Abundance

As outlined earlier, abundance of information and storage space is one of new media’s unique features. As a result of this abundance, both the physi- cal/technological and content aspects of scarcity can be seen as a relic of the past. Indeed, iNakba provides abundant quantities of information to its users, and it is capable of storing almost unlimited amounts of content regarding ruined Palestinian villages and their histories as it details the stories of more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages. Most of the villages are no longer visible on official Israeli maps, nor are there any visible remains on the ground, yet among those depicted by the app a few places were not destroyed during or after the war in 1948.

The abundant information on the app includes basic historic information: the village’s district, its population in 1948, the village’s occupation date, Jewish settlements on the village’s land before 1948, Jewish settlements on the built-up area of the village after 1948, and Jewish settlements on the village land after 1948. As can be seen, this checklist of information deals mainly with the land conflict between Palestinians and Jews. In addition, in most villages users can find more information about the village written in narrative form.

An interesting example of iNakba’s capability to offer a subversive narrative that cannot be followed or witnessed in physical space is the story of the village of Al-Kabri. Before 1948, Al-Kabri was located on a spot that is populated today by a Jewish kibbutz called Kabri. In addition, the ruined Palestinian village was located near what is today a popular and well-known Israeli memorial site for battles that took place in the area during the 1948 war—known today as the monument for the Yechiam Convoy. According to iNakba, the village of Al-Kabri was located in the Acre district and populated by 1,770 inhabitants until 1948. The village was occupied on 21 May 1948, and there were no Jewish settlements on the land owned by the village at the time.

The text continues with an exploration of the village’s area and with the story of its occupation during the war. In addition, the text on Al-Kabri’s page describes the Palestinian narrative of the village’s fate by referring to interviews given by people who lived in the village during the war. These interviewees (who according to the app were interviewed by the Palestinian historian Nafez Nazzl in the 1970s) suggest via iNakba a different version of the story of the battles surrounding the village and of the story of the Jewish convoy, which is outlined today on elements of the physical monument erected at the Yechiam Convoy memorial site.

According to the story on iNakba, in February 1948, before the occupation of the village, “a small Zionist unit had attempted to blow up the house of a village leader allied with the Mufti of Jerusalem.” The attack, which is defined in iNakba as a “hit-and-run attack,” was the cause of the villagers’ attempts to “block Jewish traffic on the main highway to the north.” However, these roadblocks are described on the Israeli monument as the reason for sending convoys to besieged Jewish settlements, and the aforementioned attack is not mentioned. Either way, one of these convoys was ambushed, and in the aftermath of the battle dozens of Jewish soldiers lost their lives. iNakba presents the story of the battle as follows:

On 28 March, the villagers ambushed three armored cars and an accompanying military convoy. ..Seventy-four Haganah soldiers were killed in the battle, according to the villagers.This triggered a British bombardment of Al-Kabri. Later, during the final attack on the village, an undisclosed number of villagers were taken captive and some were killed, according to the villagers’ testimony. Others were killed during their dispersal in Galilee when Zionist forces found out that they were from Al-Kabri.

At the same time, the Israeli monument bears no mention of a British bombardment or of the later revenge taken on Palestinian prisoners of war.

After describing the Palestinian side of the story, the narrative on the app closes by describing the destruction and humiliation the Palestinians endured, a version that is in line with the Palestinian narrative of the Nakba. “All that remains of the village,” concludes the text on the app, “are crumbled walls and stone rubble, overgrown with thorns, weeds, and bushes. The settlement of Kabri uses the land adjacent to the site for agriculture and as a pasture.” Indeed, access to abundant sources of content allows the developers of the app to circumvent the existing scarce and narrow paths to public opinion and infuse the public sphere with an alternative history.

 
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