A must have introduction;
4 days ago marked the the 66th anniversary of the 1948 Nakab, when over 750,000 Palestinian were expelled from their villages and towns by the Zionist militia, a process in which over 20,000 were killed “Different report, different numbers, no actual statistics were ever made”, committed by the Zionist militia to strike fear in the hearts of the local Arab population.
Regardless to the heroic resistance by many on the front line across historic Palestine, defending their homes, villages, or simply the land they lived upon for years. And regardless to the support Palestinian received from few thousand Arab volunteers and the Arab armies. The well equipped 100,000+ strong, Zionist militias easily over ran the Palestinians and their poorly equipped Arab allies. “The numbers are based on Saad ElShazly testimony, Wikipedia provided close numbers”. For more information about the Nakba you can find many resources such as here and articles here.
Back to what I want to talk about;
I have avoided talking about the Nakba or participating in any of the Nakba commemoration ceremonies, as over the last few years commemoration ceremonies took a celebratory nature contradicting the real nature of the Nakab.
I don’t mean the small protest that end up with clashes with the Israeli colonial forces, which ended this year with the death of 2 teenagers, 17 year old Nadeem Noware and 15 year Mohammad Abu Thaher.
I mean the ruling faction’s sponsored “events” which usually don’t go beyond speeches, Dabka performance, a photo gallery and police suppressing any attempt to cross the “Security coordination” line. I almost forgot this year special, an old truck with a bunch of actors, to enact the Palestinian’s exodus in 1948.
During the years of the second intifada, Nakba commemoration was dropped from the people agenda. Overwhelmed with the rapid progress of the Massacre we calls ” second Intifada” the people had more recent “Nakbas” to remember. Nakba was pushed to the back of people minds. Beside comments here or there about how the people in Jenin camp are living a new Nakba, or how this poor family has to live through winter in a tent just like the refugees in 1951 winter “Many of the Nakba witnesses we interviewed in collage mentioned that particular winter“. It became a reference to the people daily life.
PS: Nakba is also an opportunity to remember the heroic Palestinian peasant resistance against the Zionist militia in 1936-1939 revolution and in 1948. Not just their exodus.
You can claim people in the west bank or Gaza cares very little about the Nakba, as they weren’t directly affected by it, and they relate more to the Naksa “1967 war”. This assumption although tempting, ignore how damaging the expulsion of 750,000 out of 1٫6 millions Palestinian living in historical Palestine before 1948 to other parts within Palestine and beyond. Don’t you think the total destruction of the Palestinian society. and the formation of a new and different society with new classes, new rich and new poor. It’s much more traumatizing than the classical occupation of 1967.
In 2002 as I worked with some cousins in clearing ruins from rooms in my family compound, my dad who observed, volunteered to explain who lived in those, my cousin comment on who can live in what looked more like a dungeon than a room, made my dad explains even more about how many people lived in the compound after the Nakaba. “You see this yard, it was divided with sheet to host 10 families, each of those 2 big rooms hosted 4 families.(…) some stayed until 1956, but many moved to the refugee camps when they opened 2 years later in 1950.”
I don’t have any special feeling towered any town in 1948 Palestine, nor I have any appreciation or respect to some lines drawn by 2 white men by the end of WWI. But I do believe in heart and soul, a great injustice took place in 1948, by the creation of a “European” settler colonial state in Palestine, which is something never survive, specially if you failed to completely eliminate the natives.