Documenting Israel’s History

The NY Times reports on a project called Toldot Yisrael, whose mission is to film eyewitness accounts of the establishment of the State of Israel. The goal is to interview as many people as possible who lived through the days leading up to Israel’s independence. So far over 80 interviews have been conducted. Plans are underway to post clips from some of the videos online. The inspiration for the project comes from Steven Spielberg’s interviews of Holocaust survivors.

Oral histories are quite different from written histories and eyewitness accounts have a different perspective than researched works. These interviews can’t provide an objective history of the period, but, once made available to the public, will provide an important window into the history of twentieth century Israel.

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