Candidly Speaking: The Nakba hoax in retrospect (JERUSALEM POST OP-ED) By ISI LEIBLER 05/24/12)
JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-Top
No revisionist or post Zionist spin can plausibly deny that the War
of Independence was an attempt by a coalition of Arab states to
annihilate us. But as Goebbels used to say, “Repeat the same lie
again and again and ultimately people will believe it.”
Recent years have witnessed successful efforts by increasing numbers
of radical Israeli Arabs, in conjunction with their kinsmen beyond
Israel, to project into the public discourse a narrative which
portrays their antecedents as innocent victims of a conflict which
led to their dispossession and expulsion.
They mourn the consequences of the War of Independence but suppress
the fact it was their fathers who rejected the UN partition plan and
embarked on a war of annihilation against Israel.
Their approach is akin to Germans mourning the tragedy of their
losses during World War II, implying that it was a byproduct of
Allied criminality rather than Nazi aggression.
It is understandable that Israeli Arabs lament the fleeing and even
expulsion of their kinsmen in the course of war. But in lieu of
mourning their losses or commemorating humanitarian tragedies, their
leaders are promoting hatred of the people amongst whom they live,
garnering support for vengeance and delegitimization of the Jewish
They also seem quite nonchalant about the fact that they are
identifying themselves with those in surrounding Arab countries who
aspire to annihilate us.
Although Israeli Arabs have been described as a social underclass
similar to African Americans or Hispanics in the United States, they
undeniably enjoy the highest standard of living, level of literacy
and freedom, in stark contrast to the poverty and tyranny under which
most of their kinsmen in neighboring Arab countries languish.
Yet, notwithstanding this, a significant number of Israeli Arabs
continue inciting hatred against the people amongst whom they live
and the Zionist state which provides them with full equality and the
ability to benefit from all the services provided by an advanced
“Your independence is our Nakba [catastrophe”] is a slogan constantly
in use. “Jewish independence is our day of mourning” was chanted by
thousands of demonstrating Arab Israelis. Arab-Israeli MK Taleb e-
Sana proclaimed to Nakba protesters that “the Nakba is equivalent to
the destruction of the First and Second Temples.”
Those directing such venomous campaigns, which frequently result in
violence, do not appreciate that by promoting such provocative public
rallies, they not only outrage the majority of Israelis, but are
creating tensions which will ultimately make their own lives in
THEY ALSO fail to take into account that the majority of their
neighbors are themselves refugees or descendants of refugees from all
over the world who found haven from persecution and violence in
In fact, a very large component of them – 850,000 – suffered pogroms
and persecution in Arab countries in 1948, and were forcibly expelled
and their properties and possessions confiscated.
One can visit virtually every Arab city in the Middle East and
witness the remnants of synagogues and cemeteries from former vibrant
major Jewish communities which were destroyed because of Arab hatred.
Yet the descendants of these Jewish refugees were fully integrated
and no longer label themselves with refugee status.
In contrast, Arab refugees have been deliberately maintained as pawns
in the Arab- Israeli conflict, and are the only refugee group in the
world which continues to be globally funded in order to serve as a
vehicle to undermine an existing state.
Their squalid refugee status has been deliberately sustained for
generations, with their offspring being brainwashed with hatred into
believing that the day would come when they would return and
repossess properties forfeited in a war of aggression initiated by
Yet just a few drops of oil from barrels produced by the wealthy Arab
states could have provided far in excess of what was required to fund
the resettlement and integration of these refugees and their
descendants into their own societies.
The situation is even more outrageous when one realizes that
rehabilitation from their refugee status does not even necessitate
adaptation to a new cultural environment.
When a Russian or European Jew immigrates to Israel, he must adjust
to a totally different lifestyle in terms of language, culture and
In contrast, an Arab need only travel a few miles in order to attach
himself to an identical cultural and religious community to that to
which he was accustomed from birth.
Of course, the reason the vast majority of Arab Israelis are adamant
about living in Israel is because even as a minority they are better
off socially, economically and educationally in a democratic Jewish
state than living amongst their own kinsmen.
There is nothing which precludes people in a democracy from
maintaining unconventional or even controversial customs as they deem
fit in the context of their private lives. But if Israeli Arabs
publicly indulge in activities which mourn the creation of the state
in which they live as a catastrophe and demand the right of return
for their refugee brethren and their offspring – a step which would
end the Jewish majority in Israel – they are playing with fire and
provoking resentment among the majority of Israelis, which will
inevitably result in making their lives in Israel unbearable.
Can one visualize elements within a Jewish Diaspora community seeking
to incite hatred against the host community and undermine cherished
national ideals or symbols? In such a case, the bulk of the Jewish
community itself would welcome punitive action by the government to
deter deviants from within their ranks generating hatred and
prejudice against them.
Thus, the government has a responsibility not only to Jews but
equally to decent Israeli Arabs who seek to peacefully co-exist and
prosper in this country, to ensure that any such provocative
organizations or groups (which many would consider treasonable), at
the very least, are effectively denied government funding.
Describing such activity as treasonable, shocking though it may
sound, is justifiable.
The Nakba commemoration operates in complete synchronization with the
orchestrated global campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel. It
is part of the new assault which seeks to suppress the reality that
Israel fought in 1948 to defend itself against forces seeking its
It amounts to an attempt to delegitimize Israel by transforming
public discourse about the rights and wrongs of the Arab-Israeli
conflict to one in which “the injustice caused to the Palestinians”
is defined as the source of the problem. If we fail to challenge and
repudiate this false narrative, we do so at our peril and expose
ourselves to immeasurably horrendous long-term negative
repercussions. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/24/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY