Peters and Dershowitz, that is, and all the other credulous souls whose historical knowledge of Palestine comes entirely from The Innocents Abroad. It’s a Beirut photo exhibit called “Palestine Avant 1948”:
It was a land of bourgeoisie who loved racing from Jerusalem to Beirut in their Morris cars, dipping their feet in the waters of the Dead Sea and photographing tourists in outlandish costumes.
The carefree life captured through the photographers’ eyes is not only astonishing to outsiders, Zaatari explained.
“I once showed these pictures to some Palestinian children in the Beirut refugee camp of Sabra and they dismissed them as pictures of Jews,” said Zaatari. “They couldn’t believe that Palestinians were leading such an aristocratic life. For these children, this is not the image of Palestine they know.”
I sense some nostalgia and romance here, but also glimmers of a past that Israel’s PR machine has done its best to airbrush.