The "Nakba": A Driving Force Behind U.S. Anti-Israel Activity in 2008
Posted: June 3, 2008
Aside from events that have been framed as "Nakba" commemorations, anti-Israel magazines have produced articles and publications in honor of the "Nakba."
The May/June issue of The Washington Report for Middle East Affairs, for example, was titled "60th Anniversary of the Nakba." The magazine included a "Palestinian Appeal to International Civil Society" to boycott celebrations of Israel's 60th anniversary, which is signed by approximately 100 organizations, including Adalah-NY, the National Council of Arab Americans (NCA) and the Palestinian American Congress (PAC). The appeal refers to Israel as a "settler-colonial project" that discriminates against Palestinians in a way that is "strongly reminiscent of the defunct apartheid regime in South Africa." The article states that any participation with celebrations of Israel's establishment will be regarded as "collusion in the perpetuation of the dispossession and uprooting of refugees, the prolongation of the occupation and the deepening of Israeli apartheid." The article argues that celebrating Israel's anniversary and even Israel's "guest of honor" status at the recent book fairs in Turin and Paris is "tantamount to dancing on Palestinian graves."
The April/May issue of Left Turn: Notes from the Global Intifada, an anti-capitalist magazine, was called "We Cultivate Hope: 60 Years of Palestinian Struggle" and included several articles that accused Israel of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, occupation. Rafeef Ziadah, a member of the Toronto-based Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) and former media coordinator for SUSTAIN (Stop US Tax Aid to Israel Now!), contributed an article called "60 Years of Israeli Apartheid and Occupation" in which she argued that Israel, "a settler-colonial project that closely resembles features of South African apartheid," committed ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1947-1948. She also claimed that Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation can only occur after "racism and occupation is dismantled," echoing a claim made by Azmi Bishara in South Africa at the launch of the 4th annual International Israeli Apartheid Week.
Badil produced "Nakba" materials to be distributed at "Nakba" commemorations and a 92-page-long "Special Nakba 60 Issue" of al-Majdal, the organization's quarterly magazine. Electronic Intifada, an online publication, published several "Nakba"-related articles on its Web site, including an article by Hannah Mermelstein. Mermelstein is the co-founder of Birthright Unplugged, a program that counters the Taglit-Birthright Israel trips by bringing tourists into Palestinian cities and villages and providing a distinctly anti-Israel view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In her article, titled "This Land was Theirs," Mermelstein claims that in 1948 "the land was stolen" from Palestinians and peace cannot be brokered without Palestinian right of return.