Postwar Nakba: A Microhistory of the Depopulation of Zakariyya, 1950
1948 war
postwar expulsions
David Ben-Gurion
Yosef Weitz
Zionist ideology
Transfer Committee

This study follows the events that caused the depopulation of the village of Zakariyya, south of the Jaffa-Jerusalem road, during the summer of 1950. Using documents from state and military archives, the article constructs the story of the villagers’ expulsion and explores the role of the little-known Transfer Committee in initiating and promoting postwar expulsions of Palestinians from the newly established State of Israel. A close reading of the actions of individual committee members over the course of events uncovers both the Transfer Committee’s modus operandi and the ostensible rationale for the postwar depopulation of the village. The article argues that by packing the committee with representatives of major Israeli power centers, Chair Yosef Weitz in effect laid the groundwork for the continuing expulsion of Palestinians from Israel after the establishment of the state.

Author biography: 

Dan Tsahor is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His latest publication is “Knowledge and the Making of a Jewish Nation: The Encyclopedia, the Historical Narrative, and the Origins of Zionism,” Studies in Contemporary Jewry 31 (2019).

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