Palestinian author Reja-e Busailah says he loves the United States although he has witnessed Islamophobia here for 60 years, going back to an ad on a NY radio station, “Give a dollar and kill an Arab.” At 89, retired in Indiana, he reflects on the Nakba that deprived him of his home, and on what terms he would return to the land of his birth. Spoiler alert: Equality.
Category Archives: Nakba
“Today I carry a not real coffin for one who was killed by the Israelis. Maybe these scouts will carry my real coffin or I will carry a real coffin one day,” 13-year-old Marah Al-Abadseh says during a children’s memorial to slain Gaza children at the Gaza border, July 27, 2019.
Ilan Pappe writes: “American peacemakers, whether cynical or genuine in their efforts, have consistently failed to understand the essence of the conflict in Palestine. If they ever want to solve it, they need to revisit the dispossession of Palestinians that occurred in 1948 and understand its significance and the fact that 70 years later, Israel continues to systematically displace Palestinians from their homes.”
Thousands of Palestinians across the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip participated in massive demonstrations on Monday, the 70th anniversary of the Nakba. Azhar Abu Srour, a Palestinian refugee who was at a protest in Bethlehem, told Mondoweiss, “I am here as a refugee, to demand my right of return to my homeland, Beit Nattif, which we were expelled from 70 years ago. I am also here to protest against the massacre of our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Gaza, who have been protesting for weeks, for this same basic right of return.”
Many Palestinian families have their narratives of the Nakba, especially in Gaza where nearly 70% of the population are refugees. Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh shares the stories of three Gaza families, including his own. Each story share incredible pain and loss, but also hope for the future and the hope of return.
“Forced displacement and dispossession are key factors to understand the situation in Palestine and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.” Amjad Alqasis examines how Palestinians became the “largest and the longest-standing unresolved refugee case in the world today” and how their ongoing displacement and dispossession can be challenged.
Salman Abu Sitta writes an open letter to Uri Avnery to mark the 70th year of the Nakba: “In all these 70 years, Uri, have you thought of those innocent peaceful people who became refugees, the people you thought they were human dust to be dispensed with? Did you ask: What happened to them and their children, now scattered in the world?”
The Israeli military claims its soldiers are “in danger” from the protests across the fence in Gaza, but a simple review of the facts proves this is not the case. Here are the questions any journalist talking to the Israeli military should ask.
Early reports on Monday suggested that Gaza’s demonstrators were being massacred by the Israeli army. Amnesty International called the events a “horror show”. But for more than a month, Israel has been working to manage western perceptions of the protests – and its response – in ways designed to discredit the outpouring of anger from Palestinians.
Reja-e Busailah’s memoir ‘In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood,’ is an unheralded masterpiece of the Nakba. A burgeoning scholar at 18, Busailah was forced out of Lydda with his family in 1948. This book’s poignant portraits of friends destroyed and traumatized by the Zionist militias tops any Israeli’s account of the Nakba.
Francesca Albanese writes that the Great March of Return is a sobering reminder of the conspicuous lack of political will that has been maintaining the Palestinian refugees in a status of oblivion: “It is a reminder to all of us that the Palestinian question was a ‘refugee question’ first and foremost, and without a just solution for the refugees, a resolution of the conflict will not be sustainable.”
Yoav Hifawi visits Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour to see how her story fits within the context of the Palestinian Nakba. What he discovered is Dareen is the descendant of Palestinians who were displaced from their villages during the Nakba, one of which fell after a brutal massacre.
BDS movement: “Their Independence is our Nakba. The ethnic cleansing of 750,000 to one million indigenous Palestinians 70 years ago and turning them into refugees to establish a Jewish-majority state in Palestine is no cause for celebration.”
Jehad Abusalim examines how Gaza came to be trapped “from the fence to the fence” by looking back at the Strip from the British Mandate period to present date: “The fence is the history that Palestinians in Gaza never want to forget, and no amount of aid can induce them to do so.”
Today marks 70 years since the massacre at Deir Yassin. The latest repression in Gaza is a reminder that the spirit of this massacre lives on in Israel. In 1948, as today, massacres to push and keep Palestinians off of the land were dictated by core Israeli policies. It is past time to confront the Western part in this tragedy.
On the 70th anniversary of the Deir Yassin massacre Jamal Najjab interviews historian Matthew Hogan on the events that transpired on April 9, 1948 and their lasting legacy today.
Retired Israeli general Amiram Levin is regarded as a liberal Zionist and is a strong supporter of Labor leader Avi Gabbay. In an interview, he says “Palestinians deserved the occupation” and Israel should give Palestinian leadership “a carrot in the form of a state, and if it doesn’t want it, we’ll tear it apart…. if they violate agreements, the next time we’ll fight here they will not remain, we will toss them across the Jordan…. We were way too nice in ‘67.”
Salwa Salem-Copty hopes to someday return to live in her family’s village in the north of Israel, but at 70 years old, she thinks it is unlikely. Instead she has one request — she would like to be allowed to visit the grave of her father, who was killed when a bus full of workers traveling to Haifa was attacked in April 1948. Salwa was never allowed to visit her father’s grave. Today, now a grandmother, she is still fighting for that right.
Mohammad Arafat writes, “‘Once we heard about the declaration, we knew the future of Palestine and the Palestinians was in danger,’ Um Abed so softy I could barely hear her. She couldn’t say more without crying.”
Rana Askoul writes to British Prime Minister Teresa May: “I hear you will be celebrating the centenary of the Balfour declaration with ‘pride’. I hear you also said that you will be conscious of the sensitivities that some people have about the Balfour declaration and that there is more work to be done. Pride, sensitivities, some people, more work. In my mind, I picture you standing in front of my paternal grandmother, as she walked on her journey out of Palestine to Lebanon in 1948, clutching my father as a baby to her chest. I see you uttering these words to her. Pride, sensitivities, some people, more work. It seems Ms. May, you also have not the slightest clue as to how we Palestinians can move on. It seems Ms. May that you too, like your predecessors have chosen the easier wrong, over the harder right. It seems Ms. May, that you too need a lesson as to why we need to apologize when we have done wrong.”
In its story about a renewed investigation into the murder of Naji al-Ali, this is how the New York Times describes the British occupation and then The Nakba: “He fled his home in the British Mandate of Palestine at the age of 10 during the war that accompanied the creation of Israel.”
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.”
Mersiha Gadzo collects the tales of villagers who were expelled from towns outside of Jerusalem in 1967, where today an Canada Park, popular picnic spot, sit atop the rubble of the destroyed Palestinian houses.
Tikva Honig-Parnass discovers a letter she wrote to her family in October 1948, inked on letterhead she found in a gas station that had belonged to a Palestinians who was likely expelled by her unit. Looking back Honig-Parnass reflects how it came to be that she never considered who owned the gas station, and what happened to him, a skill she developed as a youngster in Israel’s 48 Generation.
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.