Palestine E. I.
Palestine (Eretz Israel) strives to hear and acknowledge the different stories of each one of the people portrayed, when asked about the meaning of the Palestinian document in their hands, thereby telling their point of view of their sense of belonging to this land.
The series of diptychs combine portraits of Jews and Arabs born in British Mandate Palestine, and an original document - birth certificate, ID, or passport - from British Mandate Palestine.
The document serves as a catalyst to open up to people’s stories, for the viewer to be confronted with the different and at times opposing realities that exist simultaneously on the same disputed land.
"Whoever was born before 1948 has this certificate, Arabs, Jews, everyone. When we were young, who knew what was Palestine and what was Israel? 'Palestine Eretz Israel' it says here. I'm not Palestinian, why? I was born here. I have a Palestinian Birth Certificate. So what, should I argue with Netanyahu? Living proof: Israel exists. The West Bank exists. Occupation. We Wait. I am in Israel. Israelis won't be banished. I'm happy here. There will never be a Palestinian State."
"This certificate means that I belong in Palestine. Palestine was ours before the Arabs. And if, God forbid, there will be a war and the Jews are deported, then we, the Palestine natives, would not be expelled. Back then nobody identified as Palestinian. It only started after the war over the state. Then they began saying we occupied it. At the end of the day, Jews live here and Arabs live here. We didn't come to occupy the land. We were here, we are and will stay here."
"This passport is for the whole world to see that there was a Palestinian nation on this land, and they have the documents to prove it. What is a state? How do you build a state? - a flag, currency, documents, and land too. We are proud that we have a Palestinian passport from this period. It means that there was a Palestinian State here and the Israelis came and occupied it. This land belongs to the Palestinian people. Jews came and took the land, took away our freedom, and put us in a prison."