As the social media is starting to flood with statuses and articles about the Nakba in these days, commemorating the 68th year of occupation. I feel for the first time in my life as an adult, that I am ready to re-read the Nakba.
It took me however years inside my adulthood to read about the Nakba. As if it has been part of a collective catastrophe (which it is) that I personally lived and endured, and some parts of my brain always insisted on blocking. It always felt like a deep injury that lived on your skin for so long and you are too vulnerable on touching it, for the fear of opening it and getting it infected.
I have dared, however, in the last years to dig more into the matter. It is impossible to get anything from my parents or my grandmother. There is something that this issue is treated with a certain feeling of shame and defeat that they prefer to say that they don’t remember.
Falling into the trap of blame game, that from one side we Palestinians have lived with inside our own depths, and blaming the Israelis for that misery as a sole responsible for this is another side of this trap.
The complexity of this conflict lies in its simplicity. The permanency of it, as well as the denial and throwing responsibilities on others made it complicated, to a level that it is irreversibly manageable after 67 years.
I think on the occasion of the commemoration of the Nakba this year. We Palestinians should, next to holding the keys of our dwelled upon homes, start a serious re reading of the Nakba. Not focusing on Israel as our main opponent. Israel at the end was a result of a UN resolution that the international community abided with. It is not that I am removing Israelis from responsibility of occupation. At the end the jews agreed to come to a land with people whom they first ignored their existence, and when they found them they committed crimes against them, in what the history would one day confirm was an ethnic cleansing of a nation.
But that Israel is responsible for that alone, is where I think we should start change our focus on. Which is of course practically impossible, because Israel refuses to deal with us except as an occupier vs. occupied. Israel has failed to prove to us that its need for a country that will mark their rise as a nation and their very own existence was not merely against us the people of Palestine. Maybe it is true that the Jews were in such a grave need, and a real threat to their existence was taking place. After all, the Nazis eradication of the Jews in Europe wasn’t a proud moment for modern civilization. Could it be that these people were so traumatized to a level where their survival became the only possible means for existence, as they knew it, and as a result they justified all the crimes they themselves committed against the Palestinians?
While what became Israel and Palestine remain busy occupied in fighting one against the other, in what seems to be an eternal fight for the very existence, many elements that comprised of different powers and factors benefited both from the creation of Israel and the continuation of the occupation.
A question that I am re-asking to myself is: given the facts on the assumed war of 1948, and the wars that followed, what was the real role of the Arab power? Who among them really fought against Israel and who really fought on the side of Israel? It was a period that the “Arab World” of the “Middle East” was as new as Israel itself. As much as the Zionist movement, comprised with not only Jews, leading the Jews towards an illusion of “the land without people to the people without land”. The Arabs were dragged into the Arab nationalism that convincingly was ripped away from them by being marginalized in their own homelands in the last decades of the Ottoman Empire. All what became of the Middle East and its leaders were nothing but chosen carefully by the colonial powers. So it is important for us Palestinians to look deeper into this matter. The price of giving shares of what became the Middle East and Arab reign as a result of coup-ing against the Ottomans was a sacrifice called Palestine. Does Israel fall as the only responsible side in this? The formation of Israel was part of a deal outside the region, that it served more than one elements, first, finding a final solution for the jewish problem that has been bothering Europe for many centuries, by maybe sending them voluntarily to their own exile. Another element was definitely keeping a close eye and control over the new created Middle East. There was a need to have something “Israel”, in which each of the new and previous colonial powers have access to in the region, especially after the discovery of the resources of the region.
Whereas, in the meantime, the new Israelis continued to convince themselves that this was God’s promised land, not Balfour’s. and the Palestinians continued to convince themselves that an Arab awakening is coming , and the legacy of the Arab Islamic triumphs will remain… it is only a slumber phase of Arab-Islamism .
By the time the leaders of the two invented enmities “Israel-Palestine” realized the real scandal their existence vs non existence involves, each side became viciously what we live today ; a monstrous greedy Israel, who might as well fulfill a biblical legacy , and a weak, naïve, Palestine , who might as well get enough from coloring itself with green, red, black and white to keep its place on the map of existence, realizing that Arab nationalism is nothing but oil , money , power fed nationalism .
So much of an un-read, needed to be read of our history should be how we commemorate our ongoing Nakba.