Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The original Nakba wasn't about a “return” to the Neverland “Palestine” but to the current war-torn Syria - by Daniel Krygier

Hamas’ “March of Return” was cynically fueled by the powerful Nakba myth. Ironically, the original meaning of Nakba debunks the myth of a distinct Arab nation in the Land of Israel.

Daniel Krygier..
04 June '18..

The Nakba is the Arabic term for “catastrophe” or “disaster”. Thanks to decades of PLO propaganda, it has entered the international vocabulary as a symbol of Zionist “aggression” and Arab “homelessness” because of the reestablishment of the state of Israel in 1948. To millions of Jew-haters worldwide today, “Nakba” is a convenient excuse to demonize the Jewish state by referring to its reestablishment as a “disaster”. From an Arab point of view, the real “disaster” in 1948 was the failure to wipe out reborn Israel and the painful consequences of losing their war of aggression against the Jews.

The word “Nakba” though, has nothing to do with the Arab-Israeli war in 1948. The prominent Arab historian George Antonius coined the term already in 1920, almost three decades before David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the existence of the first Jewish state in 2000 years.

Antonius who was a passionate Arab nationalist, coined the term “Nakba” as a response to the separation of the British Mandate Palestine from French-controlled Syria. The reason that Antonius considered this territorial division between Britain and France to constitute a “disaster” was that he defined himself and the local Arab population in the British Palestine Mandate as Syrians and an inseparable part of greater Syria.

Like other Arab nationalists of his time, Antonius was by no means sympathetic towards Jews or the Zionist Jewish national liberation movement. However, as far as Antonius and other local Arab nationalists were concerned, places like Jerusalem, Yafo and Haifa were not located in “Palestine” but constituted the southern part of Syria. Antonius was certainly not the only Arab intellectual who rejected the notion of “Palestine”.

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