One activist's diary of the arrests and violence that Israeli police used against Palestinian protesters in East Jerusalem on Nakba Day, 2013. By Sahar Vardi Scene 1: A few dozen Palestinians march down Bab A-Zahara Street with a police van behind them, they head toward Damascus Gate for the Annual commemoration of the Nakba. Police cavalry pass the marchers, turn around, block the sidewalk on which the protesters are marching and start galloping towards them. Another line of border policeman prevents those who managed to pass from walking toward Damascus Gate, but they’re too late, half the protest is already…Read More... | 3 Comments
This week: Remembering Nakba Day on both sides of the Green Line, demonstrations against the occupation, settlements and the separation wall, social justice protests in Israel, Women of the Wall, solidarity with asylum seekers after police raids and a wall comes down in Lod.Read More... | 5 Comments
As Noam Sheizaf's recent headline states, "the Nakba's memory is more present than ever in Israel." The Nakba, literally, "the catastrophe," is the name given to the massive deportation of more then 700,000 Palestinians from what became the State of Israel in 1948. Sheizaf goes on to point out how efforts, such as the "Nakba law," which authorizes the finance minister to withdraw funds from organizations commemorating the day, have backfired and effectively injected Nakba consciousness into the global discourse. From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank and Gaza, activists marched to assert a history which is no longer…Read More... | 5 Comments
The time has come to allow ourselves to see this country not only as the battleground of a national struggle but as a shared homeland, which with painful concessions and tremendous confidence-building efforts on both sides, we can turn into a good place where our children will want to live. By Ron Gerlitz As Israel’s Jewish citizens celebrated the Passover holiday last month, its Arab citizens commemorated Land Day. Land Day is a commemoration of the death of six Arab demonstrators in 1976 while protesting massive government land expropriations in the Galilee for the purpose of building new Jewish communities.…Read More... | 1 Comment
Israel has gone to great lengths to remove mention of the Nakba - the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948 - from textbooks, public discourse, and the public space. But as state efforts to ban Nakba commemorations increase, so does interest in the issue, with more and more Israelis believing that dealing with the matter is a prerequisite to ending the conflict. This short clip surveys this year's particularly dramatic Nakba Day events. This video was produced by Israel Social TV, an independent media NGO working to promote social change, human rights, social justice and equality, and to mobilize its viewers towards activism.Read More... | 44 Comments
On Monday, the eve of Nakba Day, I attended a book launch for the memoirs of five elderly Holocaust survivors who emigrated from Europe to Canada after the Second World War. The event took place in the main sanctuary of a large, well-established Conservative synagogue in a prosperous area of Toronto, very much like the one I attended as a child in Vancouver. Canadian and Israeli flags hung from flagpoles at either side of the pulpit. The director of the non-profit foundation that edits, publishes and distributes the memoirs gave an eloquent speech; this was followed by a series of…Read More... | 25 Comments
Despite what Israeli Jews believe, on Nakba Day, this country's Arab citizens aren't mourning Israel's creation, but rather what it cost them. When left-leaning Haaretz explains in a news story that the Nakba Day events are "commemorating the 'disaster' of Israel's formation," this country has got a problem. If Haaretz doesn't understand that Israeli Arabs are mourning what they and the other Palestinians lost in the 1948 war, not the state the Jews gained by winning it, then the attitude here toward the Nakba is worse than I thought. It's not just that right-wingers are deliberately distorting the Nakba's meaning into something malevolent and traitorous, it's that even well-meaning liberals have come by the same…Read More... | 43 Comments
By Mkhaimar Abusada Today, the Palestinian people in Palestine and in the Palestinian Diaspora are commemorating Nakba Day. Sixty four years ago, Israel was established and more than 800,000 (two-thirds of the Palestinians at the time) were expelled and uprooted from their homeland. Now, Israelis celebrate their independence day while the Palestinians are still struggling for freedom and independence. Fo us, it is a day of remembrance, agony, and identity-searching. The Israeli narrative is that the armies of Arab countries invaded the newly established state and ordered the Palestinian people to evacuate the land so that they could liberate it.…Read More... | 22 Comments
Hundreds of people attended a ceremony Monday afternoon to mark Nakba Day in front of the main entrance to Tel Aviv University. The ceremony was organized by students - both Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel - and billed as a joint memorial ceremony aimed at giving voice to the Palestinian narrative of suffering following the events of 1948. Organizers emphasized that the event did not seek to reject Israel's right to exist. One of the organizers of the event, Rula Khalaily, a student at the university and an activist with the Hadash Party, told +972 about the goal of the event:…Read More... | 23 Comments
By Mahdi Sabbagh Following the inspiring yet tragic events of May 15th, when many Palestinians in various countries demonstrated to mark Nakba Day, and the general build-up to that day, I have been attempting to make sense of the protests, Israel’s brutal response and the political connotations and media craze that followed; not so much from an ‘international relations’ political perspective but from a cultural-political perspective. The following reflection centers on the internal narratives and realities of the Palestinian people. It does not address the relationship between the Palestinian and the Israeli narrative; which would be a constructive exercise for…Read More... | 5 Comments
Call it a delicate balance of diplomacy, or a dance between two apparently opposing sides. The Obama Shuffle involves first a sway to the left then a sway to the right, one step forward, then one step back. And hop, hop, hop hop hop. And stop. (Now you try!) The past 72 hours have shown that the US President is not afraid of engaging in some verbal warfare, depending on who is listening. While condemning the Nakba Day’s pedestrian infiltration of Israel, he promoted (as Israel views it) a retreat to “indefensible” borders. While calling for a return to negotiations…Read More... | 2 Comments
I’ve got the post-Nakba Day blues. It really showed how screwed up this region is. How disrespectful people are of each other. How hateful. Lorry, Lorry, Hallelujah Nakba Day got off to a great start with a terror attack in the middle of southern Tel Aviv. A truck driver smashed into everything in sight, his rampage went along a route longer than 2 kilometers. One person was killed, several badly injured. Nowhere did I hear condemnations from Arab MKs or left-wingers (if there were - please point them out to me). The family and friends gave the usual “it must…Read More... | 174 Comments
As more videos are surfacing and telling of yesterday’s events,one of them is going viral. In it you can see Kobi Bachar, deputy commander of the Galilee District Police, slapping an Arab lawyer roughly in the face after she asked him why he was arresting protesters. Ynet reports: “The protester, Attorney Maisa Arshid of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, had joined around 25 other Arab students in marking the Palestinian day of mourning over Israel's founding. Police had come to disperse the gathering, which took place near the border-side town of Avivim, because the protesters did not have…Read More... | 31 Comments
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