The Diaries of Yossef Nachmani

63 Minutes, 2005
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Directed by: Dalia Karpel
Production Company:TransFax Film Productions
Photographer: Shay Goldman
Language: Hebrew
| Subtitles not available

Dalia Karpel’s documentary brings us the portrait of Yosef Nachmani, the complex and contradictory man who embodied the Zionist enterprise in the Galilee at the turn of the 20th century. Yosef Nachmani, the then-Director of the Galilee offices of The Jewish National Fund, set himself a goal: procuring as many Arab-owned lands as possible and establishing Jewish communities in their place. However, despite his far-reaching endeavours, Nachmani remains one of Zionism’s unsung heroes to this day. With the help of the riveting diaries he had left behind, the film sheds new light on the historical events that had taken place in the Galilee during Zionism’s most critical years, whilst examining the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the unique perspective of a man whose stubbornness and tenacity were only matched by his anxieties and inner turmoil.
Nachmani himself is the epitome of Zionism’s duality: a humanist longing for coexistence with his Arab neighbours on the one hand, and someone whose topmost priority was security, and who ultimately grew convinced that population expulsion is the only viable solution to a conflict between two peoples sharing one land. This journey en route to “settling the land,” told from the point-of-view of a man who was dubbed ‘Saviour of the Galilee’ is also the story of Tiberias; once a mixed city whose Arab residents were the first to have been expelled from their homes during Israel’s War of Independence. Nachmani’s story remains every bit as timely and pertinent now as it was then.

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