Photo Credit: Hadas Parush / Flash 90
Activists from Im Tirtzu hold signs and protest in front of the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem, in a demonstration against the Institute's event discussing what they call a comparison between the Arab Nakba and the Jewish Holocaust, on September 7, 2015.

Most of Israel’s Arab Knesset members were involved in leading and actively participating in a march and demonstration to commemorate what much of the Arab sector is still taught to refer to as the “Nakba” – in Arabic, the “catastrophe” – the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

The Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, an organization which coordinates the actions of Israeli Arab politicians, organized the march and demonstration, which involved some 5,000 Arab Israeli citizens, near the abandoned village of Khubbayza next to Ramot Menashe Park in northern Israel, near the town of Megiddo.

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The pro-Israeli Im Tirtzu organization carried out a counter demonstration to voice a protest against the idea of legislators being paid with taxpayer money and yet freely demonstrating against the existence of the state whose government they purportedly represent.

Approximately 700,000 Arabs fled the area when neighboring Arab nations attacked the fledgling State of Israel in an attempt to destroy her during the 1948 War of Independence. Most never returned and the vast majority were never absorbed into the countries of their Arab “brethren” who found it much more convenient to keep them at arm’s length as political pawns, with which to whip the United Nations and the international community.

Ever since, they and their Arab descendants have demanded the return of the “refugees” and the restitution of lands to those Arabs still living in Israel but who left their property during the war and settled elsewhere. They called this the “right of return,” and maintain the fantasy they will apply it to some five million people.

Committee head Mohammad Barakeh, former MK and a former leader of the Hadash political party, heads the committee. He joined incoming Israeli Arab Mks Mansour Abbas, head of Balad-UAL, and Ayman Odeh, head of Hadash-Ta’al, freshman MK Heba Yazbak of Balad-UAL – the only female of her party – and veteran MK Ahmad Tibi of Balad-UAL in participating at the march.

[Prime Minister Benjamin] “Netanyahu and [Rabbi Meir] Kahana said that we have 22 states, but the truth is we have one homeland and more than 500 displaced villages,” Tibi insisted, referring to the 22 Arab-majority nations of the Arab League. “This is the narrative they’re trying to erase and the history they’re trying to rewrite. No nation-state law and no house demolition will ever change that,” Tibi said.

The sole token Jewish MK in the Hadash-Ta’al party, MK Ofer Cassif, was also present. He tweeted later, “Admitting past crimes is essential for a better solution in order to make possible a life of prosperity and peace in the present for both peoples.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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