Monday, May 16, 2011

Sad Commemoration

This editorial was published in The Jordan Times on 16/05/2011

This year, commemorating Nakbeh was a bloody affair. Israel yesterday killed 13 people trying to cross the borders from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria into Palestine and the annexed Golan Heights, living up to its brutal belligerence and its promise to erase the word from the Palestinians’ memory.

Remembering the creation of Israel, on May 15, 1948, as the Nakbeh - or the catastrophe - is most fitting since that day of sad remembrance brought, indeed, devastation to the Palestinians, particularly, and the Arabs in more general terms.

The 63-year-old conflict between Israel and the Arab world sprung from that fateful day and is still with us, having brought about occupation, destruction, dispossession, death and misery - with no end in sight.

The Palestinians, the Arab world and indeed the entire international community are still paying the price for the establishment of a state on stolen land.

Israel was created not only by a unilateral decision of the Zionist leadership in Palestine but also by the barrel of the gun, and in the process, thousands of indigenous Palestinian Arabs were driven away from their homes.

Israel was declared by the Zionist movement and recognised by some governments even though it had illegally grabbed more land than stipulated by the 1947 UN partition plan.

Now, decades later, the conflict with Israel is still alive, a festering sore and a source of instability not only for the region but for the world at large.

Outstanding issues in the now-on, now-off peace process - the right of return for the Palestinian refugees, borders, Jerusalem - have yet to be tackled.

One UN resolution after another has been issued protecting the rights of the Palestinians, yet Israel is getting away with not honouring them - with impunity.

Every Nakbeh day there is hope that the single oldest occupation in contemporary history will come to an end, that the rights of a dispossessed people will be restored and that justice will finally prevail. Hope that there will be no more reason to commemorate a catastrophe.

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