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nakba

  • Why won't Israeli peace groups talk about the Nakba?

    It's 2015 and Israeli peace groups still refuse to talk about the mass dispossession of Palestinians in 1948, including those who became Israeli citizens. Tom Mehager says it is time for a real conversation about the right of return. By Tom Mehager Israeli non-profit organizations that strive for a society based on coexistence most often focus on the most pressing issues vis-a-vis Jewish-Arab relations: educating toward democratic values, mutual recognition and teaching the Arabic language; equal allocation of resources and land; integration into the workforce and strengthening economic investment in Arab towns and villages; proper representation in decision-making processes; legitimacy for…

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  • WATCH: 'Jaffa flotilla' marks destruction of Palestine's cultural capital

    Dozens of Palestinians and Israeli Jews sailed along the coast last week to mark the destruction of Jaffa — the former political, cultural and economic capital of Palestine — during the 1948 War. Organized by the Israeli NGO Zochrot, which works to raise awareness of the Nakba and promote the right of return among Israeli Jews, the participants, which included Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi, listened to first-hand stories of the fear, expulsions and mass exodus of Palestinians from the city by the pre-state Zionist militias.   Related: The road out of the occupation runs through the Nakba S. African…

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  • Lifelong refugees: Palestinian boat people search for a new home

    After escaping the horrors of the Syrian Civil War by boat, a group of Palestinian refugees washed up on the shores of Greece. Now they are wandering the streets of Athens without food or shelter. By Samah Salaime After four days at sea, with no food or fuel, 175 Palestinian refugees were rescued by the Greek navy. After fleeing the horrors of war in Syria for neighboring Turkey and paying huge sums to their smugglers, who promised to bring them to Italy (not to mention ensure they had entry permits, as well as food and drink), the refugees found themselves…

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  • Shhhh, the Nakba made it to prime time

    Israel's top satire program takes on the Nakba. Sometimes humor can succeed in places where activism or advocacy fall short. The tortured road of the Nakba towards a legitimate place in the Israeli historical memory has some unexpected twists. Eitan Bronstein Aparicio and Dr. Eléonore Merza Bronstein recently explained that at first, it was mainly Palestinians who wished to commemorate the Nakba. Next came far-left wing Jews in Israel. Following that came the right-wing or oppositional Jewish Israeli approaches, such as “Jewish Nakba,” a phrase coined over the years as a name for the violent expulsion of Jews from Arab countries…

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  • In 2015, memory of Nakba has inched closer to Israeli mainstream

    Two Nakba-themed events were organized by groups you'd least expect, suggesting that the legacy of the Palestinian catastrophe has ventured beyond Palestinian and leftist circles. By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio and Dr. Eléonore Merza Bronstein   Until a few years ago, inside Israel Nakba Day was marked primarily on Independence Day. It was a family and community tradition among internally displaced Palestinians going back to the days of the military government. After the Oslo Accords it developed into large, popular political demonstrations. Three years ago, Tel Aviv University students started holding a memorial ceremony on Nakba Day itself, May 15. The event…

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  • S. African Jews in Lubya: We're here to acknowledge the Nakba

    Among the ruins of the destroyed Palestinian village of Lubya, a group of South African Jews publicly apologizes to descendants of Lubya's refugees for their donations to the Jewish National Fund, donations that were used to plant part of the forest that covers the village's remains. In a forest glade set atop the remains of the destroyed Palestinian village of Lubya in the Lower Galilee, a delegation of South African Jews made a public apology to the descendants of refugees from Lubya and their families Friday evening. The event, a joint initiative of the South African delegation and representatives of…

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  • How Jewish and Palestinian cultural artifacts became Israeli property

    A new book looks at the ways in which ancient religious manuscripts belonging to Yemenite Jews, as well as thousands of books owned by Palestinians and Holocaust survivors became part of Israel's National Library in Jerusalem. By Gish Amit (Translated by Shaked Spier) The book "Ex Libris: History of Robbery, Preservation, and Appropriation in the National Library in Jerusalem," addresses three affairs that took place within the walls of the Israeli National Library in Jerusalem: the robbery of Yemenite Jews’ manuscripts, which migrated to Israel during the 1940’s and 50’s; the collection of many thousands of book owned by Palestinians, which…

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  • To return, we must feel what our grandparents went through

    So what if we didn't liberate Palestine on our rain-soaked March of Return? Each and every one of us got a little taste of what life was like for our forefathers in 1948. By Samah Salaime There is no doubt that this year's "March of Return" was the most difficult, physically and mentally, of these past years. The inclement weather forecasts did not deter thousands from coming to Hadatha, a small village located on the road between Kfar Tavor and Tiberias. We decided to leave early, after last year's march in Lubya, when we were stuck in traffic for three…

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  • Thousands return to destroyed Palestinian villages in Israel

    The March of Return, which coincides with Israeli Independence Day, calls for the right of return for Palestinians who were expelled from or fled the land in 1948.  Approximately 10,000 people of all ages — mostly Palestinian citizens of Israel — took part in the 18th annual March of Return Thursday, on the land where the destroyed Palestinian village of Hadatha once stood. Setting out under an ominous sky, the demonstrators walked across the lands of the former village, wearing keffiyehs, waving flags and singing. The looming tempest eventually broke, but the march continued unabated. [tmwinpost] The March of Return, which…

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  • Liberating Israelis from the mentality of occupation

    The occupying identity has become second nature — a state of being. Recognizing the Nakba and Palestinian right of return would go a long way toward liberation — of Israelis. By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio and Dr. Eléonore Merza Bronstein On the 67th Independence Day of the State of Israel, its citizens appear to be further than ever from the “liberation” promised on the day of its founding. A war that was intended to “liberate” us (‘us’ being Jews alone, of course) in 1948 ended in military occupation and the expulsion of most of the Palestinians from the country. Even more severe than…

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  • The road out of the occupation runs through the Nakba

    As long as Israelis deny, distort and repress the expulsion of over 750,000 Palestinians, we will never truly accept and absorb the end of the occupation. It is difficult to find a view in Lifta that isn't marred by the words 'death to Arabs' graffitied in Hebrew on its hollow buildings. Someone even took the trouble to write it in drying cement at the entrance to the site, ensuring that it will always be one of the first things visitors see. The leftovers of a Palestinian village that was depopulated over the course of a few months at the end…

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  • Finding my family in Yarmouk — then losing them again

    Six decades after the Nakba forced us into different corners of the world, social networks allowed us to reconnect with our families and villages. In Yarmouk, I found the people I should have grown up around—the ones who looked like me and my immediate family. And then war broke out in Syria, Facebook went dark and people disappeared, once again.  By Samah Salaime Those who do not have family members in Syria's refugee camps can watch the atrocities taking place on the news from far away, as if it were all just one big Hollywood horror movie: one that causes…

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  • The violent roots of Israel's Labor party

    The Labor party's glory days included the Nakba, conquering and settling the West Bank and East Jerusalem and other affairs Israeli society has yet to begin processing. By Tom Pessah Senior Labor MK Shelly Yachimovich published the following status on her personal Facebook page a few weeks ago: “Hi this is Shelly. Spot the differences: education minister and member of the diplomatic-security cabinet Yigal Allon moves apartments.” [tmwinpost] In an attempt to criticize Prime Minister Netanyahu's lavish expenditures, Yachimovich, number three on the Zionist Camp list, uploaded a photo of a letter written by Yigal Allon — one of Israel's revered military…

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