Remembering the Nakba

The 15th of May, thousands of Arabs marched on the streets, remembering the Nakba – the catastrophe, designating the creations of Israel exactly 65 years ago.

That day, thousands of Palestinians were forced to leave their homes behind as the state of Israel occupied their former lands. Since then, the “catastrophe” seems to be continuing, Israel establishing more and more colonies in Palestinian territories, and with the intermittent clashes on the border lines.

The 15th May, demonstrations were high in the Palestinian territory, where thousands of people participated in the demonstrations in Ramallah, Nablus, Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Jericho and Bethlehem as well. Sirens sounded for 65 seconds this day, marking the anniversary of the day of the catastrophe of the Palestinian people. People gathered to hear the Palestinian National Forces’s band play, and listened to the pre-recorded speech of Mahmoud Abbas. In his speech, Abbas pointed out the independence of the Palestinian people and called on Israel to prove its good intentions by releasing the prisoners held in Israeli prisons.

The remembrance of this day returned the lack of success of the peace negotiations into the limelight. During these 65 years, numerous peace propositions were discussed and rejected by either Israel or the Palestinian authorities. Remembering the Nakba does not seem to draw the Palestinians closer to any sort of solution: the memory of their catastrophe still living fervently in their mind-set, it is hard to imagine the existence of a peace plan that could potentially please both of the warring sides.

Meanwhile, Palestinians still voice their right of return: a right to return to their original homeland and reclaim properties now in Israel, referring to the UN resolution claiming the right to return to the property once left behind. This idea is considered offensive for Israel, while neither does Israel follow efforts to reconcile with Palestine.

Neither of them seems eager to accept concessions to end the on-going war. But how long this situation is sustainable and affordable is questionable and sheds a different light to the future peace plans.



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