July 3rd, 2020
Deciphering the Military Rule: A new Akevot project invites general public to assist our research

Akevot is launching a new project, titled Deciphering the Military Rule. Starting today, anyone can help us register the content of documents concerning the Military Rule that was applied to Palestinian citizens of Israel from 1948 to 1966. Using a special online platform, the records will be uploaded to Akevot Institute’s digital archive, where they will help find hidden connections between people, places, processes and events – all of which are significant for understanding the Military Rule, its operation and its legacy. The project’s first stage includes Hebrew language documents. The collection will later expand to Arabic documents.

Join our project now: https://akvt.in/Deciphering

The project has a dual purpose. First, it will directly assist our work recording the thousands of documents stored in our digital archive regarding the era of the Military Rule. Recording the details of each document will enable us to engage in deeper research about the military rule, and we plan to release several publications in connection to this research over the coming months.

No less importantly, the project will offer the public at large direct, unmitigated access to historical records of the Military Rule, and with that, a glimpse into this important chapter in the relations between the state and its Palestinian citizens – a chapter erased from memory for many Israelis.

The project will be carried out using Zooniverse, currently the leading citizen science online platform, which hosts many of the world’s largest projects in the field. Zooniverse was conceived as a platform meant to allow volunteers to participate in science projects, and it now includes some fascinating humanities and social science projects as well. Deciphering the Military Rule is the first large Israeli project on Zooniverse, and we worked with Zooniverse staff to develop it, meaning the platform’s interface was translated into Hebrew and can now be used to create other projects in Hebrew, both our own and others’.

Aside from cataloging documents, the project’s interface allows volunteers to consult and converse among themselves and with Akevot Institute staff about specific documents and the issues they raise. In the coming weeks, we will hold a series of webinars to better inform volunteers about the military government and its activities.