The term Nakba, in relation to Israel, was actually was first used in August 1948 by Syrian Professor Constantin Zureiq not to condemn anything Israel did to the Palestinians, but rather is a call for the Arabs themselves whereby:
We must admit our mistakes…and recognize the extent of our responsibility for the disaster that is our lot.
The displacement of the Palestinians and their refugee problem is attributed not primarily to Israel, but rather to the mistakes that the Palestinians and Arabs made themselves! So, while, the Arabs and Palestinians have tried to make Israel into the aggressor and blame them for their troubles, the truth of the matter is that the Palestinians Nakba is to a great extent caused by their own religious intolerance, gross hatred of the Jews, including the desire for their genocide, and that this has led them down a true disastrous path of Middle East recklessness and extremely bad decision making, over and over again.
The goods news is that in more recent times, the Arab nations are thank G-d changing their hostile approach to Israel and instead moving to make peace. Not only Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1993), but in the last year with the Abraham Accords with both the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as well as with Sudan and Morocco normalizing relations with Israel. Even this morning, I was amazed once again to read an editorial in the Wall Street Journal calling for Iraq to join the Abraham Accords too! Of course, the hope is that more and more Arab countries as well as the Palestinians will choose the path of peace and collaboration with Israel, as Ben-Gurion had originally held out to them in 1948 (it’s never too late). The prophetic vision of swords turning to ploughshares is perhaps today’s turning of the shedding of tears and assigning blame over a perceived Nakba into sitting down together on Sukkot for a nice piece (peace) of chocolate babka!
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is really about fear vs. humiliation. The Jews are fearful of the Palestinians and the Palestinians feel humiliated by the Jews. The Jewish people collectively suffer post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders after millennia of persecution culminating in the Holocaust and multiple Wars in Israel against far greater Arab forces. Further, this has been perpetuated by decades of terrorism and Intifadas that have left the Jews feeling vulnerable in their own land of Israel. The net effect of this Jewish history and of being surrounded by hundreds of millions of Arabs, many resentful and angry, is that Jews are naturally afraid. At the same time, the Palestinians, as part of the greater Arabs, feel humiliated after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the carving up of their lands by the West and the colonialism and occupation that followed by Britain and France. More recently, the Palestinians feel humiliated by the founding of the State of Israel amidst the multitude of Arab lands of the Middle of East, as well as by the barrier wall and regular checkpoints that protects Israel from terrorist intruders, by the West Bank settlements (and actually by Jews anywhere in Israel), and by general Israeli military control over the territories.
There is hope that in time and with G-d’s help, the opposing forces of fear and humiliation will weaken and thereby become less oppositional. At that miraculous time, please G-d in the near future, the factors that prior resulted in a cosmic explosion of war, terror, Jihad, and Intifada will dissipate. Then instead of suicide bombers and terror tunnels and walls and checkpoints, we can have hope for the arrival of a beautiful white dove with an olive branch of peace that knows no bitter boundaries of Jew or Palestinian anymore. (Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)