When we forgot about the Nakba

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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 testimonyWikipedia 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. 

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Meaningless Election!

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Finally,Fatah and Hamas agreed on opening the doors for the people in Gaza to register in the voters records. great news, “at least this is how they tries to sell it to the people” , it only took them 6 years to agree on this basic act. during this period both Fatah in the west bank and Hamas in Gaza continues to abort democracy before it’s born.

Since the PLO switched from a liberation movement, to simply another regime with leaders who seeks nothing but the colonialist acceptance, they started building a system loyal to PLO’s main faction, Fatah, which worked fine, during 1996 election, as Hamas refused to run that year. But in 2006 election, when Hamas finally decided go under Oslo umbrella, they ran for the election and won it, taking over the PLC, with 74% majority.
After this huge win, the problems with the one party regime started to service, suddenly we had Hamas’s government, Fatah’s loyal security forces, and colonialist asshole, hated the result so they cut the PA live line, leaving Hamas dealing with the mess, the rest is just history, so near to forget.

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Registration process started in Gaza
Picture by Rana Baker

Since Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, they started to build a Hamas-loyal system, hiring those who believe in their ideology, or in worse case from the same pool of thoughts as Hamas. Same apply on the security forces, as Hamas relied more on it’s executive forces, while getting rid of Fatah loyal security branches “for some reason the PA has like 10 different branches of security forces”.

At the same time in the more liberal, more western friendly part of the “Palestinian territories”, Fatah worked hard to ensure their position as the governor of the Palestinians, gaining legitimacy from the Fatah president who also serves as the head of the PLO executive committees “and 3 other titles, more than the loser in the white house”.
Since 07, Fatah continued it’s policy in hiring Fatah loyal in the PA many security branches. At the same time whoever seeks a governmental job, has to get a “security clearance” from the Palestinian inelegance and/or preventive security. The security clearance wont look through the applicants criminal history, nor it will question their relationship with the colonialist, it will just run through your political history, and affiliations.

Regardless to the court order of 2011, banning security clearances, replacing it with “never convicted with a crime” certificate from the court. The PA continues with the security clearance policy, through which many Hamas or Islamic Jehad affiliated are either fired or rejected for jobs as simple as elementary school teacher.

Now, after you read my understanding to the systems in both West bank and Gaza reality, do you still think elections will mean democracy!? Do you really think voting will manage to change anything in our lives!?

I am more convinced today than ever, any real democracy in Palestine can be only achieved, by totally destroying the system established by both Fatah and Hamas, then build a new system loyal to the people not the factions, then run a democratic election, other wise stop wasting our time. “not so keen about building a new system tho,maybe we can try Anarchism for a while first! please?”

Some last points;

1- I still didn’t mention the other reason that involve the Palestinian National Council “PNC” elections. which also doesn’t make sense at this point either.
2- Fatah and Hamas still have a lot to agrees on, and they wont.
3- There is no such thing as, people are not ready for democracy, it’s the system itself that’s not ready for it, not the people.
4- Until the system is fixed election in any Palestinian institution whether it was the PNC, PLC or presidential, it’s a waste of time.
5- I didn’t mention the Israeli colonialism because pointing the obvious will be a waste of time for us all.
6- This is not a call to boycott an election that will never happen, it’s just me practicing my right to write before it become illegal
7- The policies practiced by Hamas in Gaza, are also practiced by Fatah in the west bank, the opposite is also true.