i am not a fan, normally, of days that commemorate something. i don’t celebrate mother’s day or valentine’s day, for instance. i feel that there is something deeply wrong if one needs a holiday to remember to show one’s appreciation for those you love. i am finding myself feeling similarly about yom an nakba this year. for me i see new nakbas every day in palestine, and in the region more generally because of american imperialism here. the idea that you spend one day commemorating it disturbs me. of course, palestinians live it and remember it whether they are refugees or living on their land. that said, i do think it is important to remember this history of the ethnic cleansing of palestine and to mark this event, which apparently israeli terrorist colonist avigdor lieberman wishes to make a crime for those who mark this 61st year of occupation and colonization (though zionists have been colonizing and occupying the land for 122 years now). here are the plans for criminalizing commemoration for yom an nakba:
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s party wants to ban Israeli Arabs from marking the anniversary of what they term “the Catastrophe” or Nakba, when in 1948 some 700,000 Arabs lost their homes in the war that led to the establishment of the state of Israel.
The ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party said it would propose legislation next week for a ban on the practice and a jail term of up to three years for violators.
“The draft law is intended to strengthen unity in the state of Israel and to ban marking Independence Day as a day of mourning,” said party spokesman Tal Nahum.
The initiative could fuel racial tensions stoked by Lieberman’s February election campaign call to make voting or the holding of public office in Israel contingent on pledging loyalty to the Jewish state.
and here is a film from 1950 called sands of sorrow in which you can see first hand how palestinian refugees were living just two years after the forced removal from their land:
unfortunately, it was not just one day. and it did not stop in 1948. it has continued consistently every day since then for palestinians on a number of levels. in some ways this blog is an archive of those nakbas in recent years. for those who want to learn more about the 531 destroyed palestinian villages and the 750,000 palestinian refugees who still demand and deserve the right of return as codified in un resolution 194 read through their stories on the website palestine remembered. and for some great photographs of past and present nakbas check out al falasteenyia’s blog.
there is a simple solution to all of this: the right of return.