The Construction of National Time: The Making of the Modern Greek Historical Imagination
This chapter presents the case of the Palestinians as a prism through which the question of political uses of history can be addressed. It discusses the formation of the Palestinian national identity, both in relation to the Nakba, and to the Palestinian exile and demonstrates the intense and formative relationship between the Nakba and formation of Palestinian national identity. The chapter outlines the attention to certain historical approaches that have evolved in the last decades, and points to key genres of historiography, and their relation to the notion of 'disappearance from history' of the Palestinian people. The Palestinians are predominantly Arabs from the Eastern Mediterranean. Since time immemorial their country has been part of what is called 'historical Syria', covering the regions which would later give rise to modem Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. Paradoxical though it may seem, as long as their exile remained absolute the Palestinians said practically nothing about the exodus - only about its consequences.