Henry Ford once said “History is Bunk.” While I love reading history I understand what he was getting at. Whose history you read can determine whose side you’re on. Every side has its own history. In the Balkans I have the experience to be able to interpret the different histories. In the Middle East I’m still trying to figure it out. Palestinians and Israelis read very different histories, and they portray different histories to their public monuments and museums. In Jaffa the historical sign outside the museum reminds us of each time Jews were driven from the city but does not mention the times the Jews drove others from the same city (going back to the book of Joshua.) Palestinians’ history talks only of Arabs driven out in 1948 but not of Jews expelled from the Old City of Jerusalem or much of the rest of the Arab world.
After a small pause to consider all of this I decided give up thinking and just walk a bit. Jaffa is a wonderful town to stroll around, enjoying the “other side” of modern Tel Aviv.