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nakba

  • Returning to Yaffa, but only as a ‘tourist’

    It is hours — days, weeks, maybe some months if we’re fortunate — before my permit expires, when I would have to make my way back to the West Bank, or else Israel will deem my presence in my own ancestral city ‘illegal.’ By Mariam Barghouti If I were given a dollar for the number of times diplomats, journalists, activists, and policy-makers have asked me “Have you thought about speaking with Israelis?” I could buy myself a chateau in Yaffa. [tmwinpost] I choose Yaffa because that question rings loudly in my head whenever I visit the city. It is where…

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  • My Palestinian sitty embodies the humanity Israel tries to deny us

    My grandmother is not just a beacon of warmth and love. Not just my first best friend. She is a survivor. She is the compass that points to justice. By Nooran Alhamdan My grandmother was my first best friend. As soon as I'd be dropped off at her house, almost daily, the hotheaded and spoiled four-year-old me would change to well behaved and bubbly. [tmwinpost] My teta, grandmother in Arabic, would sit me by her side while she meticulously rolled tiny stuffed grape leaves on the large dining room table. She would turn on the Arabic pop channel for me…

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  • How I learned to stop worrying and acknowledge the Nakba

    For more than seven decades, Israelis haven't been able to come to terms with the consequences of the Nakba. To do so, they'll have to confront the hard truths about 1948, and shed their moral superiority. By Michal Talya The first time I ever heard a testimony about the Nakba was nearly two decades ago from a Bedouin man named Khalil who lived in the Negev/Naqab. I remember how difficult it was for me to believe that he was speaking the truth. In fact, I was convinced that as he told stories of cruelty meted out by both Israeli soldiers and policymakers,…

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  • Palestinians are holding weddings, baptisms, burials in villages destroyed by Israel

    Third-generation survivors of the Nakba are returning to the churches in the villages Israel destroyed in 1948 to hold religious ceremonies. By Suha Arraf Just over two weeks ago, Khaled Bisharat, son of famed journalist and author Odeh Bisharat, was married in a church in the village of Ma’alul. It was a wedding like any other, apart from one fact: Ma’alul, which lies just four miles southwest of Nazereth, was destroyed by Israel in the 1948 war, and most of its displaced residents fled to the town of Yafa an-Naseriyye. The wedding is part of a trend: third-generation survivors of the Nakba…

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  • When Zionism imagined Jewish nationalism without supremacy

    In his recent book, Dr. Dmitry Shumsky shows that, contrary to popular belief, the forefathers of Zionism did not envision a state based on Jewish supremacy. And yet Zionism, he says, inevitably involves the oppression of Palestinians. By Meron Rapoport No one was surprised when the authors of the Jewish Nation-State Law decided to write, in its opening clauses, that “The State of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people,” and “the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people." After all, this is precisely what every young Israeli is taught in school, whether they are Jewish or Arab. Israel, so…

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  • Don’t wait for Israeli archives to prove what Palestinians already know

    Israeli authorities are deliberately concealing historical documents to undermine evidence of the state's dark and violent origins. And the world is still falling for it. The village of Safsaf (“willow” in Arabic) appears on page 490 of the newest edition of Walid Khalidi’s All That Remains, a seminal book that catalogues 418 Palestinian communities that were destroyed and depopulated during the Nakba. A Palestinian eyewitness account describes the day when Zionist forces conquered the village and rounded up its residents in October 1948: As we lined up, a few Jewish soldiers ordered four girls to accompany them to carry water for…

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  • For Israelis the Nakba is a footnote. For Palestinians it's the heart of the conflict

    Israelis tend to view the expulsions of the 1948 war as a small, local affair that was quite restrained compared to the Nazi genocide. For Palestinians, it is an ongoing dispossession. By Sam Freed To large portions of the Jewish Israeli public, the Nakba was small event — an historical side note. To most Palestinians, on the other hand, it is a huge, exceptionally brutal, and vastly important part of their history. In order to understand why there is such a vast disparity in the way the Nakba is perceived by Israelis and Palestinians, despite very little contention as to the objective…

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  • PODCAST: The other Palestinian march of return

    The +972 Podcast heads to the destroyed village of Khubbeiza to hear what Nakba Day means to different people, including Palestinians internally displaced in Israel. Every year for over two decades, thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel have marked Nakba Day by marching to the site of a different village that was depopulated and destroyed during the Nakba. While the story of Palestinian refugees — 700,000 of whom were driven out or fled in 1948 — is relatively well known, we rarely speak of those who were internally displaced during the war. These families remained in what became Israel but were…

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  • The story of my family's Nakba

    How strange is it to see the events that defined the lives of three generations of my family as a mere paragraph in a book? How strange is it to discover that your family’s lived experience is considered merely a footnote on the pages of history? By Nooran Alhamdan It is a sweet July night, with the smell of citrus heavy in the air. The sound of women ululating and laughter echoes through the hills. The center of the village of Qazaza is a celebration, with men jovially drinking bitter coffee and children chasing after one another. My grandfather was…

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  • You have the power to stop apartheid: An open letter to AIPAC

    American Jews, who play such a central role in what happens in Israel, can put an end to the oppression of Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line. But only if they tell Israelis that enough is enough. By Marzuq al-Halabi Dear AIPAC leaders, In one of his most famous poems, “Think of Others,” Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish asks the reader to keep the other in mind at all times. This, he writes, should apply whether we are preparing breakfast, paying our water bill, or declaring war. I wonder, then, whether you, as you take part in your annual conference next week think about us over…

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  • What's so scary about a state of all its citizens?

    What sounds like a basic democratic concept is not only at odds with Israel’s founding principles, it is viewed as a direct threat. By Asaf Calderon Benjamin Netanyahu made waves in and outside of Israel this week when, responding to a statement by actress Rotem Sela that Israel should belong to all of its citizens, Arabs and Jews alike, he wrote "Israel is not a state of all its citizens." While the shocked reactions should be welcomed, the indignation is also indicative of how little the world is paying attention to the mainstream discourse in Israel. [tmwinpost] In Israel today, the…

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  • After a decade, evictions set to return in Sheikh Jarrah

    Residents of Sheikh Jarrah are bracing for a new wave of evictions, ten years after Israeli settlers attempted to take over Palestinian homes in the embattled East Jerusalem neighborhood. The Sabag and Hamad families are refugees from Jaffa and Haifa, respectively. Expelled from their homes during the 1948 war, they have been living in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, an area that was at least partially owned by Jews before the war, since 1956. They were resettled there by the Jordanian authorities and UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for providing humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees. [tmwinpost] Although their original…

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  • How one of Israel's veteran activists came to support (some) sanctions

    Galia Golan supports levying sanctions and international pressure against Israel to hasten the end of the occupation. That does not, however, mean that she supports BDS. Golan, who was one of the founders of Peace Now, served as the chair of Hebrew University’s political science department, and advised several Israeli prime ministers, has come a long way since leaving her job at the CIA to move to Israel 52 years ago. [tmwinpost] Much of that happened relatively early on, when she learned — before most Israelis, she notes — about Israel's expulsion of the Palestinian population in 1948 and its refusal to…

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