Friday, 15 May 2015

Nakba - A Time To Reflect On Damaged Lives

Today is Israel's 'Independence' Day.  As this blog has already noted, it's never clear just what or who Israel declared independence from - the Ottoman Turks were long gone, the British Mandate was ending, no Palestinian state ever came into being (thanks to Israeli ethnic cleansing and a secret agreement with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, negotiated in part by a young Golda Meir).

Better to think of this day as that on which the state constructed on the basis of the expulsions then already underway came into official being.  Palestinians now call this Nakba Day, the day of the catastrophe. Israel's triumphal 'birth' was made possible by the forcing out of 700,000-800,000 people, and the destruction of over 400 of the villages in which those people had once dwelt.

Israel likes to see its independence as legitimated by UN General Assembly Resolution 181, passed in November 1947.  But this is a cynical and hypocritical ideological ploy, since Israel worked hard to expunge the other state or potential thus legitimated, and took over much of its territory in 1947-1949, conquering the remainder in June 1967.

Here's some reading for the day:

First, a link to the blog of the Institute of Palestine Studies, which takes the reader to a collection of images of Palestine before and after 1948, focused on the cities of Jaffa, Haifa and Jerusalem:

 Nakba Day 2015

From Electronic Intifada:

Forced to leave grapes on the vine: the open wounds of May 1948


Also from Electronic Intifada, an important overview from Joseph Massad:


Palestinians and the dilemmas of solidarity


From Mondoweiss:


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


Israel’s state ideology tantamount to the ongoing Palestinian Nakba

For Palestinians, history is never behind us': Family memories on Nakba Day



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