The now infamous Democratic representative from Michigan’s 13th Congressional district proposed a Congressional Resolution calling for a “Nakba Day.”
Rashida Tlaib understands Arabic, but most people do not.
Nakba means “catastrophe” or “tragedy.” For the Palestinians, their Nakba was May 15, 1948, the day on which the modern State of Israel was created. The creation of the Jewish State is cause of all their misfortune. This is essential understand.
And Tlaib wants that day to be commemorated in the United States, by Americans in all 50 states.
According to Palestinians, all the problems of the Palestinians emanate from that epicenter — Israel’s creation. All their problems, they believe, are because Israel was established in 1948.
Tlaib wants U.S. recognition that Israel’s establishment resulted in the destruction of the Palestinians. It is outright wrong. It is ahistorical and total propaganda. Frankly, it is galling.
As an important note, the term “Palestinian” originally referred to Jews living in Palestine. Yes, Jews. You just need to check the Oxford English Dictionary and you’ll see for yourselves.
Arabs in Palestine were called Palestinians (in Arabic, Filastiniyyin) only after May 28,1964. That was the date the PLO, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, was founded.
Before that they were they were simply called Arabs who live in Palestine or, in Arabic, al Arabi il Filastini. In fact, if you look at the passports of any Jew born in what is now Israel before 1948, their place of birth reads: Palestine.
The Tlaib resolution was sponsored by the usual suspects — “The Squad” plus a few others and minus one. Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman, Betty McCollum and Marie Newman signed on to the sponsorship. Squad member Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts was not co-signer. It is unclear why.
“Today, I introduced a resolution recognizing the Nakba (catastrophe), where 400 Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed, over 700,000 Palestinians uprooted from their homes and made refugees.”
Congressman Lee Zeldin, Republican from New York, responded with an official statement: “The root of the catastrophe: The Arab world refused to accept the U.N. plan for a Jewish and Arab state in what was left of the U.K.’s Palestine Mandate after Jordan’s creation. Instead, five Arab armies invaded Israel, attempting to destroy it and push the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea.”
Zeldin continued: “This resolution is just the latest in a long line of antisemitic, anti-Israel statements, policies and actions by the most radical voices in the Democratic Party.”
The resolution and the commemoration of the Nakba is proof that those who support these ideas do not embrace co-existence between Israel and her neighbors. Instead, they support Israel’s annihilation.
They fervently and steadfastly believe that the cause of all regional conflict is Israel’s creation in 1948. These are the people who are always speaking about “The Occupation” of the West Bank when referring to the events that occurred in June of 1967 during the Six Day War when the West Bank, the area being referred to, was brought under Israeli control.
For them, “The Occupation” is just a talking point — and it serves them well. Their true grievance is not with “The Occupation.” Their real problem is with Israel’s very existence. Their agenda is the destruction, the dissolution, of Israel.
The sad reality is that, from the outset, Israel would have begrudgingly but certainly shared the small parcel of land with the people now called Palestinians. But the Palestinians simply and unfortunately — and to this very day, refused to accept that option.
Tlaib wants people to remember the displaced Palestinians. I understand that.
But what she and others do not understand, what they refuse to realize, is that at the very same moment that Arabs living in the area became Palestinians, even more Jews were displaced from Arab countries.
Over 850,000 Jews were expelled from their homes in Arab countries on the day Israel was created. Jews were not strangers to the Middle East. The Tlaib Gang, those promoting Palestinian propaganda, want to promote the theory that Jews were outsiders. That they were Europeans. But that is simply NOT TRUE.
The majority of Israel is of Arab Jewish descent — not Arab but of families that lived in Arab lands, Arab countries. Like Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco. There was a long and comfortable history of Jewish communal life in Arab countries.
For example, at the time the Jewish State was created, Jews had been living in Aleppo, Syria for over 2,000 years. Overnight they were evicted from their homes and expelled from the country.
Israel took in all the refugees, all the expelled Jews. And these new Israelis helped build their new country. As a rule, the Jews of Arab lands tend to be right of center politically and religiously — and they are very skeptical of their Arab neighbors. They and their children and grandchildren are also Arabic speakers.
Interestingly, in 1948, Israeli Independence Day fell on the Gregorian date of May 15th. But the holiday is celebrated according to the Hebrew calendar, so the Gregorian date changes from year to year.
The Nakba does NOT make use of the Arabic calendar. It uses the Gregorian calendar so it always falls on May 15th. It’s the only Arabic day marked according to the Gregorian calendar.
Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern," a weekly TV program, and "My Chopp," a daily radio spot. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. Read Micah Halpern's Reports — More Here.
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