Nakba? More like nerve (ISRAEL HAYOM OP-ED) Dan Margalit 04/27/12)
Israel Hayom Articles-Index-Top
The weather, the fauna and the family-oriented parks welcomed
Israel´s 64th Independence Day on Thursday with a big smile. To
borrow a term from childhood – it was fun. The country´s Jewish
population displayed tolerance and understanding toward the Arab
sector´s reluctance to take part in the general, spontaneous
festivities. If and when, one of these days, we achieve a true peace,
perhaps both peoples will be able to come together and celebrate
independence from any foreign rulers – the expulsion of the Turks,
followed by the British. But the Jewish and Palestinian peoples are
still a long way from this happy day.
That is why Jewish Israel understands the reservations of some of
Israel´s Arabs in the face of the symbols of Israel´s independence.
Those portions of the population are expected to respect, but not to
participate in, the celebration. Just as Supreme Court Justice Salim
Joubran did, when he stood up for the singing of the national anthem
out of respect, but did not take part in the actual singing. His
passivity was received with understanding.
But the Arab leadership in Israel is not satisfied with abstention.
It seeks to protest actively against the freedom of the Jewish
people. This is how Israel´s Independence Day turns into a string of
Nakba (“Catastrophe”) Day displays, as though the establishment of
the State of Israel was a catastrophe. Yes, a catastrophe did occur:
Israel´s Arabs aggressively, and even violently, rejected the U.N.´s
partition plan, and the very next day five Jews were murdered. The
war that ensued, which began as a rash of unofficial battles between
makeshift armies, developed into a murderous onslaught targeting the
Jewish population. Luckily, the Jewish minority was strong enough to
ward off the attacks.
The Israeli Arabs who don´t want to hold the customary barbecues on
Independence Day would do best to take advantage of the day to ask
themselves: What happened back then? How is it that Jews again
offered their hand in peace, and were rejected? Even on the Tel Aviv-
Jaffa front, where a cease-fire had been effectively achieved, the
national Arab leadership forced local Arab residents to violate the
truce and fire at the first Hebrew city. But when the onslaught
failed, they reverted to lamenting their bitter fate. They brought
this “Nakba” on themselves, and the Arab street´s failure to
comprehend that is what very well may be the only thing standing in
the way of peace. I recommend that they read Professor Benny Morris´
book on the topic.
It is a fact that they plotted to kill all the Jews, but it is also
true that thousands of Israeli Arabs suffered greatly. Most of them
chose to become refugees, and then instead of becoming furious with
their brothers who refused to absorb them in Syria and Lebanon and in
Gaza (not to be confused with Jordan), they became angry with the
Jews for daring to defend themselves.
We can and should show sympathy for their bitter memories. But if
they must mark them on a designated day – why not Land Day? Doing it
on the fifth of Iyar (the Hebrew calendar date of Israel´s
declaration of independence), the day we celebrate our freedom, is
not fair. They have plenty of other dates they can observe: the
expiration of the British mandate in Palestine on May 15, the
partition plan decision on Nov. 29, or even the Islamic date of
Israel´s declaration of independence.
Marking Nakba Day specifically during Israel´s independence
celebrations indicates a desire to stir up trouble.
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY