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‘So wait, the Nakba is…?’: Listening to Israelis discuss the Nakba

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How interesting it was to read the answers of Israelis who were asked about the Nakba for the video “So wait, the Nakba is…?”, done by De-Colonizer. Interesting but yet kind of disturbing.

The interesting part was the idea of going around in Tel Aviv and asking random Israelis about this topic. In my opinion this step taken by De-Colonizer is really brave, because one has no idea what and how their reactions would be. I wonder what would be the answers of Israelis living in other cities and in the settlements?

The disturbing part was reading the answers of the people who had no clue what the word Nakba means. How can a word, event, hold so much pain and suffering to some people and yet means nothing to the other people who were part of making it happen? I was thinking how would a Jewish person react if someone had no clue what the Holocaust means. How would they react if someone said the holocaust is a Jewish holiday, or Jewish celebration?

Reading the answers gave me a very unpleasant feeling about the ignorance that most of the Israelis are living. Should I blame the Israeli education system for example? Or blame those who don’t know what the meaning is because they don’t look for the truth and search for it?

What do they actually teach in Israeli schools about how the state of Israel was created? Do they tell the students that the land was empty without people when they got here, and that they didn’t have to expel anyone?

I would divide the Israelis’ answers into three parts. The first are those who know nothing about the meaning of Nakba and responded with really silly answers. For example, the Nakba is an Arab or religious holiday, or the day of the Arabs, or it’s a big stone. These kinds of answers make you realize that they have never even thought about how the state of Israel was created. But those people, when asked whether they support or don’t support the right of return for Palestinian refugees, some of them actually supported it.

The second part were the people who knew what it means, but I got the feeling that they don’t really accept what they are saying, that in order for Israel to be established it expelled and displaced people. Or maybe they think it’s the way things should have been done and that’s it.  Part of these people supported the right of return as long as it does not result to uprooting Israelis. The other part strongly opposes the return of Palestinian refugees.

The third were those who know exactly what the word means, and what happened during the Nakba. Those people admit what actually happened, they are aware of the meaning of the word, and most of them support the right of return as long as no Israelis have to be uprooted.

It also made me think about the long way Israeli citizens have in order to wake up from their dream, that Israel is a democratic state, only exclusive for Jewish people. Israel had succeeded in creating this comfortable bubble for its Jewish citizens, where as everything is doing is seen to be essential and for the benefits of its own citizens. I’m afraid that if they were given the option to go back in time and do it in another way, they wont change a single thing.

But at the end it gives me hope on how different things would be if those Israelis know exactly what happened in 1948. Would it help change the way things are?

After all those few Israelis living in Tel Aviv definitely do not represent the majority of the Israeli society, if we want real results we should hear the opinion of the Israelis living in the settlements, living in Hebron, and not in Tel Aviv. That’s why I can’t wait reading the book the creators of this video are writing. There I’d find the results of the survey that shows what all Jewish Israelis think about that topic.

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“Reading the answers gave me a very unpleasant feeling about the ignorance that most of the Israelis are living. Should I blame the Israeli education system for example? Or blame those who don’t know what the meaning is because they don’t look for the truth and search for it? “What they actually teach in Israeli schools about how the state of Israel was created? Do they tell the students that the land was empty without… Read more »

I love this video. It demonstrates yet again that critical thinking is only possible if one is emotionally motivated (open enough) to activate it. But I disagree with Dowani. It’s not so much about knowing, but about wanting to know (wanting to remember) and about interpreting that knowledge in a way that is not merely self-serving. And answers or solutions offered up in the spur of the moment may not mean as much as Dowani… Read more »

hear the opinion of the Israelis living in the settlements, living in Hebron, and not in Tel Aviv.

What for? You heard what they have to say in the most optimistic situation:
“support the right of return as long as no Israelis have to be uprooted. ”
Do you expect “settlers” to be somewhat more human than that nonsense?
As if Zionist opinion had any weight –it’s being heard too much as it is.

“These kinds of answers make you realise that they have never even thought about how the state of Israel was created.” Hunh?? No, it means they never heard the word. But, of course, this itself is strange, because, wasn’t there a recent Israeli law passed to make it illegal to celebrate the Nakba (or to do it on Israeli independence day)? You’d think the law might have recited the N-word. But, it might have used… Read more »

One might have thought the GOI “Propaganda ministry” would have a screed on this to ensure Israel,s Jewish citizens would be properly prepared for awkward questions from anti semitic Jew haters who insist the light unto the nations would be involved in ethnic cleansing. It might suggest that as God gave Israel to the Jews , any suggestion of ethnic cleansing would be blasphemous and a blood libel.People who insist that Israel expelled non Jews… Read more »