Yet much of Bisharat’s family narrative is exaggerated, at a minimum. I previously documented Bisharat’s claim that his father was forced to abandon an art show at a Jewish-owned art gallery due to his father having spoken up for Palestinian rights. That claim, made by Bisharat long after both his father and the gallery owner had died, leaving no witnesses, was disputed by people affiliated with the gallery.
Bisharat regularly and for decades has played upon his family history as forming his narrative of Israel’s lack of legitimacy, and his call for a single state encompassing what now is Israel, the West Bank and Gaza…
Bisharat’s family narrative, while moving, is at best exaggerated. In fact, Bisharat’s family was not indigenous to Jerusalem or any part of what now is Israel, and his grandfather did not grow up in Jerusalem.
Rather, Bisharat’s family members were immigrants to Jerusalem who lived in Villa Harun ar-Rashid for just a few years in the late 1920s and early 1930s before renting it out as absentee landlords and then leaving for greener pastures abroad.
I base this statement on Bisharat’s own documentation of his family history which appeared not in any of the Western newspapers in which he recounts his moving family narrative, but in an article he published in 2007 in the Palestinian Jerusalem Quarterly.
Everything I am about to recount about Bisharat’s family history is taken from Bisharat’s own documentation of his family history…