Nakba. 67 years and a day after.
Well. It is still Nakba, with continuous de-digestion.
Some parents practically locked up their teen-agers from leaving their homes ( I was among those he literally begged my teenager not to leave the house for any reason . i was into any of his blackmailing tactics in such an occasion ), because the pain of last year two teen-agers in this very timing is still open with its wound. It is not that the loss of one or two is problematic. It is probably about how cheap life passes by. Palestinians used to proudly give their sons for martyrdom for the sake of the cause of liberation. Last year however marked a lot of differences. Inside a normalized systematic approach of the last twenty years, people in the west bank, especially in Ramallah and its districts, started believing that the helium fed mini state of Ramallah could be real, with a neighbor they will not have to see, despite enclaving them on their very own land with settlements and roads and of course checkpoints. But as for many, VIP services became at a fingertip that was also passable. But last year witnessed before the killing of the two young teenagers on the Nakba day, unprecedented killings of young men in the previous months. Stories of killing with cold blood, that seemed outrageous to the current normalization effect. Of course what took place a month later starting from Hebron and ending up in Gaza broke all chains of imagined normalization. Killing became collective. People became numbers. There was no place for focusing on one story and humanizing it. Humanity was under the butcher knife, and who ever survived it got the happy ending.
This year, people stayed mostly home securing their children from being the next celebrated victims for either of the fighting factions. Because it became a trend last year. With each victim laid under earth, a color of the flag covering it became most important, and while parents mourn, factions fought for the covering color of the corpse. Well, a martyr fell, and some few fell injured. But what is one next to hundreds. After all it wasn’t that people didn’t want to commemorate the Nakba. But it was more that the commemoration took an official marking this year some days before. To realize that this happened on the occasion of the apparent decision that the “leadership” was celebrating the Vatican’s recognition of Palestine. Well. Who wants to make another screaming speech to miss a paid vacation in Rome? Italy always leaves a more astounding flavor in the taste after all.
A convoy from the north walked all the way from Haifa to the Aqsa. They started with ten and ended with seventy. An impressive effort by people who still feel the bitterness of being forced to be absorbed by occupation with the nostalgia to their true roots, that are still deeply rooted in the same extended soil in the neighborhood not far away.
After all. Commemoration took place. And Nakba is still remembered.
But something kept buzzing in my head. From the day before. My weekly radio session with Mossi in all for peace. The anguish, and loudness that took over the discussion at some point. Mossi, is a nice leftist, Meretz. The few proud remaining left in Israel. Not that I buy. But I imagine the intensity of what they do being Israelis. One thing remained in the echo of our discussion when at some point he accused me of being bad for Palestinian propaganda. And I was thinking, oh my god. I am bad enough talking badly about the PA all the time. I am already screwed. Now what? I should be a nice Palestinian like Abbas talking nicely in accordance to what the Israeli public wanted to hear? Luckily I am not Abbas. And sadly, nobody pays me to force me to say what he or she like.
But something ignited Mossi’s temper, and I fully understand him somehow, after all he is a politician, he is Israeli. He knows what an Israeli wants to hear. But my point remains. To hell with what the Israeli wants to hear. We should go a step further. It is about the truth. Not the reality of where we are today. It is about Israel being an occupying existence, whether Israelis want to recognize it or not. As much as it is problematic for us Palestinians not to find it easy to recognize the reality of Israel, it is worse for Israelis that they don’t get this. After all. Israel is a sudden existence that befell on the Palestinians. We Palestinians were and still there, it cannot be erased, and changing history by inventing facts can work, but when people disappear in hundreds of years. We didn’t disappear yet.
I know that each time I compare Israel to the Nazi, Mossi hates me and I understand him. I have to say that I love our debates. They are important and genuine. Not always pleasant though. And sometimes I don’t know whom of the him and I exist. Is it I Nadia or it’s Palestine, and is it him Mossi or it’s Israel. But the occasion was a prime one …
After all, you cannot come to a Palestinian and say; you fled. You murdered poor Jewish civilians going to work. You refused the partition. And you expect me to say, I apologize for that. I cannot compare that incident to the massacres committed against my people systematically throughout the previous year until this very day.
I cannot not see the Nazi resemblance. After all history is there for us to learn from. And the Nazi crimes are the most important lesson of the Jewish misery. Why not use it as a case study. Especially when we are talking about those who knew the Nazis most. The Jews.
As much as there is this typical stereotyping in the issue Mossi’s defense was that I couldn’t compare the 20,30,40, 60 million victims of the Jews under the Nazi to what happened to the Palestinians. And I think. Well. It is half a population. We never got to a ten million .so are we still under the reachable number of allowed victims in this case until the Israelis put us on the same level of misery as theirs?
And when I tried to humanize the Jewish life back then, asking if he considered the Jewish resistance to the Nazis as terror. His answer was a typical Palestinian answer. They only killed German soldiers.
In 67 years of this unjust continuous situation. The best of Israelis still find it impossible to look at them and admit, that who they are is the result of our mischief. The fact that they deny it so much keeps them in this state of continuous fear. Because for me as a Palestinian, that even if I only represent myself in this very opinion, I still count as a Palestinian voice (my nostalgia to elections makes me obsessive on using such terms); I see him, or Israel as a fact that I have to live with. I can never say I am happy with the existence f Israel. Because it marks my official expulsion and non-ending misery. But I understand perfectly that as much as I grew up in this land believing it is mine, there exist a generation of Israelis like mine who grew believing the same. And as much as it is my right it is theirs. But recognition is a key to real peace.
The difference between an Israeli and a Palestinian is the difference between an oppressor and an oppressed. An occupier and an occupied. It is not a difference between two brothers fighting over who gets the fair share of his father’s land.
The fact that we didn’t agree to the partition plan doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve to have our land. We didn’t agree to the partition land 68 years ago, because Israel wasn’t a legitimate or even an heir of our inherited land. It feels like going to court with your brothers over an inheritance dispute and the judge gives the big share to a total outsider. And then we have to agree.
Maybe in ten years, we will regret not allowing Abbas to take the no offer he received. As much as Arafat was blamed for not taking Camp David and so on…
There is something more in that, than just sharing a land. It is about recognition, and then it is up to us Palestinians to forgive and let go of what is still ours.
Because the world, the UN, whoever can do whatever they wish in distributing land and property that is theirs. But no right can ever be effective even with all the power on earth, if the real owner didn’t sell or agree.
No matter how strong Israel sees it. But the very fact it is comprised of people who agreed to live in homes of people whose clothes were still there. Whose keys are still with them until this very day? Whose memories were never wiped from the original peoples memories despite all the changes and the ultimate uprooting of the homes and land it. It is impossible to get away with such a crime and insist on legitimizing it.
We Palestinians may continue to live in our own mischief of terrible leadership, who remains occupied with minor interests rather than nations’. We may remain displaced. We may remain threatened in such a life under occupation. There is something about being Palestinians that must be in our own blood. It is the cause, not the land that matters at a moment of a total loss of the land maybe. But that cause is as living as the land. And injustice can never be a solution.
Israelis after 67 years still insist on living in denial of the misery they caused. Arrogantly refuse to recognize the crime they continue to commit against people, whose only crime was being simple, naïve and part of a conspiracy that the world gathered against, believing probable that it must have been easy to get rid of them in a year or two …
Palestine is not just a land and people.
Palestine is a cause.
Palestine is a just cause for a people and a land.