I've been puzzled by the events that have unfolded in the last few days.
I was already confused when reading all the reports in the Israeli news about how the army/police where preparing for the Nakba. What was the big deal? Even in my uni days (not that long ago), surrounded with lots of Arabs, I never really noticed this day come and go. So why was Israel so worried something was going to happen this year?
As it turns out, they were right and Israel was in fact infiltrated by protesters from Syria and Lebanon. What's more, it looks like there was another terror attack. The perpetrator, however, is claiming it all was an accident, even though eyewitnesses seem to think otherwise.
Either way, there were significant problems as a result of Nakba day. Where were all these thousands of protesters all the previous years? Probably, Israel is right in saying Asad is trying to take the heat off himself and Iran probably is involved.
As a descendant of a Middle Eastern Jew, I have to ask, what about our "Nakba" day. What about all the Middle Eastern Jews who have been kicked out of their house, their homes, after having been in these countries for centuries, just because they're Jewish. People that had to leave everything behind. The stories my family tell sound very much like how it was for Jews during the Nazi regime before they were deported. Yet some how these horrific times are forgotten. Not only by them, but also by us. We have chosen to forget how badly we have been treated by Israel's neighboring countries and have in stead rebuilt our lives. My family, after having been one of the most richest and influential people of their city had to start all over again, and only one generation later, they have done very well for themselves. No one is living in poverty and no one is still a refugee. Yet somehow, the Palestinians outside of Israel have managed to hold on to their refugee status for three generations. They do so either willingly, or simply because their Arab hosts are denying them the right to become citizens.
I think it's time that we remind people of our tragedy, of our Nakba. Yes we have moved on and we are doing well, but if the Palestinians refugees are part of the Peace negotiations, then so should ours. Yes, it wasnt the Palestinians that kicked us out of Gaza, we did that for them. But the Arab countries that kicked us out are also the Arab countries that wont take the Palestinians in. And even if we're not considered refugees anymore, it is only because we worked hard on that. We still deserve to be recognized. We still deserve to be reimbursed for all the money and property that has been stolen from us. And if that is ever going to happen, it is time for us to stand up and make sure that no one forgets what happened.