web analytics
December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Naqba’

No End to a Self-Inflicted Tragedy

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah/Palestinian Authority has just cemented a reconciliation agreement with Hamas, the terrorist movement that seized Gaza from Fatah in 2007 and whose charter calls for the murder of Jews.  U.S.-brokered Israeli/Palestinian negotiations have foundered in a predictable round of recriminations.  But events commemorated in recent weeks provide the clue to understanding why such talks invariably lead to an impasse.  On May 15, Palestinians marked what they call the naqba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) – the day Israel came into existence upon the expiry of British rule under a League of Nations mandate.

That juxtaposition of Israeli independence and naqba is not accidental.  We are meant to understand that Israel’s creation caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs. 

But the truth is different.  A British document from early 1948, declassified last year, tells the story: “the Arabs have suffered … overwhelming defeats[.] … Jewish victories … have reduced Arab morale to zero and, following the cowardly example of their inept leaders, they are fleeing from the mixed areas in their thousands.” 

In other words, Jew and Arabs, including irregular foreign militias from neighboring states, were already at war, and Arabs fleeing, even before Israel came into sovereign existence on 15 May 1948.

Thus, what is now called the naqba consisted not of Israeli forcible displacement of Arabs, but of neighboring Arab armies and internal Palestinian militias responding to Israel’s declaration of independence and Britain’s departure with full-scale hostilities.  Tel Aviv was bombed from the air, and the head of Israel’s provisional government, David Ben Gurion, delivered his first radio address to the nation from an air-raid shelter.

Israel successfully resisted invasion and dismemberment – the universally affirmed objective of the Arab belligerents – and Palestinians came off worst of all from the whole venture.  At war’s end, over 600,000 Palestinians were living as refugees under neighboring Arab regimes.  As Abdulateef Al-Mulhim, writing in Arab Newsput it the other week, “[i]t was a defeat but the Arabs chose to call it a catastrophe.”

Accordingly, the term naqba is misleading.  Indeed, it smacks of falsehood, inasmuch as it implies a tragedy inflicted by others.  The tragedy, of course, was self-inflicted. 

As Israel’s U.N. ambassador Abba Eban was to put it some years later, “[o]nce you determine the responsibility for that war, you have determined the responsibility for the refugee problem. Nothing in the history of our generation is clearer or less controversial than the initiative of Arab governments for the conflict out of which the refugee tragedy emerged.”

However, the Palestinians do not mourn today the ill-conceived choice of going to war to abort Israel.  They mourn only that they failed.

This is contrary to historical experience of disastrous defeat.  The Germans today mourn their losses in the Second World War – but not by lauding their invasion of Poland and justifying their attempt to subjugate Europe.  They do not glorify Nazi aggression.

The Japanese today mourn their losses in the Second World War – but not by lauding their assault on Pearl Harbor and their attempt to subjugate southeast Asia.  They do not glorify Japanese imperialism.

The very existence of naqba commemorations is therefore instructive in a way few realize.  It informs us that Palestinians have not admitted or assimilated the fact – as Germans and Japanese have done – that they became victims as a direct result of their efforts to be perpetrators. 

Prisoners’ Hunger Strike Ended, Promising a Restrained ‘Nakba Day’ Tuesday

Monday, May 14th, 2012

When IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz this week examined the readiness of military units at the Central Command and near the Gaza Strip, in preparation for the possibility of violent protests to mark Nakba Day tomorrow, Tuesday, he was acutely aware of the possibility that the success of his forces’ best laid plans depended on the physical well being of some 1600 Arab terrorists.

Over the past week there has been concern that this year’s ‘Nakba’ events would be more intense than usual, because of Palestinians prisoners who are on a hunger strike in Israeli jails. The Chief of Staff reportedly told GOC Central Command Brigadier General Nitzan Alon: “We are hoping for the better and getting ready for the worst.”

On Monday night, hundreds of Palestinian prisoners agreed to end their hunger strike after winning concessions from Israel to improve their conditions, both sides announced.

Some inmates had gone without food for as long as 77 days, with a few in a life-threatening state.

Earlier in the week, concern had been rising about the effect the death of one of the strikers might have on Tuesday’s protests.

Nakba Day (“day of the catastrophe” in Arabic) falls on May 15, the day of Israel’s declaration of independence. On this day Palestinians commemorate their displacement following Israel’s 1948-49 War of Liberation against invaders from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.

Estimates within the IDF are that the demonstrations will concentrate in the areas of Bethany, Qalandiya, Ma’avar Rachel, the Erez Crossing and inside Arab towns, but there is little fear that the protests might spill over into violence against Israeli soldiers. Judging by the tepid response on the part of Palestinians to the “March to Jerusalem” last March, there isn’t much lust for large scope violence on the Arab side.

A senior Central Command officer told the Walla news service that “the prisoners’ strike will bring more civilians out into the streets, but the PA security apparatus won’t allow demonstrations and rallies to deteriorate into chaos.”

All of that could have changed dramatically if any of the hunger striking Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails were to die.

Indeed, Amin Shoman, head of a monitoring group of Palestinian political factions, said that if Israel did not confirm the Egyptian-brokered deal, prisoners were going to intensify their fast and break off further talks with prison authorities.

“The prisoners will stop taking vitamins and water and stop negotiations with the Israel Prisons Service if they get a negative answer,” he told AFP.

Ten prisoners were placed under medical supervision last week.

According to a Palestinian negotiator, Israel agreed to allow Palestinian prisoners to receive family visits. The visits from Gaza were halted in 2006 after Gaza-based terrorists had captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The negotiator said that Israel also agreed to curb its policy of placing prisoners in solitary confinement, to permit prisoner phone calls and to let prisoners engage in academic studies.

But it does not look as if Israel’s security apparatus is prepared to do away with administrative detentions, which the hunger striking prisoners were protesting..

While 308 Palestinian prisoners are being held in detention as security risks because of their active affiliation with terrorist groups, the vast majority of Palestinian security prisoners, 3,097 out of 4,424, are in Israeli jails after having been convicted on a range of violent crimes—from rock throwing to multiple murders—as active members of terror organizations in Gaza and Judea and Samaria.

Alternative Reality – Destabilizing Morality on Memorial Day

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

This Wednesday marks Israel’s Memorial day for those who fell founding and defending the State of Israel, as well as civilians murdered by Arab terrorism. It is one of the most solemn days in Israel, even known as the “secular Yom Kippur” — and most of Israel’s population observes the day and respects it. Israel collectively embraces the families of the fallen, and air raid sirens commemorate the day with a gut piercing sound as Israel grinds to a halt and we recall those who gave their lives fighting against the Arab enemies of Israel.

And yet, there exists a new type of Israeli, who sees a moral equivalence between Israel’s fallen, and those of the enemy. The IDF soldiers who died defending Israel and Israel’s civilians who were brutally slaughtered by Arab terrorists are now commemorated in a morally-agnostic “Memorial Day Alternative Ceremony” — sponsored by “Combatants for Peace”

“For the last 6 years “Combatants for Peace” has been holding a joint memorial event, to commemorate the Israeli and Palestinians victims of the conflict. This memorial service is attended by bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families and accompanied by artists.” (CFPeace)

This “alternative ceremony” intertwines the truth with lies, fact with fiction, and morality with evil, by jointly memorializing the “Israeli and Palestinians victims of the conflict,” and disgraces the memory of those who fought for the Jewish State.

Contorting history to “morally understand” the “Palestinian Narrative” for the sake of a possible peaceful dialogue is bad enough. Jointly memorializing IDF soldiers and victims of Arab terror, with “Palestinian victims of the conflict” is simply too offensive to comprehend.

Those who wish to create such an alternative reality have no moral compass whatsoever.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/alternative-reality-destabilizing-morality-on-memorial-day/2012/04/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: