“Orders came to evacuate one village, to destroy another village. We were told that we had to expel them, the Palestinians. Expel them to Gaza. To leave no one… We didn’t let them come back. Those were the orders from our command. We did some really ugly things… War is ugly.”
Category Archives: Nakba
Any Israeli institution with public funding that mentions, teaches, or mourns the the Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) can be fined, and individuals can be sentenced to prison for their involvement. Recently this law threatened to cause trouble for the Israeli non-profit organization Zochrot as they prepared for their second annual “48 mm—International Film Festival on Nakba and Return” in Tel Aviv.
The policy of ethnic cleansing ever since 1948, and in particular since 1967, is a consensual issue in Israel and thus leaves very little hope for peace and reconciliation. This strategy is marketed differently domestically and externally: It is based on the need to ‘preserve Jewish identity’ to the Israeli public and abroad as ‘Israel’s need for security’. These concepts are used widely across the political spectrum in Israel and provide the ambiguous framework for the Israeli ‘national consensus’. They also underpin the political instruments which deny the rights of the indigenous people of Palestine and to bring about its goal of maintaining a Jewish majority. The problem with Israel thus is not a policy here or there, but its overall strategy that has not changed.
Until Operation Protective Edge, most of the “messaging” regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, certainly that which broke through the mainstream media, came from the Israeli side. That now has changed. Hamas not only confronted the Israeli Occupation but has also seized the political initiative from it. In stark contrast to Abbas, who has declared security cooperation with Israel to be “sacred” and who passively allows Israel to maintain its massive matrix of Israeli highways in the occupied territories spelling the end of the two-state solution, Hamas has sent a clear and forceful message to Israel: We won’t submit even if you kill us. Deal with us justly – or disappear.
A few days ago while in a friend’s car for an hour of gridlock at Qalandia checkpoint in the middle of a clash, she made a joke about a reprieve. “Break!” she yelled out the window. But of course everything carried on. I’ve heard this joke before, when participants in a clash want to get a […]
The Canada Park region has become completely Israeli in at least two ways: 1) It was “annexed” to Israel and “naturalized.” No signage indicates it’s located beyond the Green Line, there’s almost no trace of the Palestinian villages Israel captured and demolished during the 1967 war and an attractive Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL) forest has been […]
Sunday morning police and authorities with the Israeli Lands Administration arrested three youth in the village of Iqrit near the border with Lebanon, uprooting trees and confiscating tents and furniture. The youths—Walaa Sbeit, Nidal Khoury and Jeries Khiatt were eating breakfast outside of the village’s church, the only fixed structure in Iqrit, when around 20 officers […]
When Ron Werner, head of the board for the Jewish National Fund (JNF) Mountain States region, turned 50 this week he wanted to celebrate by planting 1,000 trees in Israel to commemorate his late dogs – Samson, Zach and Lucy. The problem is Werner planted the trees on top of a destroyed Palestinian village. The dead dogs’ […]
Last week I published a piece in the Los Angeles Review of Books about the killings of Nadim Nuwara and Mohammad Abu Thaher in Beitunia on May 15. In the aftermath of the boys’ deaths, Israeli officials—from low-ranking military spokespeople to the Minister of Defense and the Ambassador to the United States—have claimed that no live ammunition […]
In 2010, this interview was conducted with Dr. Haidar Eid as an activity by the Gaza BDS group and the One Democratic State Group (ODSG), but it has never been published before due to technical reasons. It was edited recently because this interview needs to be publicised since it tackles some of the most recent important and timely issues. Eid presents insightful […]
Yesterday Students for Justice in Palestine and Students Against Israeli Apartheid from Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia, (DMV-SJP & SAIA; George Washington SJP, American University SJP, George Mason SAIA and Georgetown SJP, University of Maryland SJP) decided to crash a pro-Israel street festival and educate the crowd about the Nakba. The festival took place in the Mosaic District, a new […]
Two Palestinians were killed and a third is in critical condition after being shot by the Israeli military outside of Ofer prison in the West Bank at an annual Nakba Day protest. The youths were struck with live-fire and nine others critically wounded, according to hospital staff. The Nakba (literally “catastrophe”) refers to the 1947-49 expulsion […]
May 15 marks the 66th anniversary of al-Nakba or “The Catastrophe,” the day that led to the systematic dispossession of two-thirds of the Palestinian population — exiled from their homes, bereft of their property, land, and dignity. This day, with the creation of the state of Israel, came the creation of the Palestinian refugee crisis. […]
For 66 years Israel’s founding generation has lived with a guilty secret, one it successfully concealed from the generations that followed. Forests were planted to hide war crimes. School textbooks mythologised the events surrounding Israel’s creation. The army was blindly venerated as the most moral in the world. Once, “Nakba” – Arabic for “Catastrophe”, referring […]
Nothing more exemplifies the historical whitewash of British rule in Palestine between 1917 and 1948 than the response (or lack of) to David Cameron’s speech in the Israeli Kneeset in March 2014. Therein he briefly propounded the much overlooked fact that Britain was the main western supporter of the Zionist colonial experiment in Palestine from the very […]
The Nakba, which refers to the ethnic cleansing of over 50% of the Palestinian population, was a defining moment of the long and ongoing history of forced displacement and separation of the Palestinian people that began with the events leading up to the creation of the State of Israel on May 15, 1948.Today, 66 years […]
Before it was a refugee camp, Al-Yarmuk was long known as the battle that consolidated Syria under Arab rule after the landmark defeat of the Byzantine Empire in 636 C.E. From now on, however, it will symbolize a different event. Al-Yarmuk now stands between Tel Al-Za’tar – the Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut that was […]
She told me that the Church sat at the edge of a cliff with a wall in the front and that from that point, you could see the whole port. She told me that from that point, you could see her house, all the way down at the bottom of the hill in Ajami. She […]
Israel continues to implement a range of practices, laws and policies seeking to displace and dispossess the indigenous Palestinian population. This is achieved through exerting complete control, apartheid and occupation. Zionism continues to aim to colonize Palestine (also known as ‘historic’ or ‘Mandate Palestine’). This Israeli colonial regime is not limited to the Palestinians living […]
While Israelis flocked to parks to celebrate their Independence Day, Palestinians living inside Israel commemorated Nakba Day at the site of the village of Lubya, near the northern city of Tiberias in the Galilee. Lubya was one of more than 500 Palestinian villages ethnically cleansed by Jewish militias in 1948 to make way for the […]
Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel participated in a rally and “March of Return” yesterday to commemorate the Nakba, chanting “Your ‘independence’ day is our Nakba” as Israel marked its 66th Independence Day. With flags raised high, singing the Palestinian national anthem, reportedly between 10,000 to 15,000 participants (including non-Palestinian supporters) marched to Lubya, a […]
Amir Ashkar lives in a village that was destroyed six decades ago with the exception of a hilltop church where he sleeps and a cemetery where his relatives are interred. Those structures are the only two fully operational spaces in this town with no permanent homes, a little electricity from solar panels, an outdoor shower […]
On April 9, 1948, well before dawn, the peaceful village of Deir Yassin awoke to the sound of gunfire as the genocidal Zionist organizations known as the Stern Gang and Irgun invaded. All too quickly the Zionist forces had entered our home. My great-great-grandmother and her grandchildren were forced to witness as a female commando […]