By Dan Rabinowitz
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Additional resources for Coffins on Our Shoulders: The Experience of the Palestinian Citizens of Israel
12 But the effects of the liberal policies of the British Mandate must not be overstated. The political socialization of the Palestinians is the legacy of a continuous, long-standing struggle, one that had begun in 1869, when the Ottoman education law became the formal foundation for state education in Palestine. 13 The first step taken by the British that had a significant effect on education in Palestine was the transformation of the language of instruction in all schools from Turkish to Arabic.
Essays, on the other hand, purport, in the final analysis, to point at how the world should and perhaps could be. Making prudent use of the space that opens between the spontaneous inspiration of the storyteller and the considered argumentation of the essayist, and attempting to construct coherent and consistent narratives that will remain at peace with an empirical reality out there, is indeed a fundamentally exciting challenge for the social sciences. Integrating the stories of our families into our essay invoked an array of fascinating issues.
On the eve of the fateful events of 1947–1948 the Palestinians thus had a false sense of security premised on the illusion that the future could only be an uninterrupted repetition of the present and the past. This was the politicocultural outlook of a generation of Palestinians that would become, virtually overnight, the tragic victims of the war of 1948. 24 This territory was in fact home to some 520,000 Jews and 320,000 Palestinians. While it was clear that the remainder of Palestine would become an Arab state, the exact character of this state was never deter- chapter one 31 mined.