Three exciting ways to celebrate Naqba day

Naqba Day

Naqba Day

Unlike boring old Yom Haatzmaut, when all you can do is sing, dance, barbecue, hike and generally have fun with family and friends, Naqba Day provides all sorts of exciting possibilities to mark the historic occasion.

Firstly, you can celebrate by protesting against Israel’s very creation. After all, that is what caused the Naqba in the first place, isn’t it? And we wouldn’t want the poor Palestinians to be celebrating all by their lonesome selves, so what else would a nice Jewish Israeli student studying in Tel Aviv University do but protest celebrate alongside them.

Tel Aviv University’s decision to allow a Nakba Day ceremony on Monday on the campus is “erroneous and outrageous,” Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar said on Sunday.

[...]

The Nakba Ceremony slated to take place on Monday is the first of its kind at the university. It was organized by student members of the Jewish–Arab Hadash Party. It will include, for example, a moment of silence and the reading of an alternative version of the Yizkor memorial prayer, ending with the words, “Remember the people of Israel, remember the people of Palestine, remember all people.” Nakba Day, or “Catastrophe Day,” is commemorated by some Arabs on May 15, the day after Israel declared its independence in 1948 according to the Gregorian calendar. Israel celebrates Independence Day according to the Hebrew calendar.

Despite the protests and requests from across the board, including from the Tel Aviv University Students’ Union I am happy to say, the protest still took place. However it ended up being a whole lot noisier than the organizers might have hoped for, when clashes broke out between 200 “right-wing” protestors and 400 “leftist” celebrants.

Protestors from the right waved Israeli flags and signs that read: “When I came to Israel there was no Palestinian nation,” and “I’m proud to be Israeli,” they also sang Israeli songs. They also prevented the ceremony’s organizers from speaking and booed them repeatedly.

During the ceremony the leftist activists read out what they said was “an alternative Yizkor prayer.” Six Arab students presented their personal stories and those present stood for a moment of silence.

In addition the right wing protestors shouted: “Death to terrorists,” and “terrorists out.” One of them burnt a cardboard drawing of a Palestinian flag. Another shouted out: “Murderers, where were you when a little girl was killed.” The left wing protestors responded with: “You’re the murderers.”

Our next international event is not nearly as exciting. In fact it is a little humdrum for which I apologize. You see, the EU has slammed Israeli settlements and decried Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Yes, I know. Ho hum. Plus ça change and all that.

“The EU expresses deep concern about developments on the ground which threaten to make a two-state solution impossible,” the bloc’s 27 ministers said in a statement issued during talks in Brussels.

“The viability of a two-state solution must be maintained,” the three-page European Union statement added.

Reiterating that settlements on occupied land are illegal under international law, the ministers notably condemned “the marked acceleration” of settlement building since the end of a 2010 moratorium and expressed “deep concern” over settler extremism and incitement in the West Bank.

[...]

But Israel’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying the EU position included “a long list of claims and criticism which are based on a partial, biased and one-sided depiction of realities on the ground.”

“Such a public presentation does not contribute to advancing the (peace) process,” it said.

“Israel is committed to the wellbeing of the Palestinian population and acts according to all relevant international conventions.”

[...]

In contrast, Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, welcomed the EU statement as “politically responsible.”

But the Palestinians wanted to see the EU propose a way forward in stalled peace talks, which have been on hold since late September 2010, she said. “What is lacking, unfortunately, is a mechanism to move ahead… We were hoping that they would take an initiative, a mechanism, concrete steps.”

This final paragraph above leads us smoothly into the third momentous way to mark Naqba day.  Hanan Ashrawi demands that the EU provide a way to initiate peace talks, but how can the EU do what the Palestinians themselves do not wish to do?

In his contribution to the Naqba Day celebrations, and in an effort to promote a viable Palestinian state, PA President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu’s letter offering to renew peace talks without preconditions.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer to resume negotiations without preconditions, prolonging the long-standing impasse in the peace process.

The cool reception bodes poorly for hopes of the resumption of peace talks between the Palestinians and Netanyahu, who fortified his ruling coalition last week by bringing in the main opposition party.

[...]

Netanyahu’s proposal, as well as Israel’s demands for security arrangements that would need to be agreed upon as part of any final peace deal, were presented in an official letter delivered to Abbas in Ramallah on Sunday by the prime minister’s special envoy for peace talks, attorney Yitzhak Molcho.

Netanyahu’s letter was in response to one he received last month from Abbas, in which the Palestinian leader stated his grievances over the collapse of peace talks in 2010 and laid out his parameters for renewing negotiations.

After receiving Netanyahu’s letter, Abbas briefed members of the Executive Committee of the PLO and the Fatah leadership. The Palestinians rejected Netanyahu’s proposal and criticized the contents of his letter, arguing that it did not present any new stances and did not address several of the main long-standing Palestinian demands for the resumption of talks.

In his letter, Abbas had demanded a halt to Israeli settlement construction on land Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, which Palestinians seek for their future state. He also demanded the release of Palestinian prisoners and a resumption of negotiations based on 1967 lines.

[...]

Additionally, PLO officials confirmed what Israeli sources have been saying in recent weeks — that Netanyahu would not back down from his stance that negotiations should resume without preconditions, and that any and all issues over which there are disputes between the parties should be discussed during negotiations.

Abbas is expected to consult with Arab leaders in the coming days to draft a formal response to Israel.

With short-sighted reactions like that, and with the support of one-sided institutions like the EU, it looks like the Palestinians will be celebrating marking Naqba Day for many years to come.

The loss is all theirs.

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24 Responses to Three exciting ways to celebrate Naqba day

  1. Rob Harris says:

    It seems inferred in Anne’s post that the EU issued their rather outrageous statement deliberately on the eve of Naqba Day. It relates to a small Palestinian minority in Area C, which is under Israeli control by the Oslo treaty so the official threat to break state laws represents a serious challenge to Israel’s sovereignty. The date does seem too much of a coincidence – its symbolism was likely done to appease their ever growing Muslim community. It really shows how far the EU have gone down that road when one considers that Naqba Day is a protest against Israel’s very creation.

    • anneinpt says:

      The EU seem to have their statements on auto-announce, or else it is a kind of diplomatic Tourette’s syndrome, where they spit out their anti-Israel sentiment at regular intervals. People here hardly notice any more. They would be an irrelevancy if not for the funding that they provide the Palestinians and anti-Israel activists.

  2. John says:

    Annie, Might I suggest that if you want to be taken seriously as a commentator, not just another hasbarist blogger, that you don’t mock the real misfortunes of a whole generation of the original inhabitants of Palestine, now Israel. You are not doing yourself or Israel any favors or winning any friends. Most decent people with a sense of morality that I have shown this to are appaled by your ignorance and callousness.
    I’m sure all 22 of your “fans” are impressed pmsl

    • anneinpt says:

      John, might I suggest that you look up the word “hasbara”.

      I have not mocked the misfortunes of the Palestinians. I have laid the blame for their misfortune squarely at their own feet where it belongs. Their rejectionist attitude is what brought about their misery and prolongs it.

      As to the original inhabitants of “Palestine” – where was this country? What were its borders? What was its language? What was its currency?

      To answer my rhetorical questions: Palestine was never a country and still is not. It was a region in the Middle East occupied serially by the Greeks, the Seleucids, the Romans, the Crusaders, the Mamelukes, the Ottomans, the British under the UN Mandate. And then the Jews returned to their rightful homeland, there having been a constant Jewish presence in the land of Israel since the destruction of the Temple almost 2,000 years ago.

      The land you call Palestine was Jewish territory that was occupied by Jordan and Egypt for a mere 19 years between 1948 and 1967. How those 19 years give more standing to the Arabs than the Jewish presence of 2,000 years is a major mystery.

      The currency of Palestine was whatever the conquerors used. The language of “Palestine” was whatever the conquerors spoke. The non-Jewish residents spoke Arabic since they are Arabs, not “Palestinians”. The only Palestinian passports ever issued were to the Jewish citizens of Palestine under the British Mandate.

      There was no capital in “Palestine” other than Jerusalem which was solely the capital of the Jews. The Arabs, holding Jerusalem for 19 years, left it a ruined dusty backwater. The Muslims to this day pray with their backsides facing Jerusalem and their heads towards Mecca. This shows what they think of their “3rd holiest city”.

      I am appalled by your ignorance and bigotry. Mock my “22 fans” if you wish. I am sure you will have made friends of them by this. Not.

  3. John says:

    Annie dear, I know far too much about Israel having lived there for several years.. Your hasbara/propaganda attempts are pathetic. Anyone with a laptop can easily find the evidence to disprove your lies.. Do yourself and you 22 “fans” a favour and wise up. It doesn’t work anymore. I should know, I did it for several years for Israel on a professional basis.
    Try shilling for a peace agreement instead of trying to look cool by wallowing in the oppression of an entire people.. Jews of all people should remember what that felt like.

    • cba says:

      Someone who “lived in Israel for several years” and who claims to have been a paid propagandist for Israel thinks that “hasbara” is a dirty word.

      Suuuuuuuuuuuure, John, we believe you…

    • anneinpt says:

      Save your sneering condescension for someone who appreciates it. Like cba said, I find it hard to believe you lived in Israel, unless you were living in Palestinian areas and giving aid and succour to the terrorist organizations functioning there.

      “Professional basis” – as I said, no doubt working for one of the many anti-Israel foreign funded NGOs that cause so much misery to the Palestinians.

      And at the next personal comment about numbers of fans or otherwise – and you have no idea of the hundreds of people who read this blog – you will be banned.

  4. John says:

    It is irrelevant if you believe me or not. Hasbara has become a dirty word in the civilized world and is synomomous with lying. People like Annie are doing a lot of harm to Israel’s cause, which I firmly support. This is not the way to do it.

    • anneinpt says:

      Hasbara does not mean what you think it means. I repeat – look it up in a Hebrew-English dictionary. It has become a dirty word only in the dirty minds of people like yourself who, despite claiming to have Israel’s good at heart, in fact work for the exact opposite.

      And get my name right.

  5. John says:

    I will be banned. lol it will be an honor to be banned from a sordid little blog like this. Censorship is not acceptable in a real democracy.You shame our people and play right into the hands of those who would destroy us. I lived outside Tel Aviv for nearly 17 years and if you want to keep alienating diaspora Jews keep on doing what you’re doing. We have nothing but contempt for those like you who put us in danger in other countries with your stupidityI

    • anneinpt says:

      For a sordid little blog you’re showing an awful lot of interest. Thanks for the traffic, LOL!

      Which censorship are you talking about? In Israel? You know very well there is no censorship there, at least no more than in any other democratic country.

      If you mean my blog, here’s some news for you. This blog is not a democracy. It is a one-person dictatorship, run by me. If you don’t like it, go away and pester someone else.

      Diaspora Jews are not alienated from us and I am certainly not alienating anyone. If Israel’s actions in order to survive alienate certain Diaspora Jews, or should I say “court Jews”, then too bad. Our survival will always come first. I have not noticed that Diaspora Jews are in danger because of Israel’s actions. If Jews were attacked during and after Operation Cast Lead, did you stop to ask who is doing the attacking? Were Muslims attacked by Jews in the Diaspora throughout all the years of rocket attacks on Sderot? You know they were not. So why is it acceptable that Jews are endangered by Muslims and their fellow travellers when Israel defends itself? This is nothing more than blaming the victim. Diaspora Jews are suffering for Israel’s very existence. If that makes you uncomfortable, you had better look into your own soul and talk to your terror-supporting friends rather than blame Israel.

    • Rob Harris says:

      Johnno, you’re lashing out incoherently – did you soil your nappy or something? :D

      You’re just echoing Tony Judt’s rationalisation of anti-Semitism, namely Muslims and an assortment of haters attack and malign Jews because of the “ebil-ebil-reweally-ebil Zio-nazi’s”. We can have all the old anti-Semitic hatreds as long as we pay lip-service to the Palestinians, and keep repeating the mantra “we are not anti-Semitic, how very dare you?”. You don’t know much about the diaspora. Surveys in recent years have shown consistent support for Israel, despite the crap the Beinart’s of this world keep doling out.

      BTW Anne consider keeping Johnno on the blog, its always fun to have a kick around…

      • Rob Harris says:

        PS. sorry John, my comment above was a tad harsh so I do hope you’re not offended!! BTW whats all this talk about 22 friends? Anne has 329 followers, and her blog has been viewed 69 thousand times. It would be great if my own which has been going almost a year could achieve something like that in the next few years. Many bloggers write what they write because they truly believe what they are saying. All your talk about others not being engaged with reality translates as thus on here: they don’t agree with your views.

        • anneinpt says:

          Thanks for your comments and your support Rob. Plus – I don’t think you were too harsh at all. No need to apologize to such an uncivil visitor as John. And if he was offended, too bad. He had no problem offending me and my readers, so what goes around comes around.

  6. John says:

    I wouldn’t call a few posts an awful lot of interest. There isn’t really much here to ho9ld my interest for long. I suggest you have a look in the outside world and see what others are saying. I found even my family who live in Israel have become insulated against real world opinion.
    I have heard and even used all your excuses a million times before. You really need to change the record and no one believes them. I will continue to live in the real world while you mock the misfortune of others and bemoan how everybody is treating Israel so bad. One day Israel and people like you will have to grow up .G-d bless us all when that happens
    שלום ומזל טוב

  7. Rob Harris says:

    Thought I should share this as it relates to the EU statement on settlements – http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2012/0515/1224316131471.html Irish F.M Eamon Gilmore not only wants a boycott of Jewish settlements but also wants the banning of some settlers from entry into the EU due to “settler violence”. This is the same man who would not condemn Palestinian incitement when he was talking in front of the cameras with Netanyahu a few months ago http://www.crethiplethi.com/closer-ties-or-further-diplomatic-tension-between-israel-and-ireland/israel/2012/ (see second embedded video). It is also notable that he said he would pursue this policy further when Ireland gets the EU presidency next year. Such a development would be very dangerous to Israel as it would surely do substantially greater harm to its already compromised legitimacy so please get as many as possible to sign this petition http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/_108/?wZTUddb which BTW Anne has already tweeted about.

    • anneinpt says:

      Sorry about being moderated Rob. That’s the second time it’s happened to one of my commenters. It’s because of the number of links in your comment. I’m going to adjust my settings.

      As to your comment itself, Gilmore is first of all an anti-Israel-ist, bordering on antisemitism, as I wrote about in an earlier article.

      However, he is also an idiot. How would he go about banning Jewish settlers from visiting anywhere? How could anyone know where anyone lives in Israel? When I enter England, even if I were to use my Israeli passport, it does not say anywhere in which town i live. And let’s say he knew where a person lived, where would he draw the border? Who is he to say that a certain town is not in Israel when Israel itself says it is. Where would he draw the border in Jerusalem?

      In other words, he is all talk, blowing off hot air to make publicity for himself and to smear Israel in public. Standard practice for the anti-Israel haters.

  8. Rob Harris says:

    Hi Anne, what Gilmore said was outrageous. I thought he had only recommended a boycott as if that wasn’t bad enough (its a common refrain even if not usual among FM’s) but then suggesting settlers should be prevented travelling to Europe!! This absurd blame Israel first nonsense is truly sickening. The flat denial that the basest Islamism is behind much of the violence against Israel when we see it in the news on a daily basis (today 90 killed in Yemen) is an effort to isolate Israel from the greater West that experiences the same phenomenon to a lesser extent.

    I’m not sure Gilmore is an outright anti-Semite because he attended the Israeli film festival last November that the IPSC were trying their bullying-best to prevent but he comes from a strong leftist background which can’t do anything other than blame Israel (and the West to a broader extent). For him (supposedly reflecting the broader views of the government) to try to isolate settlers (over supposed humanitarianism) when the Irish government is bending over backwards to facilitate the Chinese in an effort to gain better access to its markets is surely at the utmost peak of moral hypocrisy. If it happens Israel should expel its Irish ambassador – no question IMHO.

    Indeed it is a foolish suggestion from a practical standpoint, and its interesting to note that many who are are strongly associated with Hamas seem to get a free pass in Europe even though its a proscribed organisation. Its just speculation but he might purpose proscribing members of settler advocasy groups which would put them on an even footing with Hamas, and any convicted of violent acts in the so-called “OPT” or even suspected or “reported” of such. Shocking stuff indeed.

    BTW its fine about the links. It might be a good preventative action against spammers.

  9. Rob Harris says:

    Just an update on the petition: over 1000 people had signed it. However,the organiser of the petition told me that Avaaz has decided it is against their community standards. Nothing in the wording was remotely objectionable so it is a bizarre development. It is thought constant reporting of the petition by pro-Palestinians (IPSC?) caused this or perhaps there is some bias at the organisation itself. It would be good to pressure Avaaz to find out the percise reasons because this represents an illegitimate suppression of free speech when representing certain views.

    The organiser of the previous petition has started up another petition http://www.change.org/petitions/minister-for-foreign-affairs-no-to-an-eu-ban-on-isareli-goods?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition but it will be perhaps be a bit harder to get support this time around. Please share with like minded individuals if you can.

    • anneinpt says:

      Thank you for this Rob. What a chutzpah of Avaaz to call this “against their standards”. I’d love to see what other petitions they have allowed – and disallowed.

      Re the second petition, I saw it on twitter just today and signed it. I’ll retweet it too.

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