Even with all the protests and mentions of Nakba Day on social media, commemorating this horrific, sad event is nowhere near where it ought to be. Arguably one of the darkest and most awful chapters in the long history of Palestine, the Nakba needs to be fully commemorated in every capital in the world.
The politicization of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the consequent installment of an apartheid regime to govern it is such that few countries dare even to mention these crimes against humanity.
The full scope of the Nakba, a combination of several crimes against humanity, is yet to be understood.
To begin with, the Nakba is a tragedy that began over seventy-five years ago and continues in full force. Furthermore, the full extent of the crimes committed in the early Nakba, from 1947 to 1952, is still being uncovered.
The latest discovery was just published in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. According to the article, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, ordered chemicals to be used to poison wells in Palestinian villages.
Newly found mass graves and testimonies of Zionist terrorists like Yerachmiel Kahnovich, who admitted in a recent YouTube video that he shot an anti-tank missile into the Dahmash mosque in Lyd in June 1948, are still being uncovered. Kahnovich single-handedly murdered over one hundred people taking refuge in the mosque as Lyd was undergoing a brutal ethnic cleansing. As the years go by, more testimonies like his are opening up. We should remember and appreciate that both the perpetrators and the victims of the acts that took place during the early period of the Nakba are getting old and will soon be gone.
Unlike the Holocaust, where the widely-accepted number of victims is recognized as six million, in the case of the Nakba, there is yet to be an agreed-upon death toll. So how many Palestinians were murdered as a result of the Nakba? No one knows for sure.
At least part of the reason for the lack of an established figure of Palestinians killed by Zionist terrorism is that the perpetrators of the crime are not done. The Israeli army continues to terrorize, and massacre Palestinians almost daily, and this killing essentially has the stamp of approval of the international community.
The successor of the pre-1948 Zionist terrorists, the IDF, is now considered a respectable army. It has colonels and generals whose feats on the battlefield are taught in military academies across the world. It conducts training and military maneuvers with other armies and members of NATO, including the U.S. military. Yet, since it is highly regarded and respected, it cannot be accused of terrorism.
To gain the recognition needed for the world to commemorate the Nakba similarly to the Holocaust, there needs to be an understanding that the perpetrator, the Israeli military and affiliated Zionist militias, did indeed commit crimes against humanity. However, even though the evidence is clear, accusing Israel and the Zionist movement is not possible for obvious political reasons.
We know that the Palestinian struggle has no parents. No one today speaks formally for, or in any way represents, Palestine or Palestinian interests. There is no serious push, or, for that matter, motivation, for the international community to fully recognize the horrific crimes that make up the Nakba. There is no movement among the international community to stand up and demand that the culprits be brought to justice and pay for these unspeakable crimes.
Unless leaders in the West, East, Africa, the Arab and Muslim world and beyond are forced to recognize and commemorate the crimes that were committed (and continue to be committed) against the people of Palestine, there will never be a proper recognition and commemoration of the heinous crimes that make up the Palestinian Nakba.
At a small event in Washington, D.C., Representative Betty McCollum spoke about her bill to protect Palestinian families and children from detention and torture by Israel. It is an important, indeed groundbreaking bill. However, she insisted on referring to Israel as a democracy, despite a 75-year history demonstrating that Israel is not and never was a democracy. A report by Amnesty International clearly shows that Israel is engaged in the crime of apartheid, a crime so heinous that it is designated as a crime against humanity. Yet, McCollum and others continue to call Israel a democracy.
Tragically, the world insists on ignoring reality. The world continues to ignore an event that began over seventy-five years ago and has grown to unspeakable, tragic proportions. In fact, this assault began three short years after the world saw the end of another unspeakable crime: the Nazi genocide of the Jewish people. It was due to the Holocaust that the designation of “crimes against humanity” was established; crimes so terrible that they have their own special designation and consequences.
Israel is engaged in three such practices: ethnic cleansing, genocide, and apartheid, all of which are central features of the Palestinian Nakba.
Feature photo | Joao Daniel Pereira | Sipa via AP | Editing by MintPress News
Miko Peled is MintPress News contributing writer, published author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. His latest books are”The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”