On May 23, 1948, Jewish forces occupied the Palestinian village of Tantura, expelled all its residents, and on June 13 a group of young Zionists settled in the village to build a new kibbutz in the nascent State of Israel, Nahsholim. What happened in the following weeks, years and decades to the several hundred houses of Tantura and their narrow alleys, to the village school, and to the makeshift cafés on the beach, where Tanturians used to sit on hot summer evenings caressed by the cool breeze from the Mediterranean? How did the Israeli Jews engage with and transform the coast they now inhabited, and how did they remember its past and construct its new present? I tell this story via five aerial photos of the coast from 1946, 1952, 1957, 1966, and 1976.
`Haifa al-Jadida` (New Haifa) was erected in 1761 by order of the Bedouin ruler Daher el-Omar, governor of the Galilee. As part of the process of building the city, a wall was constructed to encircle it, with a tower overlooking it from above. After its establishment the ‘New Haifa’ became the urban core for the emergence of modern Haifa while the new city was gradually solidified and its characteristic outlines were moulded. From the end of the Ottoman period in 1918 until 1948, the urban expanse remained practically unchanged. In 1948 ‘New Haifa’ was almost destroyed except for the few ruins that were left. In spite of the centrality of the new city in the history of Haifa, very little is known about this area. This article reconstructs the image of ‘New Haifa’ by portraying the location of the city walls and the urban expanse. For the purpose of reconstruction, an 1841 sketch of the city is superimposed on an aerial photographmap of the area taken in 2008, and a map of the old city dated to 1937.