Israel has not succeeded in burying the Nakba of 1948 (the “catastrophe” – the forcible expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinian Arabs from their homes, businesses and villages in what is known as the State of Israel today). The Nakba is in every Palestinian’s memory because the tragedy has been passed on from one generation to another.
The Zionists have perpetuated the tragedy every . single . day . since . 1948 through violence, through overt policies of discrimination and expulsion, and through their dehumanizing treatment of Palestinians (let me count the ways).
This week alone, I’ve learned about two examples of the Nakba. In 2016. Nearly 70 years after the forcible expulsions that turned hundreds of thousands of Palestinians into refugees.
First case. A young Palestinian refugee in Gaza, a professional engineer in his 20s, collaborated with me on researching and writing a paper about Gaza. We’ve been invited to present our paper at an international conference in Rome in June. My colleague has tried to get permission from Israel to travel abroad but Israel has rejected his requests. He is essentially imprisoned in Gaza, unable to travel. As is the case with most Palestinian refugees in Gaza, he’s even unable to visit family in the West Bank or to travel a few miles to Jerusalem to pray at Al Aqsa Mosque. THIS IS THE NAKBA IN 2016.
Second case. An older Palestinian refugee from Gaza, also a professional engineer who recently obtained his American citizenship and U.S. passport, was informed by Israeli border control agents this week that he can’t return to Gaza. His aging mother is in Gaza. Other family members are in Gaza. He was turned away at the border with Jordan and now sits in limbo waiting for Israeli officials to reconsider their decision. THIS IS THE NAKBA IN 2016.
I have no words for the disgust I feel today.