushes on a Steenbeck machine in the archive.

VO KARNIT: I wonder about the contradiction between the Palestinian version and what is described in the Israeli newsreel. I manage to find the raw footageand watch some

shots that were edited out.


NEWSREEL REPORTER: "On March 21, IDF forces set out to

attack the terrorists' bases.Our correspondent Yehiel Ne'eman


Footage from the Israeli Carmel Newsreel, 1968






KARNIT (ON PHONE): Is this Yehiel Ne'eman?




KARNIT (ON PHONE): I'm investigating Operation

Karamehand I found out that you were there, as a news reporter.


REPORTER NE'EMAN (ON PHONE): No... I was not in




Yes, it's me,


REPORTER NE'EMAN (ON PHONE): but it wasn't in Karameh. but it wasn't in Karameh. What I filmed wasn't in Karameh.On the day of the Karameh operation, there were no cameramen

there. What you see in the newsreel is not from Karameh, but






from a diversionary operation that took place the same day,

south of the Dead Sea.




REPORTER NE'EMAN (ON PHONE): The Karameh action was

not filmed at all.



in Karameh.





NE'EMAN: Thanks, have a good day. Bye.


Footage from the Israeli Carmel Newsreel, 1968

VO REPORTER NE'EMAN: "The IDF dealt the terrorists a heavy blowand proved that peace must reign on both sides of the border, or else the military arm of Israel will reach the

murderers even in places they deem safe".





MS Muki Betzer

MUKI BETZER: These images were taken after the battle, not

during it, by IDF photographers, or someone like that, who took them after it was all over.


KARNIT: It is not Karameh.


MUKI BETZER: Right, it's not the Karameh battle.


KARNIT: Seriously. MUKI BETZER: Really?


MUKI BETZER: It's possible


KARNIT: The reporter was sent elsewhere.


MUKI BETZER: Right. You see, we are...We're being misled.


MS Muki Betzer

MUKI BETZER: This was eight months after the Six-Day War. After the glorious victoryover three Arab countries, in only six days. And then, eight months later, came a resounding failure. It was heavily censored. They didn't let the public know that in a seemingly simple military operation, thirty soldiers were killed, a hundred were wounded, some severely, some missing in action and tanks were left in the hands of the terrorists and the Jordanians.


MS Avraham Bar'am

GEN. AVRAHAM BAR'AM: It's true. We didn't kill them all. Some got away. But we captured Karameh. About 170

prisoners of war and about 130 killed they had there. Speaking






strictly military, we accomplished our mission and that means victory.


CU Sabri Jiryis.

SABRI JIRYIS: Karameh marks the first dateof the face-to-face struggle with Israel. No doubt about it.


Images from the lost archive

VO KARNIT: I go back to the Palestinian materials.


OTS Avraham Bar'am watching the footage

GEN. AVRAHAM BAR'AM: These are bombed-out houses. That's okay. That's what we came for.We blew up their houses,

so you see blown up houses.


Images from the lost archive

VO KARNIT: The fighting in Karameh was fierce, costing many casualtiesPrime Minister Levi Eshkol forbade the reporting of the battle results in real-time. They were not fully published until



Images from the lost archive

VO KARNIT: The next shots on this tape seem like they were shot elsewhere. After intensive research I manage to identify the location: The Al Baqa'a refugee camp about 80km northeast of Karameh. Here is where the residents of Karameh fled to, on March 21, 1968. Some 26,000 refugees resided in the Al Baqa'a camp in an area of about 1.5 square kilometers.


Images from the lost archive

VO KARNIT: The historical memory of my generation consists of a collection of visual images. Images from movies, newspapers, TV news. What we saw in the pictures actually happened. What we never saw never happened.


Shots of a film archive.

IDF ARCHIVE (PHONE): Archive KARNIT: Is Ilana free by any



IDF ARCHIVE (PHONE): Yes, who is this? KARNIT: Karnit IFD

ARCHIVE (PHONE): One moment






ILANA (PHONE): Yes, Karnit.


KARNIT (PHONE): I haven't been able to reach you for a long






time. I left many messages about the Palestinian archive. I have to get an answer on this.


ILANA (PHONE): We don't have it. The Palestinian archiveis not in the IDF ARCHIVE: . It was returned after the Oslo Accords. It was part of the agreement. The material was



KARNIT (PHONE): So what is the collection of reels I saw?


ILANA (PHONE): A copy of what?


ILANA (PHONE): The films that.. ILANA (HEAD OF IDF

ARCHIVE): It's all we got.



The PLO archive is not in the IDF ARCHIVE: .It's sort of an urban myth, that a whole lot of people thought was true, and it's


KARNIT (PHONE): Okay. Fine.


ILANA (PHONE): Well, thank you. ILANA (HEAD OF IDF

ARCHIVE): You're welcome, Karnit. KARNIT: Bye.


Images from the lost archive.

M.G (PHONE): The Israelis were asked about the Palestinian archive,and they should have returned itThe Israeils never gave definite yes or definite no. They always say: "we will check it and come back to you", I don't know if they have ever came backto the Palestinians on the issue.


Images from the lost archive.

KARNIT (PHONE): Hello? - Is this **? POLITICIAN: Yes.


KARNIT (PHONE): My name is Karnit POLITICIAN: Oh,

about PLO films?


KARNIT (PHONE): Yes, I need a clearer answer.


POLITICIAN (PHONE): What, what's the question?


KARNIT (PHONE): The question is, was it discussed in the

Oslo Accords? Ron Pundak told me that in his day it was not


POLITICIAN (PHONE): Nor in my time. I've saved every note

from that time, I remember every word.


KARNIT: Okay. POLITICIAN: Million percent. KARNIT: Okay,

good. Bye-bye.


Images from the lost archive.

INTELLIGENCE OFFICER (PHONE): I have no idea where

those materials are kept,if you ask me, a lot has been


INTELLIGENCE OFFICER (PHONE): Don't get your hopes up,






Don't get your hopes up, because I'm not sure you'll be able to reach them. If they even exist. What has been done with them? Not much, in my opinion. But I don't really know. You really have to be careful with those films, because this is real propaganda. Even if it's just some footage of a parade in Ramallah. It has a purpose. It's not being filmed for nothing. So I'd keep that footage. I wouldn't give it back. Why give it back?


M.S Anan Barakat / Images from the lost archive.

ANAN BARAKAT: You take a picture with the family, a photo of the children, and what's the first thing you do? You buy a photo album, and put in the photos. What is this album anyway? It's your archive, and you keep it in the closet for when a relative comes to visit, or when the kids grow up, you'll show them these photos. Archive is memory.


Images from the lost archive.

NURSE (ARCHIVE FILM): "Now we wash the baby's toes, then his heel and up. Don't forget the knee area and the folds ..."

"One more time?"


Karnit watching the monitor.

VO KARNIT: This is the only color footage in all the tapes I



Images from the lost archive (color).

NURSE (ARCHIVE FILM): "...You gradually give the baby

different kinds of food, then you can gradually wean him from


VO KARNIT: Who are these women?Have they ever seen this



NURSE (ARCHIVE FILM): "...from his mother. When the baby is born "...from his mother. When the baby is born he feeds on his mother, from her breast milk.""All babies are breastfed from the moment they are born..." "Raising babies is never easy. You have to build a good foundation, Just like building, with a good foundation the next floor will be easier. It gets easier with the

second and the third..."


Karnit inserts the last tape into the VHS


VO KARNIT: In the last tape I watched the images again seem

to be pre-state footage.


Images from the lost archive.

NARRATOR (ARABIC): "The city of Jaffa, one of the most

beautiful Arab cities, with an estimated population of 100,000.






Every year it exports millions of citrus crates worldwide. Jaffa Port: one of the oldest seaports in the Mediterranean, with sailors highly skilled in both fishing and sailing. Jaffa was one of the most important industrial cities in Palestine. Just as Haifa was one of the most important trading cities. The population of Haifa in 1946 is estimated at 123,000 the majority of whom are Arabs. There are also dozens of cities and villages throughout Palestine whose Arab inhabitants were forced to emigrate."


M.S SABRI JIRYIS / Images from the lost archive.

SABRI JIRYIS: This describes what happened in Palestine, when I was seven or eight. Ten years before the State of Israel. I was still in elementary school, living like any other school boy. There wasn't anything special about my life, although I tried to be a good student, and like all the other kids my age, I played and... However, I still remember the events of 1948. Especially how the Haganah invaded the village and captured our village. I also remember how the refugees fled and the men were expelled.And...The older I get, the more I remember.


Karnit watching Israeli footage on a

Steenbeck machine

VO KARNIT: I go back to the Israeli archives,to the pictures of

the founding of Israel.


Narrated Israeli footage from the movie "The Day Came" (1950)

VO NARRATOR (ARCHIVE FILM): The city of Jaffa, bordering Tel Aviv,was taken and the Israeli flag was raised over it.Lod and its airport have been taken.Ramla and Beit Nabala fell to our hands.The siege of Ben Shemen is lifted.On July 19, 1948, the Israeli army entered Nazareththe Arab inhabitants surrendered and came under the Israeli flag."


Morale Bar-On flipping through a book

MORALE BAR-ON: : I haven't looked at it for a very long time.





Archive footage: CU Photo Album

KARNIT: You have edited the IDF Victory Albums


MORALE BAR-ON: : Yes. KARNIT: They were in almost every

Israeli home MORALE BAR-ON: : Yes.



KARNIT: You must have seen some pictures that tell a slightly

different story that didn't make it into the albums.


CU Morale Bar-On


CU still images from the album

MORALE BAR-ON: : I don't recall seeing any picture that got dropped during our editing. I have a picture of myself sorting the photos with thousands of photos spread out on the floor. I chose them for their quality and because they reflected something in the book, that I wanted reflected. I don't recall saying "This reflects badly on the IDF, so leave it out." There weren't many photos of that sort, both because the photographers didn't take ugly things, and because there weren't that many ugly things to shoot. So, to begin with, reality was reflected back to us through images that weren't ugly. If there's a story here it's a story designed to make the IDF likable to Israelis and to itself. We wanted to describe ourselves to ourselves.


MS-CU Morale Bar-On

KARNIT: So you took out the Arabs?


MORALE BAR-ON: : No. None of what you say, I don't accept

any of it. Our experience was not that we "took them out".They left on their own. We expelled them...


KARNIT: No, in the photos MORALE BAR-ON: : I'm talking

about the photos.


MORALE BAR-ON: : The Arabs were not a central issue for us. The Arabs were not a central issue for us. They were defeated. They were deported. They were an insignificant minority. And we talked about ourselves. We were self-portraying. Suppose I saw... I can't remember it's been so many years, but suppose I saw there, on the floor, a photo of... a Jewish soldier pushing

Arab refugee to flee. I could have included it. It's part of the story.






KARNIT: So you didn't see any?


MORALE BAR-ON: No, maybe there were. I didn't look.


Images from the list archive



Images from the list archive

Morale watching with this back to the camera.

VO MORALE BAR-ON: They are wounded or dead Arabs,and a man with his prayer beads.These are prisoners of war. You can see they're POWs.I guess they took pity on the old man.


MS Morale Bar-On

MORALE BAR-ON: I'm not trying to hide the fact that images were sorted. We didn't reveal all the stories, but there was no IDF that was all about rape, expulsion and looting. There was looting, there was rape, there were expulsions. That was not the IDF. The IDF fought and reflected the entire nation. And in the nation there were all sorts of people. But, uh we should face the truth. We owe it to ourselves. To them too, but more to ourselves, to reveal the truth, even if it wasn't pretty and colors our own behavior badly.


Images from the list archive

M.G: The confiscation of the film archives of the PLO has been like a loss of people's identity. archives is a living subject, you don't put it in some closet, and you leave it somewhere. If they don't want to return it to the Palestinians, they should make it public.The aim is to make it accessible, you know,no matter where, but it has to be accessible.


Images from the list archive

ATEF SOURA: The damage is twofold. The Israelis also deserve to know: Who am I fighting?What does this enemy look like?Someone decides you won't see it.Someone thinks you better not see it."


Images from the list archive

PROF. MUSTAFA KABHA: In this country, different nations have different layers of memory and each layer has the right to

be freely available to any reader. Jewish children are taught to








be proud that their nation hasn't forgotten for 2,000 years. So

why do you want the Palestinians to forget after 70 years?



CU/MS Mustafa Kabha

PROF. MUSTAFA KABHA: Why do you seek for yourself that you are denying to others? There's this desire to cover and erase the layers of Palestinian memory. No attempt to erase a layer of memory can ever succeed. The memory will continue to

peek out from under every carpet.


Images from the lost archive

KARNIT (ON PHONE): I don't know if I am going to find more materials,because they say they don't have it.But still I wonderwhom do I actually have to ask for permission to use it?


SABRI JIRYIS (ON PHONE:) If you need my permission, you have it.Look, it's spoils of war, and Israel has it.I don't know if they would recognize it,that I have the authority to give

permission.Without a clear answer from the defense





VO KARNIT: Without a clear answer from the defense establishment.I turn to Dr. Yakkob Lozowick,the state archivist during my years of research. While he was in office, he was

forbidden to give interviews.

Dr Jacob Lozowick watching the footage at home.


MS Dr Jacob Lozowick

DR. JACOB LOZOWICK: When I was state archivist, I warned about cases where materials were unopened for reasons which, in my view, are illegitimate in a democratic state. I have stated this very clearly and continue to do so today. According to Israeli law, no official of the State of Israel has the authority to restrict access to materials beyond the time period specified in the regulations. The role of the archive is to make its materials accessible to the public. So it should limit access to a very small portion that must remain classified. This tiny portion should not include historical narrative considerations, certainly not 70 years later.


MS Dr Jacob Lozowick

DR. JACOB LOZOWICK: And if we lock away materials even after 70 years we must not do so because we want to hide part of the real story. Archival material is there for people to come and look at, and make their historical interpretation, and for others to come and say: "I don't like that interpretation, because

the material teaches me something else". Does it happen in






Israel that unauthorized archivists deny access to materials for

reasons that should not be in a democratic state? Yes. I said that when I was in office.


KARNIT: Why did you resign?


DR. JACOB LOZOWICK: Because the forces committed to the

status quowere much more powerful than a lone state archivist.


Karnit rewinds a tape. Footage seen in movie rolls back to beginning. The tape exits the VCR.

VO KARNIT: I was unable to trace the whereabouts of the rest of the Palestinian archives. It may be scattered in several places, or most of it is in Israel maybe some of it has been destroyed. In 2018, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed an amendment to the Archives Law. The period of secrecy for information stored in Israeli defense archives was extended from 70 to 90 years.








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