Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Nakba

Forgive me for coming on to this a bit late but it cannot be ignored. Nora Barrows-Friedman, an American Jewish woman, wrote a very passionate piece Shadows and Distortions: The Nakba in Palestine dated May 18 2006 on Counterpunch. She began by describing the present situation of the Palestinians, and how they are barred from turning the keys of the dreadful past:
As the heavy shadow of the 1948 Nakba hovers and recedes over the narrow alleyways of refugee camps and Diaspora communities this week, Palestinians remain at Israel's whim to starve, die, or become displaced and divided.

Subdued commemorations are happening all over the rocky hillsides of occupied Palestine; there are the throngs of children waving the colorful and banned Palestinian flag which whips in the hot springtime wind, the busloads of people trying to travel to city centers to hear stories of the Nakba, only to be stopped at checkpoints and ordered back to their dusty refugee camps and shrinking villages. 58 years after the Zionist militias lay siege to over 450 Palestinian towns and villages, Palestinian refugees are still waiting, holding the iron keys that unlock the doors to homes that no longer exist.
The most disturbing moment comes immediately after this when she quotes Dr. Ghada Karmi, a Palestinian reseacher and historian:
"Israel is 58 years old today. Israelis have already celebrated with barbecues and parties. And so they should, for they've pulled off an amazing stunt: the creation of a state for one people on the land of another - and at their massive expense - without incurring effective sanction."
In the name of her religion and history, she speaks out strongly against the Nakba that was defined by ethnic cleansing and deportation of the native Palestinian population by the Zionist enterprise:
As a Jewish American, I do not want this tied to my history. This ballast, this anchor now inextricably linked to my ancestor's struggles, my dead relatives' stories. How dare we as American Jews allow this to happen. How dare we. How dare we support the ethnic cleansing in Palestine. How dare we argue over oppression hierarchy. How dare we march against the war in Iraq and keep our mouths shut on Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza. How dare we let lobby groups such as AIPAC drench our collective histories in soups of militarism, imperial domination, and snarly relationships with US weapons manufacturers and fascist politicians.
Recommended Reading:

The Nakba; then and now

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