YONATAN SILVERMAN: THE BIG LIE CALLED NAKBA DAY
A prime example of Palestinian brazen malicious deceit against Israel is their so-called “Day of Catastrophe” or Nakba Day. Apparently the first Arab to coin this meretricious concept was Syrian historian Constantine Zureiq in his 1948 book, Ma’na al-Nakba (The Meaning of the Disaster). But official Palestinian national commemoration of the day was not inaugurated until 1998 by Yasser Arafat. Following Arafat’s declaration of recognition for the day, over one million Palestinian Arabs participated in marches and other events.
What is the disaster Nakba Day commemorates? Nothing less than the day on which Israel Declared Independence in 1948. And to add insult to injury, the Palestinians commemorate their national disaster day every year to coincide with Israeli Independence Day, around 15 May.
Why was Israel’s Declaration of Independence such a disaster for the Palestinians? This harks back to Israel’s 1948 War of independence. The 1948 Palestinian exodus, also known as Nakba, meaning the “disaster”, “catastrophe”, or “cataclysm”, occurred when approximately 725,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes, during this bitter war.
If you look up Nakba online, the search returns numerous Palestinian websites claiming to explain this phenomenon in Palestinian history and eliciting sympathy and even financial donations for the numerous Palestinian “refugees” in the Arab countries who are descendants of the original refugees from Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. At the time this unfortunate problem developed in the late 1940s, flooding the Arab countries with thousands and even hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees, the Arabs refused to accept any solution to the problem but Israel’s accepting all the refugees back into the territory they fled — now the state of Israel. Israel for its part agreed to accept a small percentage back. But for the tyrannical Arabs, the solution was all or nothing.
So the Palestinian refugees who fled Israel in 1948 during the War of Independence were stuck in squalid camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt. And the Arabs have consistently exploited the problem for political mileage against Israel and on the backs of the Palestinians.
A question that is more to the point however, is how exactly did the Palestinians become refugees in the first place in 1948? The first cause was surely the War of Independence itself. The Palestinians who lived in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and elsewhere in the Jewish yishuv vehemently rejected the UN Partition plan for Palestine, and took arms against the newborn state of Israel. The Palestinians who became refugees weren’t just innocent bystanders in other words. They were active combatants who threw their hats in the ring with the invading Arab countries whose aim was to annihilate the Jewish State at birth.
Were there cases in which Palestinians were forcibly removed and deported by Israel and the IDF? Probably, but it seems to me that in a war it is always better to err on the side of caution when dealing with armed adversaries. And the record shows there was never an official Israeli government-signed document ordering the removal and deportation of any Palestinian combatants.
The fact is in 1948 Palestinian Arab leaders strongly encouraged their constituents to leave Israel and return to their homes after the war was quickly won by the invading Arab armies. The Arab leaders told the Palestinian Arab population to get out of harm’s way and let the invading Arab armies do their work without interference. This was another reason they fled.
This perverted national Palestinian Nakba Day observance therefore, has nothing to do with historical facts, but springs solely and exclusively from their national impulse to express hate and malice against the Jewish people and against Israel. If there was a disaster for the Palestinians stemming from Israel’s War Of Independence they brought it down on their own heads. There is absolutely no truth to the claim that Israel is responsible for their refugee status to begin with or the perpetuation of their being refugees. It was a time of defensive war, and Israel had no alternative but to win the war no holds barred. It seems to me there has never been any war in history that did not cause a refugee problem. However, in the case of the 1948 Palestinian refugee problem, the Arab countries to which they fled and despicable organizations like the United Nations Relief And Works Agency (UNRWA) persistently have taken measures to perpetuate their refugee fate, stick this problem in Israel’s eye unjustifiably, and ensure the problem is never corrected in a just humane manner.
In fact, the most just and true manner in which to view the Palestinian refugee problem in the days following Israel’s War of Independence is as a population transfer. While some 700,000 Palestinians were displaced from Palestine during the war, the Arab countries exploited their anger over Israel’s victory to expel an estimated 800,000 Jewish inhabitants from Arab lands. The Jews found their way to new homes and new lives in Israel, despite millions of dollars of confiscated property in their former homes. This injustice has never been rectified. But the fact is the situation rectified itself because the Jews expelled from Arab lands took over places in Israel that the Palestinians abandoned.
The corollary to the Nakba is the Palestinian Right of Return, which the Palestinians refuse to abandon, but if undertaken would undermine the state of Israel, and is again part and parcel of Palestinian peace aims. Not peace — but Israel piece by piece. Or Israel, Rest In Peace.
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