Thoughts on Nakba Day
The Nakba commemoration this year comes at a critical juncture. The makeup of the current Israeli government and the publication of its guidelines foretell of another dark and difficult episode in the long and difficult Palestinian struggle to achieve freedom and equality. As it stands, Israel’s newest government consists of a prime minister who resorted to blatant racism and outright rejection of the two-state solution to win an election, a Justice Minister who has philosophized the legitimacy of genocide against the Palestinian people, and an Education Minister whose sole objective is to eliminate, once and for all, the viability of a Palestinian state by pursuing a mega-expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
For us Palestinians, there is nothing surprising about the makeup of the current Israeli government, or the statements of its prime minister and justice minister, or its guidelines. In fact, the formation of the Israeli government was met with a mixture of public apathy and subdued worry that Palestinian blood will inevitably be spilled en masse sometime during its tenure. The public apathy does not emanate from a lack of desire to achieve Palestinian national aspirations, but rather from a deep-rooted, evidence-based belief that the current formula being used in pursuit of an elusive solution is flawed, outdated, and no longer relevant. It also emanates from a lack of belief that the international community has the will to finally draw a red line and stop tolerating Israel’s flagrant denial of Palestinian rights and indifference to meet its obligations under international law.
Today, more than ever, Palestinian demarches to internationalize the Palestinian cause have never been more justified. Today, more than ever, the Israeli bluff of seeming to be interested in some form of diplomatic solution has never been more bare, more uncovered. For us Palestinians, it has always been crystal clear that successive Israeli governments were never serious about a genuine and just peace altogether. Rather, it is now evident that previous Israeli governments have excelled at putting on theatricals to appear interested and somehow engaged in a diplomatic process to reach a mutually agreed upon solution. Up until the recent election, the theatricals have been going strong. Thanks to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s blunt honesty, the Israeli government is no longer putting on a show anymore. It is now as honest as a government can be on this topic and its message is loud and clear: “No to a Palestinian state! No to peace!”
As we continue our righteous struggle to join the nations of the world, we will never forget the struggles of our forefathers and foremothers who were uprooted from their lands, displaced from their homes, and whose children continue to endure the difficulties and unsettlement of refugee life. We pledge to keep struggling, in their name and in their memory, for justice and freedom in our land. We call on all peace loving nations to help us break the cuffs of occupation and put an end to the protracted suffering of the Palestinian people. May this year be a year of transformation and healing.