Palestine’s catastrophe

May 17, 2019


WEDNESDAY was observed as the 71st anniversary of the Nakba, the event the Palestinians remember as the ‘catastrophe’ that led to their seemingly eternal banishment from their homeland, and the beginning of unending brutalities and humiliation heaped upon them by Israel. In typical fashion, Israel marked the day by wounding around 50 Palestinians — who had marched to the Israel-Gaza border to demand the reunification of their land — using live rounds on the marchers. It was sheer good fortune that none of the demonstrators were killed. Sadly, it appears as if the Palestinian dream to live as a free people in a homeland of their own will remain unrealised, as there seems to be no one ready to call out Israel for its atrocious behaviour and grave human rights abuses. This is despite the fact that the UN has said that Israel’s vicious tactics against the Palestinians — over 200 Arabs have been killed since March 2018 by the Zionist state — may constitute war crimes. But who will have the courage to take Israel to task, when its biggest benefactor sitting in the White House is willing to whitewash all its crimes, and in fact ‘reward’ it by recognising its illegal occupation of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights?

The Arab-Israeli peace process as we know it is dead, and Tel Aviv under Netanyahu has performed its last rites by crushing the Palestinians and burying the two-state solution. It seems the hopes raised by the Oslo process in the 1990s were false; all that the Palestinians have received in return for agreeing to make peace with Israel is more humiliation, more violence and more illegal annexation of their land. And now, to add insult to injury, the Trump administration is preparing a ‘deal of the century’ that, if details leaked are to be believed, will make the ghettoisation of the Palestinians permanent, deny them their right over Jerusalem, and present prime Arab land to Israel on a platter. The catastrophe unleashed by the Nakba, it seems, shows no sign of ending.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2019