10 May '16..
On the eve of the 68th anniversary of Israel's independence, the Nakba is again knocking at the gate, a mark of Cain on behalf of itself. Its role is to embody eternal anguish, its singular purpose is to point an accusatory finger at the burgeoning state of Israel, as if to say: You have committed a crime, you have distorted, robbed, oppressed. The land, which you have dressed in concrete and cement, gardens and forests, does not belong to you, it is ours; your existence is a catastrophe, and we will keep the key to the home from which we fled/were expelled, a testimony of our intention to return to that home and remove you from it.
This is the Nakba, an objection to the State of Israel, an eternal rejection of its right to exist as the national home of the Jewish people.
In Arabic literature the word "Nakba" -- which was chosen to grant the "disaster that befell the Palestinian people" equal weight to the Jewish Holocaust -- means a natural disaster, something akin to a strong earthquake or violent volcano outburst.
Until, that is, Constantin Zureiq, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at the American University of Beirut, linked the Nakba to the existence of the State of Israel in his 1948 book, "The Meaning of Disaster." The military defeat suffered by Arab states, Zureiq wrote, is nothing short of "a disaster in all that it entails. ... Seven Arab states declare war on Zionism in the land of Israel ... seek to negate the partition and defeat Zionism, but abandon the battle after losing a considerable portion of the land, even the portion that was 'given' to the Arabs."
A few short years later, Aref al-Aref, a historian, politician and Arab public figure during the British Mandate in then-Palestine, would forever identify the Nakba with Palestinian refugeehood. He wrote in his book "The Catastrophe: The Catastrophe of Jerusalem and the Lost Paradise, 1947-1952," that "during this period we, the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular, were struck by a disaster the likes of which has not befallen us for many generations. Our homeland was stolen, we were expelled from our lands and we lost a great number of our sons, and above all else our honor was deeply wounded."
Does this strike you as delving too far into the past? OK, let's skip forward to 2011. A document distributed by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics claimed that "the Nakba of Palestine is the process of ethnic cleansing accompanied by destruction and the armed and methodical uprooting of a people from its land, so that its place would be taken by another people ... the Palestinian Nakba occurred as part of an exact military plan implemented by others, in which large nations partook -- and resulted in the immense tragedy that befell the Palestinian people."
When was Palestine the homeland of the Palestinians? And what about rejecting the United Nations partition plan? Or not accepting the decision by the U.N. to establish the State of Israel? And the ensuing wars of annihilation against us? What about the unceasing delegitimization? I have been called a racist, someone who adamantly refuses to "understand" the Nakba. But this is preferable to being a bleeding heart who seeks to "understand" those ceremonies of theirs in which they call for our annihilation.
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