On Tuesday, the 71st anniversary of Israel’s Declaration of Independence according to the Gregorian calendar, Iran’s foreign ministry blasted the Jewish State for “massacring the Palestinians” and “stirring insecurity and crises in the Middle East.” A classic pot calling the kettle black situation.
The term “Nakba” in reference to the 1948-49 Israeli victory was coined by Constantin Zureiq, a professor of history at the American University of Beirut, in his 1948 book “Ma’na al-Nakba” (The Meaning of the Catastrophe). He wrote that “the tragic aspect of the Nakba is related to the fact that it is not a regular misfortune or a temporal evil, but a Catastrophe in the very essence of the word, one of the most difficult that Arabs have ever known over their long history.”
The word was used again one year later by Arab poet Burhan al-Deen al-Abushi.
Arab encyclopedist Aref al-Aref wrote in the 1950s: “How Can I call it but Nakba? When we the Arab people generally and the Palestinians particularly, faced such a catastrophe that we never faced like it along the centuries, our homeland was sealed, we were expelled from our country, and we lost many of our beloved sons.”
Author Muhammad Nimr al-Hawari also used the term Nakba in the title of his 1955 book “Sir al Nakba” (The Secret behind the Catastrophe).
After the 1967 Six-Day War, Zureiq wrote another book, “The New Meaning of the Catastrophe,” but the term Nakba is usually reserved in the Arab narrative for the 1948 war.
Few Arab or Muslim intellectuals or politicians recognize the simple fact that the Nakba was the direct result of the total Arab rejection of the 1947 UN partition plan, which awarded them their own state, alongside a Jewish state. Instead, a number of Arab countries, as well as Arab militias in British Palestine, declared a war of annihilation against the Jews.
“It was 71 years ago that an illegitimate entity called (the Zionist regime of) Israel was born which is today the origin of all humanitarian crises in the region, posing a real threat to international peace and security,” the Iranian foreign ministry stated its own version of reality on the occasion of “Nakba Day.”
“Seventy-one years ago on this day, a group with deviant and racist ideas killed native people of Palestine, including men and women, the young and the elderly, and the innocent children,” the statement continued.
The main event marking “Nakba Day” will begin on Wednesday in Ramallah, where participants will march towards the center of the city carrying signs against the so-called “Deal of the Century” and in favor of adherence to the “Palestinian basic principles,” first and foremost among them the “right of return,” according to the Fars news agency.
Happy Catastrophe Day.