FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Nakba

by SONJA KARKAR

The Nakba is the Palestinian catastrophe. It means upheaval, violence and cataclysmic loss; it describes the terror, which drove almost one million people out of their homeland, as well as the perpetual terror in exile ?displaced, dispossessed, stateless, lost and forbidden to return; it remains the multiplying injustice of another people’s sin burgeoning in our collective silence.

For 63 years, the situation has dragged on, men and women holding the papers and keys to their former homes, clutching the faded and cracked photos of happier days: everything rendered obsolete by the artificial creation of a state for a foreign people on land that has been home to Palestinians for millennia.

But if that is too distant in time and complex to touch your heart, then imagine for a moment yourself, wrenched from all that is familiar and everything you love, hastily running into the unknown grabbing only what you can carry from all the personal effects and mementos accumulated overyears, but sure that you will soon return, even if it is to pick up the pieces shattered by war or disaster and to begin again.

Think of yourself going back only to find someone else opening your front door and shamelessly banging it shut on the pleas you should not have to make.

Think of your street and neighbourhood, the same and yet not the same, as everything that once was so familiar is now given over to a people who have never walked before in the footprints of your forefathers.

Think of the sounds and smells that always make your coming home a moment filled with pleasure while now they make you shudder at the thought of others planning around your hearth.

Think of pleading with authorities and institutions which have no interest in your displacement, but would see you gone forever, pretending you never existed at all.

Think of yourself waiting the interminable wait while nation builders and destroyers discuss and negotiate ever-shifting borders and endless conditions in a process called peace oblivious of your life, dismissed, despised and rejected.

Think of the eyes of your children and children’s children wondering what you have done and what they have done, to be stripped of dignity, honour and the most basic of human rights in a world that presumes to value only the rights of those of their choosing.

Think of what it must be like to be one of the world’s most wretched of surplus humanity for no other reason than that you exist, in spite of what others have done and do for advantage and plunder.

Think of yourself and wonder if life had been different would you treat others the same?

Can you now stand by and watch seven million Palestinian refugees feel and think and act like you and not do anything to stop the 63 years’ worth of injustices?

Eleven million Palestinians today around the world have not forgotten. Their collective memory remains undimmed, as each generation carries the Palestinian loss forward, always in anticipation of resolution.

Eleven million Palestinians stand today as silent testimony to all that matters in who we are and what we do. They have not vanished, but have multiplied and they will keep on multiplying until the last frontier.

Perhaps, we might yet see that the worth of our being depends on theirs and
that the salvation of their condition will be the salvation of our own. In the meantime, their Nakba continues ? killings, evictions, transfers, imprisonment and the daily humiliations of unfettered power and our miserable silence.

“And who listens to the stories of those men, women and children who are taken by their displacement to that other shore from which no one ever returns? Our dead are scattered in every land.

And if the dead by displacement . . . are martyrs, and if the poems are true and each martyr is a rose, we can claim to have made a garden of the world.”

(Mourid Barghouti “I saw Ramallah” p 161)

Sonja Karkar is co-founder of the Melbourne advocacy group Australians for Palestine and editor of its news website www.australiansforpalestine.com

 

 

More articles by:
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
Tommy Raskin
Syrian Quicksand
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Still Tries to Push Dangerous Drug Class
Jill Richardson
The Attorney General Thinks Aspirin Helps Severe Pain – He’s Wrong
Mike Miller
Herb March: a Legend Deserved
Ann Garrison
If the Democrats Were Decent
Renee Parsons
The Times, They are a-Changing
Howard Gregory
The Democrats Must Campaign to End Trickle-Down Economics
Sean Keller
Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East
Ron Jacobs
Re-Visiting Gonzo
Eileen Appelbaum
Rapid Job Growth, More Education Fail to Translate into Higher Wages for Health Care Workers
Ralph Nader
Shernoff, Bidart, and Echeverria—Wide-Ranging Lawyers for the People
Chris Zinda
The Meaning of Virginia Park
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail