Photography, Memory, and Ethnic Cleansing: The Fate of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, 1948—John Phillips’ Pictorial Record
Abstract

Abstract:

Much of the recent academic literature on the 1948 war portray it a one-sided—and thus simplistic—ethnic cleansing of the Arab population of Palestine. Referred to as the Naqba paradigm, it features the Jews/Zionists as villainous perpetrators and the Palestinian Arabs as feeble victims. Accordingly, the story of “the 1948 Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” excludes expulsion and massacres of Jews, the destruction of Jewish communities, and the erasure of the Jewish signifiers in the local landscape from the story. As made explicit in John Phillips’ photo-reportage featuring the destruction of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine also involved the expulsion of Jews and the destruction of their communities—whenever and wherever military power relations were in favor of Arab forces.