This chapter reviews the transformation of Haifa in 1948, which saw a protracted chain of violent occurrences that emerged as a result of the establishment of the State of Israel. It begins by describing the act of surrender of the local Arab delegation in Haifa, thereby marking the remnants of the Arab elite in the “mixed city.” At the same time, it attempts to capture the confusion of the victors and their hesitation during the initial moments of appropriation of the newly emptied space, which soon gave way to political programs designed to consolidate and perpetuate the gains of war. Haifa serves a perfect example of how ethnic homogenization became established as formal Israeli policy across the state, relying on European and other precedents that served as ideological inspiration on one hand, and a source of legitimacy for the Palestinians on the other.
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