Amanda Taub’s smart piece in the NYT on ethnic cleansing as an inevitable consequence of national “self-determination” cites examples of Rohingya, Roma, Jews and Muslims. The glaring omission is the Nakba, the expulsion of 700,000+ Palestinians during the creation of Israel. The Nakba is an American issue; Bernie Sanders and historian David Myers agree on that. But the Times can’t address Palestinian conditions.
Search Results for:
A rightwing campaign has begun against a Jewish organization, the Center for Jewish History, to fire its new executive David N. Myers, who has called for discussions of the Nakba and against demonizing the BDS campaign (boycott, divestment and sanctions). And happily, it appears that this campaign will fail.
When Nakba of Palestinians is your muttered policy– when you realize you may have to carry out another ethnic cleansing, as the Israeli right believes– it’s silly to moan about Nazis somewhere else. After all, you’re holding a very similar policy, and they’re likely to be your only allies. Yossi Gurvitz explains Netanyahu’s silence about Charlottesville.
Likud minister Tzachi Hanegbi says that Palestinian protests may lead to their “third Nakba”. “This is how a Nakba starts,” Hanegbi said. “I pray that they do not bring a third Nakba on themselves.”
Palestinians on Monday commemorated the 69th anniversary of the Nakba, meaning “catastrophe,” during which over 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes in 1948, as Israel was declared a state. While the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees is generally at the center of all Nakba day commemorations, this year Palestinian prisoners took the front seat.
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee commemorates the 69th Anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba: “No iron wall of theirs can suppress or overshadow the rising sun of our emancipation.”
Nada Elia writes on Nakba Day, 2017: “I’m angry because I want to be normal, yet normalcy evades me, and I want to be post-nationalist, even if Palestine has never been allowed to become a nation. And I’m angry at the fact that, despite the century of abuse, we are one people (yes, a people) never allowed to be angry. This year, I don’t want to be grateful for being a survivor, “nice.” I want the right to be angry.”
Israeli-American Yoav Litvin describes how he came to challenge his Zionist beliefs: “Zionism is based on a rather simplistic Darwinian outlook, which employs a dualistic, ‘us versus them’ racist and exclusivist philosophy. Since its inception, Israeli politicians invoke fear by perpetuating a victim narrative based on centuries of real persecution of Jewish peoples. Thus, fear enables a level of aggression and oppression that is a part of daily life in the reality of occupation. However, ‘survival of the fittest’ is not the only dominant force in human development.”
“Nakba denial beats denial of the Holocaust,” Gideon Levy says, while Mahmoud Abbas calls on the world to acknowledge the expulsion 68 years later. But American denial of the Nakba remains as strong as ever.
Mondoweiss intern Tamara Nassar shares a lyrical and haunting account of her family’s story during the Nakba: “The tragedy of the Nakba is that it perpetually reproduces itself with every refugee born in exile and until the last refugee returns. The Palestinian in diaspora gives birth to Nakba; her children become walking embodiments of abandonment.”
Each year since 2002, activists have marked the Nakba in major Israeli cities on Independence Day. The organization De-Colonizer produced a video showing this year’s action where activists asked partygoers celebrating Israeli independence if they would wear a sticker that said “Can you bear the NAKBA on Independence Day?”
Rida Abu Rass writes, “Some may argue that the Nakba is an ongoing process, or rather, that it never really ended. Yet, bearing in mind the frightening political processes that are unfolding within Israel, one should wonder whether we are heading towards another catastrophe. So let us ask: how likely is is it for an ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to occur once again, similar to (or worse than) 1948? Surprisingly, I find that the Israeli Left never seriously raises this as a possibility.”
On June 19 an article appeared in the Times of Israel criticizing Dan Cohen and David Sheen’s recent video ‘Worship God By Nakba’: Jerusalem march celebrates Israeli occupation with messianic fervor. The article claims that the moment in the film that the title is taken from, when a marcher yells “Worship God By Nakba” was mistranslated to include the word “Nakba.” In the article below, Cohen and Sheen respond to the criticism and the ensuing controversy, including why they have decided to remove the word “Nakba” from the video.
Mohammed Alhammami recalls stories he heard growing up of Jews, Muslims and Christians living alongside each other in historic Palestine as one people, not divided factions. But he wonders what about now? Can Jews and Palestinians (Christians and Muslims alike) really coexist in the Holy Land, after 68 years of Nakba?
One can no more separate Zionism from Judaism than separate London from Great Britain, says Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. So Judaism is like other religions incapable of committing crimes in the name of faith and God. But what is the way through for Jews?
Eitan Bronstein Aparicio discusses how the discourse on the Nakba has changed over time in Israel — When did the term appear? When did it decline and what was repressed? And what has caused these changes? Bronstein Aparicio writes, “Today the term Nakba represents the polarization in Israeli society and discourse. In the non-zionist left there is a full understanding of its centrality in the construction of the conflict and its possible solution. On the other hand, there exists a raging battle led by the Israeli regime to repress these discussions as much as possible. Paradoxically these attempts to silence the discourse leaves the Nakba as a burning question that demands answers”
The largest Palestinian city, Jaffa, was emptied of Palestinians during the Nakba 68 years ago. It went from 120,000 Palestinians, many of them landowners, to 4,000. And many left in desperation by sea. A commemoration, by three refugees’ descendants.
Haidar Eid writes, “I tried to explain to my late mother that she had to be expelled from Zarnouqa in 1948, leave her memories and house behind because a crazy bigot had committed a pogrom against Jews in Europe, but she neither wanted to understand (“what does that have to do with us?”) nor accept (why didn’t the Europeans give them a homeland?” until she passed away in a refugee camp, 90 km south of her village. This song is dedicated to all Palestinian mothers who had to endure the unendurable in 1948.”
In the Active Aging House of Burj Barajneh, a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, the Nakba is still a vivid memory. Some of the center-goers were in their childhood when, in 1948, the ‘catastrophe’ had befell the Palestinians and more than 750,000 were ousted from their homelands. Around 110,000 took refuge in Lebanon that. Marian, 68 years old, still remembers those keys to her house. Her parents were holding them in their hands while telling her about al Safsaf, the village in Galilee they used to live in before the Nakba.
Thousands of Palestinians, mainly citizens of Israel, participated in the annual “March of Return” for the Nakba commemoration on Thursday, May 12. For the first time the Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Internally Displaced organized the march in the Naqab. The location on the lands of the destroyed village of Wadi Zabala was symbolic, and highlighted the on-going Nakba of the Palestinians.
Several hundred Palestinians marched through Bethlehem on Sunday in commemoration of the 68th anniversary of the Nakba, when an estimated 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes and hundreds of others are believed to have been killed. The theme of the march this year was the “Train of Return,” and a massive train was made by volunteers from the three refugee camps in Bethlehem city for the march. “The idea behind the train was to show that we will return to our original villages,” Mohammed Abu Srour, one of the volunteers who helped build the train told Mondoweiss. “It is a simulation of our dreams to come back to our land.”
“Najawa: A Story of Palestine” is a 45-foot “street comic,” composed of eight large panels, which tells the story of a Palestinian woman’s life over the course of eight decades, beginning with the Nakba of 1948. It was created by Vermont artist Michelle Sayles, in collaboration with artist and educator Jen Berger, and Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel.
Nada Elia writes, “This year, as we commemorate al Nakba yet one more time, as we remind the world that our catastrophe is ongoing, let us also act upon the belief that merely speaking out against injustice is not enough. ‘Demonstrations’ are not enough. BDS is a means to an end: liberation, the abolition of apartheid, the return of the refugees. We are approaching this end, and must look beyond it.”
Wednesday night 70 Jewish students at Brown and RISD held a discussion of the Palestinian Nakba inside the Hillel, featuring films by Zochrot, in defiance of Hillel official standards on appropriate programming. Organizer Sophie Kasakove says, “In order for Hillel to maintain its integrity as a pluralistic Jewish space, the community must embrace Jews who currently feel excluded from mainstream Jewish discourse and who seek to question dominant narratives about Israel.”
Sarah Aziza says that at times like this being a Palestinian means being always in the midst of a conversation no one else can hear.