Haaretz, March 25, 2017


The Meyuhases moved just beyond the Old City walls in 1873. The move by a native-born Jew from the Old City to Silwan was perfectly natural at the time. Rabbi Meyuhas merely wanted to earn a living; he didn’t aim to change the space but rather to become a part of it, as is told in the biography of the family’s eldest son, Yosef Meyuhas.

[...] In the introduction of his 1919 book on Palestinian peasant farmers [Yosef Meyhuhas] wrote: “One pervasive limitation inherent in us, the Jews from all walks of life, with respect to the land is that when we come to settle here we are trying to live our own life insofar as possible, without in the least considering the life of the people in it.”

[...] His most important work is the trilogy “Children of Arabia” (1927-1929), a compendium of translations of Bible stories from the local Arab oral tradition. Meyuhas proposed an unusual analysis of the relationship between the biblical text, the Arab inhabitants and the physical space of the land, and presented a political alternative to the doctrine that is still accepted in the Zionist narrative.