Remembering the Nakba

Last week marked the 62nd anniversary of the Nakba on May 15th. The Nakba means catastrophe in arabic. However, the term catastrophe does not convey the level of personal loss that Nakba has. You see the term Nakba has more powerful, more personal, connotations.

The particular Palestinian Nakba blurs the line between the personal and the public. Since it refers to an event that every single Palestinian, where ever they are, is linked to. It will feature in every single Palestinian’s personal story. In many ways it defines the Palestinians and their condition both from without and from within. From without because it was a catastrophe brought on them by Zionist terrorism and forced a great number of them from their ancestral home of Palestine. Many Palestinians still have the keys and deeds to houses and land that were destroyed or confiscated by the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by successive israeli administrations. It also defines Palestinians from within since they choose to remember it and commemorate it. They do not accept to be erased or forgotten. The Nakba represents the moment the Palestinians lost their home, but it is also the moment they choose not to forget, the moment they choose to remember even in the face of racist legislation that tries to prevent them from commemorating it. The moment they became a people without a land is also the moment that began their struggle to retake that land.

Palestinians today are either arab citizens (although they do not have their full rights) of israel, or occupied in the West Bank and the giant concentration camp of Gaza (it is important to note that a lot of these live in UN refugee camps because they were expelled from their homes in what is called today israel), or part of the Diaspora around the world (Either living in UN refugee camps or as citizens of various countries). The last group is denied the right of return even though it is ‘enshrined’ in international law by UN resolution 194. This right is non-negotiable. Any people that has been forcibly removed from their land have the right to return home.

The anniversary of the Nakba reminds me why it is important that we all join the global BDS movement. We fought against Apartheid in South Africa and we must fight against it in Palestine. There is no nuance here. Apartheid is wrong and it must therefore be fought no matter what the circumstances are, or who is actually responsible for it.

I believe that the only true solution is the one state solution. In other words, one democratic state where the arab and jewish populations of Palestine live together. One person one vote. The South African model proves that it can be done. The South African model also shows us that the two-state solution is not a solution at all, but that, in fact, it is a way to cement the israeli hold over Palestine by creating one or two bantustans where the Palestinians who live in the West Bank and Gaza can be kept in check.

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One Response to “Remembering the Nakba”

  1. […] going to go into the history of the Nakba again. If you want to read what I have to say about that here’s a link to the post I wrote almost a year ago. I’m sure some of you will have fun comparing […]

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