These are very difficult times for us. We Palestinians are going through an emotional upheaval that stirs our hearts and squeezes our tear ducts. For it was on May 15th 1948 that the Jewish terrorist armies attacked many villages and towns in Palestine destroying over 600 of them and driving around 800,000 Palestinians out of their homes and their lands. I still remember it as if it was yesterday. Although I was a bewildered five year old, carried on the shoulders of my elder brother, Mustafa I can still see the pamphlets fluttering down over our heads telling us to leave and I can still hear the hum of the aircraft and the sound of mortar fire. That day is known as The Nakbah – Catastrophe. That catastrophe was and still is of gigantic magnitude that still affects us all today and will continue to do so for generations to come unless we stem the tide.
It was the beginning of many a “Nakbah” that has befallen the Arabs and in particular us, the Palestinians. The 1967 war was called the “Naksa”. Setback. Really? How can the total devastation of the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria and the occupation of the entire landmass of Palestine, the Sinai in Egypt and the Golan Heights in Syria be described as a “setback”? But this is us, the Arabs. We bury our heads in the sand and we continue plodding along from one Nakbah or Naksa to the other.
This is a Pan Arab epidemic. The 1973 war was described as “Nasr” – Victory. How could it have been a victory when within a matter of years after the sands of battle had settled Sadat’s Egypt, the most populous and powerful country in the Arab world signed a peace treaty with our common, mortal enemy which effectively removed Egypt from the front line with Israel?
In my opinion, that was no victory. It was, at best, surrender and at worst, treason to many millions of Arabs, especially the Palestinians.
The betrayal goes on. It is never ending. Yasser Arafat of the PLO signed the shameful and cowardly Oslo Accord with Israel in 1993, the effects of which are still being felt and expanded on today.
Then Jordan shortly followed in 1994 with the Wadi Araba agreement successfully removing another Arab country from the front line. Not only that, the massive numbers of Palestinians who were living in Jordan found themselves stateless and without status yet again.
Arab leaders without exception love to proclaim that the Palestinian cause is their number one priority, yet they don’t miss an opportunity to betray us and sell us down the drain.
And all for what? Peace, security and prosperity? Not a chance. The Israelis and their allies in the west have no peace in their hearts or in their plans for our part of the world. What they have is their beady eyes on our oil and gas and our strategic position in the world. The Arabs of the Gulf and Saudi Arabia will never know peace and security. Some of them may have a comfortable, cushy life. But peace and security? Never.
No matter how often their allies in Washington and other western capitals tell them that their survival and security is guaranteed it is not going to happen.
Those western powers have other priorities in mind and they consider Israel their extended arm in our area. To put it bluntly, they are occupied too. Many rich and influential Jews around the world, especially in Washington DC use their wealth and influence to penetrate positions of power in order to direct their foreign policy, ensuring the survival and supremacy of Israel.
And what do the even richer Arab countries do? They buy huge amounts of arms and they plot and attack each other all in the name of tribalism and the survival of certain corrupt and archaic dynasties.
To me, as a Palestinian and as an Arab, this is the real Nakbah.
But what about you Palestinians, some might ask? We do not behave any better I am afraid. We are divided, we are disengaged and we are at each other’s throats. And before some of my fellow compatriots start saying that it is not the time or the place to raise this issue I firmly say it is the time and it is the place.
Ignoring a problem does not make it go away. The biggest Nakbah and the sharpest dagger that has been thrust in every Palestinian heart is the in-fighting between Fatah and Hamas, the double dealing of this faction or that, the secret meetings with our enemy, constantly denied and all of this without giving even a thought to what this in-fighting and division is doing to us and our cause. They couldn’t care less about Palestine or the Palestinians. Partisan interests, lucrative positions of power and ideologies rule supreme.
No my compatriots, in my honest opinion, if we are to achieve results and if we are to face our many enemies we have to put our house in order first. We have to engage and we have to call a spade a spade. Otherwise the Nakbah that was started in 1917 will be unending.
Support for our just cause is gathering pace. People of conscience around the world are waking up to the enormity of the injustices and brutality that have been meted out on us for 67 years. The least we can do is to join our many supporters with a concerted effort at unity and coherence. For without unity of the rank and file and clarity of purpose all will be lost.
- A home denied: the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine - June 28, 2015
- The Real Nakbah - May 14, 2015
- Palestine Endgame: Confront Israel, peace not achieveable - March 22, 2015