Tuesday, May 05, 2015

What does the Jewish Nakba mean to you?

Iraqi Jewish refugee with suitcase, 1951

The merry month of May is upon us, and thoughts on the anti-Zionist lunatic fringe turn to Nakba Day on May 14. Time for the Zochrot organization to plan their annual stunt in memory of the ‘catastrophe’ or Nakba, of the flight of 600, 000 Palestinian Arabs and the creation of Israel 67 years ago. Lyn Julius has already clashed with Zochrot, as recounted in the Times of Israel:

This year activists are organizing a ‘Public Apology Ceremony‘, funded by EU money and the lucre of earnest but misguided churches and NGOs, to commemorate the Nakba at the former site of the village of Lubya, near Tiberias. The organization says that the ceremony is to apologize for Israel planting trees in the area.

 Last year they held a conference at Tel Aviv university, the putative site of the ruined Arab village of Sheikh Munis. There Zochrot laid out their ugly vision of what ‘the right of return’ for Palestinian Arabs to what is now Israel would mean. It was, in anybody’s book, a recipe for bloodshed and mayhem. Zochrot have produced a short video clip to promote their mission: “So wait a moment, what is the Nakba?” Unsuspecting Israelis strolling on the Tel Aviv tayelet are quizzed on what the Nakba means to them.

I don’t know what is more worrying. The appalling ignorance of the Israeli public in this video — or the fact that Zochrot are asking the question in the first place. In an altercation on Facebook with Eitan Bronstein Aparicio, one of the Zochrot leaders, I pointed out that the Palestinian Arabs were victims of their own leadership. Had the Arabs won the 1948 war, members of Zochrot, along with all the Jews of Israel, would surely have ended up at the bottom of the Mediterranean sea. And what did Zochrot think about the Jewish Nakba, I asked — the 870,000 Jewish refugees driven and dispossessed from Arab countries? Why were Zochrot exercised by one injustice, but coolly indifferent to another?

Eitan’s reply charged that, as someone who lived in the ex-colonial power of Britain, how could I lecture them on the colonial usurpation of native rights? Modern nations loved to re-invent themselves by evoking ancient myths, he declared. As a good po-mo radical, Eitan had read the book ‘Imagined nations’ by Benedict Anderson.

Except that in this case, I shot back at Eitan, the true natives were the Jews. It was only a generation or ago and not in the dim-and-distant past, that these indigenous Jews, whose communities had for the most part resided in Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, etc, for 1,000 years before Islam, had been uprooted, in greater numbers than the Palestinian Arabs, from their countries of birth and been forced to seek refuge in the Jewish state.

 I’m still waiting for Eitan’s rejoinder.

Read article in full


Droid said...

It means that you keep using a false Arabic term 'Nakba' for propagandistic purposes. The decision to use the same term suggests equivalency, where there is none.

bataween said...

droid, what would you suggest? It's a useful shorthand for people who have only heard of the Palestinian Nabatean. It does not suggest equivalence at all, in my view, except in terms of an exchange of populations

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

I agree with Droid in not liking the term nakba. But you are right in saying that it is a useful shorthand --especially for most people today --- who are ignorant people about almost everything in history. And when they talk history they usually spout lies from interested parties.

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

in response to Zokhrot, the Arabs in the country started attacking Jewish civilian areas in December 1947 and the first refugees in the war were Jews in the Shimon haTzadik quarter of Jerusalem, in south Tel Aviv and parts of Haifa.

bataween said...

yes we must not forget that Jews in Jerusalem and South Te aviv were the first to be attacked. But Israel never mentions this fact. Re my previous comment, Nabatean should have read Nakba ...apologies for overzealous spellcheck!

Sammish said...

The Nakba is and will remain still the miopic, half baked, tuneled vision, fake victimhood view that arabs will use agains the Jewish state.

I used to be furious about this Nakba, now I am no longer upset, because all I see is the real nakbas occuring right now under the noses of these stupid ignorant cretins in the arab world and the self agrandizing leftist arabs and their cronies in Western democracies. What I mean by that are the Syrian, Lybian, Yemeni, Iraqi failed states and their debacle in creating their hordes of refugees, despair and death.

Either poeple are in a slumber state or simply gone mad not to see the real charade of the false socially constructed problem of this so called nakba.

Since I grew up in Algeria and knew very well Arabic, this nakba should be "nakta" with a "t". Nakta means a joke in Moroccan arabic. It is usually spelled "Noukta" but it is the same in the end: Nakba is really a Nakta.

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

Yes, there was a very bloody mutual slaughter in Algeria from about 1990 to about 2000. And there are all the other civil wars going on now. And Arabs are the victims of Arabs. And the West doesn't very much care about them. It cares very much about Arabs When and only When they are supposed to be the victims of Jews. Otherwise, the West says: qu'ils crevent . . .

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

Here's an Iranian dissident who explains what's going on:


Sammish said...

This is a note that I need to bring forth because of my comment ealier. I hope I was not the source or reason for the lastest bad entry by someone else which you have removed.

I understand well that I used some strong words against Arabs by calling them stupid and so on. This has nothing to do with the Arabs in general. I know that there are among them some fine people.

Because of my family experiences in both Morocco (my grandparents) and my larger family in Algeria, I sometimes find no compassion against these people and what they did to our families. I just cannot bring myself to forget and forgive. I wish I can. If life goes on without issues, I might be able to do so, but when they keep at their isual lies and fake self-rightneousness and hypocritical humanity, this is when I simply can no longer be understandable and when I speak my mind, I may sound beligerent and mean. But so be it. Forget maybe, but forgive I cannot, until they apologize and recognize what they did to the Jewish who live among them.

bataween said...

Sammish, don't worry, the comment I removed was just spam. You are perfectly entitled to your views. In North Africa I get the impression that people were more socially prejudiced against Jews, possibly because of the long history of dhimmitude there, compared to countries at the centre of the Ottoman Empire. Ido you agree?

Sammish said...


Yes, I agree. However there are variant form of anti-Semitism in North-African countries. The virulence of it, I believe, is connected partly and interactively with modernization and industrialization processes of the 19th century European expansionist policies in those countries. This, however, does not negate nor does make the religiously driven dhimitude in Arab countries less important.

Morocco has seen the worse of anti-jewish violence sporadically only when European influence started to make it marks on social and economic life of the country, otherwise things were as usual fairly stable due to rural agricultural society. Algeria's case was a bit different. The worse of violence came as the country was literally a French colony, with full fledge industrialization and modernization in which newly jewish emancipated population played a key role. This created a huge resentment of the Arab populace even among the educated Arab elite class. This new form of anti-Semitism was euro-centric rather than the religious Dhimitude driven hatred. After the revocation of the Cremieux decree, it was less clear whether the Arab response against the Jewish population was the modern fascist definition or the historically permanent Islamic anti-Jewish of Dhimitude. The combination of the two in Algeria was proven to be more devastating for the Jewish population than the Moroccan case. Morocco, was never a French colony and it lagged behind in terms of industrialization and modernization. Jews in many cities were prominent is all sectors of the economy by the sheer aspect of their education and know-how. This was not seen as something out of the ordinary by the Moroccan nationalists. In Algeria, it was the opposite. Because of modernization and the French total control, any advancement made by the Jewish population was ultimately seen as treason and at time the proverbial "fifth column" of the French colonial dominance of the Arab population. It is this, that led to the ideology of "la valise ou le cerceuil" advanced by the FNL the Algerian party that fought for independence. While the Jews of Morocco had it bad, they did not loose everything in two months as it was the case in Algeria.

Also, one cannot forget that the newly created Jewish state did also spur new forms anti-jewish feeling.

My grandparents from my mother side were refugees from early 1900's Moroccan progroms of Taza and Oudja. They found refuge and stability in Algeria, only to experience strife and misery only years later with the rise of French fascism and Arab nationalism. It is was double wammy...