+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Demonizing the Nakba

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 view innocently, from being bombarded by Israeli propaganda. (I don’t want to be too harsh on Haaretz; its editorial, “Commemorating the Nakba,” was a model of accuracy and fairness.) Yedioth Aharonoth’s news story said the day’s events “mark the ‘catastrophe’ of Israel’s inception.” This is the consensus view among Israeli Jews of what the Nakba is: a tale of grief over Israel’s birth, and an implicit wish for it to die, for the catastrophe to be reversed.

I’m sure this is what many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza mean by it, and what many Arabs in foreign countries do, too. But for the most part, this is not what Israel’s Arab citizens mean. In 2008, Israel’s 60th year, I interviewed numerous Israeli Arabs about the Nakba – from supporters of Zionist parties to supporters of Arab parties to the then-mayor of Umm el-Fahm, a member of the Islamic Movement’s faction that supports no national party, and every single one of them told me that Israeli Jews have got it wrong. Arab citizens, they said, are not mourning Israel’s creation, they’re mourning what it cost them – the loss of their country, their fight for independence, over 400 villages that were destroyed and some 700,000 people who were exiled.

Mahmoud Abu Rajab, editor of Nazareth’s Al Akbar newspaper and a traditional Labor Party supporter, told me this: “Yom Ha’atzmaut, when Israel was founded, was a time of nakba for Arab citizens. That’s something no one, not Jew or Arab, can deny.”

Ibrahim Shawahna, a physiotherapist and Hadash supporter from Sahknin, told me that on Nakba Day, he and his family visit the site of the former Galilee village where his wife’s parents lived. But he also said: “This is our country, and I won’t be part of any attempt to destroy it. What I want is equality.”

Where’s the contradiction? What does Israel expect from its Arab citizens – that they forget their history of only 64 years ago, that they banish all trace of sadness over it? And if they don’t, that means they’re spitting on this country, cursing its existence?

Yes, this is what Israel expects of its Arab citizens, and this is what Israel concludes about them if they don’t meet that expectation. The right-wing power in this country pounds away at this idea out of anti-Arab belligerence, while the mainstream and even many liberals simply absorb it from the atmosphere.

And it’s a lie. The Arab citizens of this country don’t burn Israeli flags, not on Nakba Day or any other day. They don’t call for the state’s destruction. With very rare exceptions, they don’t do anything subversive.  In effect, they have accepted the loss of 1948. What they won’t accept, though, is the justice of that loss.

For Israeli nationalists, the proud winners, this is intolerable. If Israeli Arabs don’t agree that they and their fellow Arabs brought their suffering upon themselves, that they are to blame for the war, the destroyed villages, the refugees and everything else, then they’re saying Israel doesn’t have a right to exist. Then on Nakba Day, they’re “marking the ‘catastrophe’ of Israel’s inception.”

A lie, but one that most Israelis believe. The truth, rather, is that by demonizing Nakba Day, the winners of the War of Independence are telling the losers that they’re not even allowed to cry, not in public, anyway.

It’s cruel. It’s the way of the conqueror.  I’m glad the Jews won the War of Independence, but in some ways it was a catastrophe for us, too.

Read also:
This Nakba Day, peace is more urgent then ever
IMAGES: Protesters, IDF clash on Nakba Day at Ofer prison
Rightists disrupt Nakba ceremony at Tel Aviv University
Why the inconvenient truths of the Nakba must be recognized

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article

    * Required


    1. Joseph

      Larry, don’t you work for Haaretz?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      Your interlocutors said it right there: “they’re mourning what it cost them – the loss of their country….” You’re right that they’re looking at what they lost and not what the Jews gained – every group sees itself as the subject – but the Arabs’ loss and the Jews’ gain in 1948 are inseparable. That is, the loss of their country is inseparable from the creation of the State of Israel. Even if Israel had been created peacefully, with no expulsions or demolitions, it would have been a catastrophe, a nakba, for the non-Jewish peoples in Palestine. They would have lost their country.
      My impression is that Arab citizens of Israel are, in general, obedient but not loyal. There’s a vast difference between the two. They may not be spitting on the State of Israel, but they’re not loyal to it either. Ibrahim Shawahna was surely sincere when he told you he didn’t want to destroy the country, but in fact he does want to destroy the state, even if he wouldn’t put it in those words. He’s a Hadash supporter.
      Israeli Arabs have every right to be disloyal, and the state should neither demand nor expect more from them than obedience.

      Reply to Comment
    3. BOOZ

      “I’m glad the Jews won the War of Independence,”

      Me too.
      Larry …

      Not denying the other ideas put forth in your article…. but on the pronouncement above, you seem to be the only one at 972’s.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Larry, when you link to stories at Haaretz, please bear in mind that there is now a fee for viewing more than ten of those per month.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Kolumn9

      Larry, I have no idea how you expect anyone to separate out the Nakba day as it is commemorated by Arabs in the West Bank vs that commemorated by Arabs in Umm al-Fahm, vs that commemorated by Arabs visiting Iqrit. That you found some Arabs that say that they are not commemorating the day to mourn Israel’s creation does not change the fact that the day was created and continues to be commemorated by the majority as part of a political struggle to demand the reversal of 1948, that is the elimination of Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    6. KOLUMN9, where are the Israeli Arabs who say that? I haven’t heard any. What are you basing your view on? And if you look at the entirety of Israeli Arab behavior, where is the attempt to eliminate Israel? Face it, we’re the strong ones, they’re the weak ones, and we abuse our power over them.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Jack

      What elimination and cleansing of the majority of the people happend in 1947-1948?
      It seems to you that some cleansing are ok. Do you base your argument from ethnicity, and that this ethnicity is above other?

      Reply to Comment
    8. Haim

      The Arab citizens of this country don’t burn Israeli flags, not on Nakba Day or any other day. They don’t call for the state’s destruction – really? Are you serious? In 2000 Israeli flags burned in Jaffa and in Haifa. MK Ibrahim Tsarsour calls for Israel to be replaced by Khalifat. I understand that in your world, Arabs are never guilty of anything, but you can’t deny reality.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Richard Witty

      Larry’s point that there are multiple valid collective subjective experiences of the same event, is a good one.

      One cannot forget one’s personal experience, nor the second and third hand verifiable descriptions of family and friends.

      Noone can force me to forget my grandparents stories (arrived in the US in 1910), nor my in-laws (survived the holocaust, arrived in Israel in 1949).

      Why should Israeli and American Jews expect or hope that Palestinians forget their grandparents’, parents, their own experience?

      The willingness to honor the tragedy of their experience itself and the tragedy of their disappointments, would be a sign of maturity and corner turning on peace.

      The denial of the accurate description (not the embellished and polemic), is a sign of immaturity on the part of Israeli officials and supporters, a fear-golem rather than a rational protection and affirmation of Jewish identity.

      Reply to Comment
    10. As always, a wonderful text, Larry. But you should have deleted the last sentence. There never was a War of Independence. It was the start of cynical dependence on a superpower to continue the Zionist project. Jews in Israel are more dependent than anywhere else on the planet. And they pay for it with their shadow. Depending on nukes, or US money and unconditional support is not a base for a free society. Independence is freedom, not getting your will by force.
      You’re glad because of what might have been, not because of what is.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Mikesailor

      I still cannot fathom the Jewish preoccupation with a so-called ‘Jewish’ state. That is the real problem; the idea of Jewish domination over all others who are supposedly citizens of the country. While other countries in the area revolt against ethnic domination and the tyranny imposed against both the majority and minorities to create new governing paradigms (the Arab Spring), it seems Israel moves backward in history by attempting to preserve such ethnic separation and domination. Is a state of ‘all its citizens’ really such anathema? Is accepting the narrative of the ‘other’ who lost villages and were ethnically cleansed from their homes too much for the Israeli Jewish mind to bear? Or is the fantasy of being the eternal ‘victims’ blinding most Jews to the idea that they have been, and continue to be, victimizers? And that such ‘victimization’ has given the Jews license to act as they wish without consequence?
      Larry is glad the Jews won. Why? What have you really gained? Was the prize worth the agony it has caused? And of the future, what is the plan? To maintain a Jewish shtetl in the Mideast? To become more of semi- or truly full-fledged apartheid state? Where do we go from here? I have no idea but the insane idea of Jewish domination over the indigenous population leaves me little hope.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Kolumn9

      @Larry, really?? Raed Saleh, Haneen Zoabi, and those Israeli Arabs they represent implicitly call the elimination of Israel, as does anyone else that supports the BDS program. Is that not obvious to you? Abnaa el-Balad explicitly wants to replace Israel with Palestine and Ibrahim Sarsur wants to replace Israel with a Cliphate.

      That you can find Arabs within Israel that are not calling for the elimination of Israel doesn’t allow you to decry the definition of the ceremony by the majority of those that commemorate it as one that calls for the reversal of 1948 and the elimination of Israel.

      Again, the argument that politically motivated gatherings to commemorate the Nakba can be isolated from the struggle of their participants against Israel is absurd. The argument that an organization like Zochrot exists to remember the Nakba as opposed to existing to pursue political objectives within and against Israel is just fundamentally absurd as that is the explicit reasons for the funding that allows its operation.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Kolumn9

      @Richard, there is a difference between one’s personal experience and a day commemorated by a million people with explicitly political slogans and objectives. Nakba day is a political creation that started in the late 1980s. This is fact.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Kolumn9

      To the usual Israel bashers on the thread. Yes, it was worth it. To have a state after being chased from country to country for thousands of years is worth it. To be back where the Jewish people began and to look at it and know that it is ours and we can defend it is worth it. To listen to people like you and know that all you can do is squawk about what you don’t understand and we can ignore you is worth it.

      Reply to Comment
    15. K9, yes let’s all claim that little spot in Africa from which we all originate. It would become a little crowded now with 7 billion people. But what the heck, with some clever ethnic cleansing and the joyous hand of God, we could justify it easily and live happily ever after.

      Reply to Comment
    16. TLA

      What what cost them? The Israeli creation?

      The truth is that what they’re morning is the price they had to pay for losing the war THEY STARTED.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Richard Witty

      I was serious about respecting the other’s experience, and what that allows for present relations.

      And, I was serious about what disrespecting, entirely dismissing, others’ experience prohibits for present relations.

      Anger passes if there is a path to. Please, don’t you keep it going unnecessarily.

      Reply to Comment
    18. yonah fredman (wondering jew)

      It took me a while to arrive at Larry Derfner’s conclusions regarding the nakba: that one can allow or even respect the Palestinians mourning of what they lost in the war that accompanied Israel’s creation. It is an evolution towards reconciliation that accepts the suffering of the Palestinians as something that need not be scorned.

      The problem is: there is as yet no (agreed upon) resolution to the conflict and recognizing the nakba implies to some that all the refugees (and their offspring) must be allowed to return to pre 1948 Israel. This is the conclusion reached by those who do wish to see Israel’s destruction. (It is possible to favor the right of return and to envision the continuation of Israel’s existence, but many if not most who favor the right of return, do not consider Israel’s survival as a consideration in the matter.)

      Since the resolution has not been determined it is much easier to reject the nakba and thus foreclose any questions regarding the right of return. It is much simpler that way.

      Derfner has arrived at a complicated conclusion: accepting that one event was good for one group and bad for another, even before we know how the conflict will be resolved. Such complicated thoughts require flexibility of the mind and of the spirit (and maybe even a suspension of disbelief), but it is a step forward to complicate one’s thoughts and I agree with Derfner.

      Reply to Comment
    19. please don’t forget the saying u wine some and lose some . yes isreal won and built it’s state but later on it will lose everything .

      Reply to Comment
    20. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      MikeSailor writes: “I still cannot fathom the Jewish preoccupation with a so-called ‘Jewish’ state.”
      I couldn’t either, until I moved to Israel. Actually, not until I’d lived in Israel for a while. Until then, I saw the existence of a Jewish nation-state as sort of a necessary evil, necessary as long as there was nationalism and anti-Semitism threatening Jews elsewhere in the world. Living in Israel changed my mind. You’ll never fathom it by reading websites or propaganda, whether pro or con, believe me.
      If you’re an American, as I am, that’s probably the main reason you can’t fathom it. Americans cannot even begin to understand the concept of a nation, much less that of a true nation-state. My guess is that a Pole or a Japanese could fathom all this quite accurately. But the first step is to admit, sincerely, that YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND – that part of the problem is your own lack of understanding, which is a problem with your own thinking, not with Israelis or Jews (whatever their other problems!). That would be a very good start.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      Just to clarify an earlier comment: By commemorating the Nakba, Arabs ARE “marking the ‘catastrophe’ of Israel’s inception.” That is an accurate statement. It’s simply phrased from the Jews’ perspective and not from the Arabs’ perspective, but no less accurate for that. It’s human nature to phrase things from one’s own perspective. It’s much less natural to try to see things from another perspective. But given that we should “permit” the Arabs to see things primarily from their perspective, we should also permit ourselves to see things primarily from our own perspective.

      Reply to Comment
    22. From the piece: ‘Ibrahim Shawahna, a physiotherapist and Hadash supporter from Sahknin, told me that on Nakba Day, he and his family visit the site of the former Galilee village where his wife’s parents lived. But he also said: “This is our country, and I won’t be part of any attempt to destroy it. What I want is equality”‘
      A way forward.
      I live in Phoenix, AZ, which now has a sizeable Hispanic population; actually, my legislative district is now about 77% Hispanic. There is much anger about this increase. But life propogates. It does not matter whether or not I can fathom a “Jewish State.” Unless you are willing to expunge, what, 20% of you population, you are stuck with a racially diverse democracy (forgetting the “races” in the Jewish population). Your Declaration of Independence effectively accepts this. Honor the Declaration which allowed you ingress into Israel. Honor equal civil and social rights, as stated therein. You will have to eventually. There is no way out. And that was, foundationally, the legal basis of the State of Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    23. KOLUMN9, the haredim are also anti-Zionist, they also want the State of Israel to be replaced by a halakhic authority, something along the lines of a Jewish caliphate – does that make them enemies? You’re saying that any Israeli Arab who is not a Zionist, who wants Israel to be a “state of all its citizens,” is out to eliminate Israel, which, again, if you look at Israeli Arabs’ behavior, including supporters of the Islamic Movement and Balad, is nonsense. Israeli Arabs are a politically nonviolent population and have been for 64 years. The handful of people who engage in political violence or call for the violent overthrow of the state are out to eliminate Israel. The other 99+% aren’t.

      Reply to Comment
    24. XYZ

      If the Arab states call officially define themselves as “Arab”, (e.g. the Palestinian Constitution’s first clause, the “Arab Republic of Egypt”, the “Syrian Arab Republic”) and all these countries give an important role to Islam and Sharia law, if not THE leading role, then there is nothing wrong with a Jewish state. We have been a minority with our religion and culture under more or less severe pressure to leave it or eradicate and we feel that having the state support our Jewish identity, being more than “neutral” to it American- or EU-style is reasonable, particularly since the Arab states feel the same about their culture and religion.

      Reply to Comment
    25. Larry says rhetorically: “the haredim are also anti-Zionist, they also want the State of Israel to be replaced by a halakhic authority, something along the lines of a Jewish caliphate – does that make them enemies?” The obvious answer is “yes.”

      Reply to Comment
    26. XYZ

      I suppose that this makes the Republicans and Democrats in the US as well. Do you think that everyone who holds political or ideological views different than someone else views them as an enemy? That is why the Jews are a people, we have a “family connection” despite our disagreements.
      One thing I note here at 972 and othe “progressive” web sites is that everything is hyperpoliticized. Everyone and everything is scrutinized by their political positions. Those who don’t have the “correct” views are the enemy. (THis is also true for extremist “Right-wing” believers…in fact for anyone who is “hyperpoliticized”).
      Go look at Yuval Ben-Ami’s new thread…about how Europe seems so nice and how Israel has become almost intolerable for him. Yuval grew up as a member of the MAPAI elite and now he sees his country being taken away from him and it is almost too painful to bear. I feel sorry for him, but most of the population today does not identify with the old MAPAI-elite and its outdated values so most Israelis are not pessimistic like that. I feel sorry for him and those who feel the same way. Perhaps an attempt to reach out and really try to understand how other people think would help him. He does travel around a lot and meet people, he should try to look at things they way they do instead of assuming it is inherently obvious that his world-view is inherently correct, as is all too common among the old MAPAI types.
      Regarding the Haredim…they have no interest whatsoever in running the state…that is the last thing they want to do. They want to be left alone, get their share of the national pie. It is true they say they want a “Torah-State” but they do nothing to advance that cause, and in fact, oppose those who do. That is what allows them and the non-religious to coexist.

      Reply to Comment
    27. Two comments on that, XYZ. First of all, to the extent that you introduce qualifications into Larry’s summary statement, “the haredim want [x,y,z],” then you can introduce the same qualifications into my response to it. For instance, if you say, “the leaders of the haredi political parties want [x,y,z],” rather than just “the haredim” at large, then I will immediately agree that it is only the leaders of the haredi political parties who should be regarded as enemies. If you say, “they want these things but intend only to fight for them by democratic means,” then I will immediately agree they should only be combatted by democratic means. And so on. The second comment I would like to make is this: suppose I, as a non-German liberal, had questioned you, as a German liberal, about the rise of the Nazi party in the late 1920s and early 1930s? Would you have said “we have a family connection despite our disagreements”?

      Reply to Comment
    28. Let’s leave Larry’s summary statement (“the haredim…”) behind altogether, and look at the infrastructure of the phenomenon, because it is absolutely fascinating. The hilltop youth are not without their charm. There was a program about them on Israeli TV, and in one scene a group of girls were sitting under a tree with a guitar and one of them was just about to start singing and playing, and I was thinking, oh, this is just like the good old hippie times all over again, and then she said, but I can’t because you’re men. Israel Harel, the founding editor of Nekuda, occasionally writes opinion pieces for Haaretz in which he expresses great disapproval of the ‘hardal’ developments, and wishes that the religious zionist mainstream would rise up and condemn “The King’s Torah,” among other things. But when you look into it you discover that his son Itay was the founder of the Migron settlement, in 1999. For the tangled way all this works out, Motti Inbari has a fascinating case: when the haredi Movement for the Establishment of the Temple began, in the late 1980s, its leader Yosef Elboim (a Belzer hassid) was subjected to a poster campaign, barred from his synagogue, forcibly removed from the minibus he normally used to go to work, had the mezuzot torn off the entrance to his home, had his front door set on fire, etc. The episode ended after a bomb was planted in the home of R Simcha Waldenberg, head of the “Modesty Guard”. It was quietly hinted to Waldenberg that the bomb was planted by members of Kach, who were on close terms with the MET. Apparently, Yoel Lerner, the first chairman of the MET, had been a personal friend of Meir Kahane.

      Reply to Comment
    29. sh

      “If you’re an American, as I am, that’s probably the main reason you can’t fathom it.”
      Aaron, you have proved your point.
      “My guess is that a Pole or a Japanese could fathom all this quite accurately.”
      I’m not American and came to opposite conclusions. When I arrived here as an olah +- half a century ago, I thought that when the Arabs saw like passing shadows understood how kind and nice we really were, they would eventually learn to love us. With time, beginning with encounters abroad with students from Arab countries, I began to understand and internalize that we weren’t always so good and kind. Very tough, this. I was meeting German students for the first time too. In parallel, viscerally, I had already noted blanks I couldn’t fill in about our country and its people (that gap was what Zochrot was about when it got started). But in short, you’ve made a big mistake about the Poles, who would fathom both sides of domination and oppression exceptionally well because they have experienced them and are now part of a European Union that includes neighbors who were once their worst enemies. I have no personal experience of Japan, but looking at the dramas and upheavals of their 20th century and the fact that they currently have good relations with an enemy that ended up nuking them, I’d put a ditto there too.
      “By commemorating the Nakba, Arabs ARE “marking the ‘catastrophe’ of Israel’s inception.”
      No, they are marking the catastrophe of losing their houses, their belongings, the fracturing and dispersion of their families, their mutilated – both physical and psychological – and their dead. You can call that self-obsessed if you like, but then your interpretation of Nakba Day is too.

      Reply to Comment
    30. sh

      “Such complicated thoughts require flexibility of the mind and of the spirit (and maybe even a suspension of disbelief), but it is a step forward to complicate one’s thoughts and I agree with Derfner.” – Yonah Fredman
      Spirit first, I think. Such thoughts require empathy. Since so many other aspects of life benefit from empathy as well, even minimal investment in its cultivation is worthwhile. Almost everything we do benefits one group to the detriment of the other. The ability to imagine the effect of what we are doing upon others (and on our physical environment) improves our ability to predict consequences.

      Reply to Comment
    31. XYZ

      Do you really think that Haredim are like the Nazis? I thought you were more knowledgable than that. I guess I was wrong.

      Reply to Comment
    32. I already pointed out that you have to disaggregate “the haredim” before you can say anything specific. Obviously, most of them are harmless. But I have offered several examples to show that the ‘hardal’ phenomenon is not.

      Reply to Comment
    33. Joel

      “The Arab citizens… don’t call for the state’s destruction. With very rare exceptions, they don’t do anything subversive.”

      Throwing rocks at soldiers isn’t subversive?


      Reply to Comment
    34. aristeides

      K9 says “it was worth it” when he wasn’t the one who paid the price for it. Of course he thinks it’s worth it. Stolen goods are always cheap.

      Joel – if throwing rocks at agents of the state is subversive, then both the settlers and the haredim are a subversive population, since they often engage in it. The only difference is that they usually aren’t arrested for it.

      And then there are the IDF agents provocateurs who throw rocks at soldiers.

      Reply to Comment
    35. Joel

      Throwing stones at State agents is subversive regardless of who throws them. Agreed?

      Reply to Comment
    36. RichardL

      Joel – I would buy into your last comment. But the photograph you cite is something else. I don’t know where the picture was taken, but the Palestinian flag suggests it is occupied territory, probably the West Bank. If so it is an act of resistance, not subversion and, more to the point, you have provided no evidence to back up your assertion. [‘Course whether or not the action in the photo complies with the laws of war is a different matter.]

      Reply to Comment
    37. Kolumn9

      Larry, you asked me to show you Israeli Arabs that desire to eliminate the state of Israel. THIS I HAVE PROVIDED TO YOU.

      The BDS movement is fighting against the existence of Israel. This is so obvious that even anti-Israeli analysts admit it. Those that support its program are in the same boat.

      Who said anything about violence or the Haredim? Don’t try to change the topic. You asked for Israeli Arabs that want to eliminate Israel and I HAVE PROVIDED THAT FOR YOU.

      We are talking about the commemoration of Nakba Day and your claim was that Israeli Arabs do not mean to mark this event as an expression of a desire to eliminate the state of Israel. I have provided counter examples where YES, that is exactly the likely explanation. Now you are going to try to weasel out by arguing that they are not supporting doing so in a violent way. What possible difference does that make to the fact that your argument that Israeli Arabs mark this day as an expression of something other than a political platform for the eliminatin of Israel is either a gross generalization or blatantly false?

      In addition, the theoretical concept that it is possible to separate the meaning of Nakba Day for just the Israeli Arabs is absurd considering that most Israeli Arabs have fully adopted the narrative of the same Palestinians and Arabs who commemorate this event outside of Israel.

      Also Kudos on interviewing Arabs that support Labor and Hadash. Is it a coincidence that you didn’t bother interviewing anyone from Balad or did you happen to know a priori that the answer you would get about the significance of Nakba Day would likely be different?

      Reply to Comment
    38. No, you haven’t provided anything. Show me the Nakba demonstrations where they call for the destruction of Israel, where they burn Israeli flags. Show me the terror campaign. Show me anything except your delusions. For you, anybody who isn’t a Zionist is a traitor. That’s the extent of your evidence. I’m replying to you in your own nasty tone – change it or comment someplace else.

      Reply to Comment
    39. Kolumn9

      Larry, You are changing the topic, aren’t you? I never called anyone a traitor or a terrorist. One can be a non-Zionist without supporting a campaign to eliminate Israel, like BDS. The Nakba Day commemorations by Israeli Arabs can not possibly be separated, as you have tried, from those by their brethren in the West Bank and Gaza and whose narrative the majority of Israeli Arabs have adopted. And no, I don’t have to show a terror campaign to demonstrate that there are prominent Israeli Arabs that wish to eliminate Israel. That which you have requested, I have done.

      Reply to Comment
    40. K9, you’ve said Israeli Arabs are out to destroy Israel, but you haven’t shown it – except to say that people who think Israel should not be a Jewish state are out to destroy it. I think a lot of people who oppose Jewish statehood are, in fact, out to destroy the country, but Israeli Arabs aren’t among them. There is a huge difference between their attitude toward Israel and that of Palestinians in Gaza/WBank – in word and deed. They live with us and they want to go on living with us – they just want a fairer shake, and they do not want to be told they can’t mourn over their tragedies or be forced to admit that they themsselves caused it. If a Palestinian state is ever formed, they will stay here – even if they could take their land with them, they will stay here. This is not my imagination, this is what they say. Their words and deeds contradict your view of them.

      Reply to Comment
    41. Alex

      Wow, Larry, what fantasy world are you living in? If the Naqba is the catastrophe then someone is guilty (the Jews) of making victims (the Arabs). What happens to people who are guilty of crimes? They get punished. That’s what the Naqba represents to the Arabs — Jews are guilty of unspeakable crimes (you know, like defending ourselves from 5 invading armies who would have committed GENOCIDE if they could).

      But back to the Arab perspective. How exactly does a wrong get righted, so to speak, and the bad guys punished for their crimes? The Right of Return, meaning the end of Israel. When they call for the Right of Return they are calling for the end of Israel. The two things are synonymous.

      Larry, you are truly living in a dream world.

      Reply to Comment
    42. david

      The fact is that 99% of Israeli Arabs are disloyal citizens who identify with the country’s enemies, refuse to serve in the military (of Israel’s, anyway). They themselves self-identify as Palestinians with an Israeli passport. Most refuse to learn or speak Hebrew. They are a fifth column.

      Reply to Comment
    43. Click here to load previous comments