Nurit Sharett
from
Where To?

The Sun Glows over the Mountains

Nurit Sharett deals with the story of her family, which begins with her great-grandfather, Ya’acov Chertok’s arrival from the Ukraine to Palestine/Israel in 1882. Chertok was a member of the Bilu pioneer movement, and his family spent two years living in the Palestinian village of Ein Siniya in Samaria. They rented their estate from Ismail Bak al-Husseini, uncle of Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who built the famous villa later to be known as Jerusalem’s “Orient House.” This period had a strong effect on the then-twelve year old Chertok, who learned fluent Arabic and befriended the villagers. He would later recall this as a formative period, which shaped his political agenda and activity.

It is worth recalling the historic debate between Sharett (Chertok) and Ben Gurion regarding the Israeli army’s recurring “retaliation acts” in the Gaza strip (operations that were meant to create deterrence, but also to raise the nation’s moral, and to build the new army’s operational capacities). Sharett argued that such acts would only reignite the fighting time and again—and a sixty-odd year perspective reveals the strength of his argument well.

Nurit Sharett connects her private family history—the memories she and her relatives have of her grandfather—with his public image, and the way in which he is remembered by those who knew him. Is the Zionism represented by Moshe Sharett a faraway memory that remains only among those who knew him during his lifetime, or is it still relevant for today?