The "Nakba": A Driving Force Behind U.S. Anti-Israel Activity in 2008
Posted: June 3, 2008
Surrounding the celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary, groups intent on criticizing its founding and existence have organized anti-Israel events around the United States. These groups have focused on the notion that it has been 60 years since the "Nakba," an Arabic word meaning 'catastrophe' or 'disaster' that many Palestinians and Arabs use to refer to the 1948 war and the establishment of the State of Israel.
Although the "Nakba" is officially commemorated on May 15th, the start of Israel's War of Independence, "Nakba" events have been organized throughout the year, many focusing on the notion that the "Nakba" was not an isolated event in 1948 but a term that describes the current status of the Palestinian people.
For example, at a panel during "Palestine Nakba Week" at Columbia University, which was held from April 28-May 1, 2008, the moderator, a member of the Arab Students Association, explained that the panel was titled "60 Years of Nakba" because the "ghost of Nakba haunts every Palestinian's existence," and therefore, "we need not look at what happened yesterday to look at crimes perpetrated today."
Many "Nakba" and other anti-Israel events in 2008 have been marked by accusations of Israeli "apartheid" and "ethnic cleansing," and have invoked offensive comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany. In addition, celebrations of Israel's 60th anniversary have been targeted in some parts of the country for counter protests.