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Obscuring the Nakba with 1967 rhetoric

May 15, 2014 at 11:26 am

Reiterating the right to memory has sustained Palestinian tenacity towards reclaiming their land and the right of return. However, their adamant statements on each Nakba commemoration are threatened by the increasing compromise trajectory echoed by Palestinian leaders who seek to prioritise 1967 over the 1948 imposition of settler-colonialism in Palestine. The latter characterises Israel’s perpetual state terror and gradual destruction of Palestinian freedom.

The adopted stance, which exhibits the now established dependency upon achieving recognition from oppressors as opposed to attaining assertive support from within Palestine, threatens a further division between the leadership and the people in relation to memory. In light of the suspended negotiations and efforts towards implementing the unity government, diplomatic alternatives may prove to be a conspiracy against memory and the Palestinian right of return.

Within the wider framework encompassing the hypothetical two-state solution rhetoric, 1967 has, erroneously, become synonymous with an allegedly permanent solution, despite the associated fragmentation of memory and repudiation of Israel’s settler-colonial plans. The normalisation of atrocities, a common feature of UN propaganda discerned within its multitude of statements and resolutions, may well become incorporated within the discourse of a leadership that trades the remnants of Palestine while seeking legitimacy from the coloniser. In this regard, 1967 paves the way for oblivion that encompasses the ideological origins bequeathing the contemporary violation inflicted upon Palestinians.

The current political framework and its insistence upon the 1967 borders repudiates the importance of memory associated with the 1948-onwards Nakba, rendering Palestinian leadership complicit in dependence through association with imperialist concepts of what should constitute a future Palestinian state. Implicit in the framework is a silent acquiescence to the settler-colonial state’s refusal to recognise the Palestinian right of return, as well as the acceptance of a fabricated state that has perfected its institutional violence against the indigenous population. In such a scenario, the additional slivers of memory inflicted upon Palestinians will have to contend with the elusiveness already characteristic of the right of return, which is the epitome of silent brutality perpetrated by Israel and condoned by international efforts to sustain the dependence and control of Palestinian refugees.

While Palestinians have proven themselves to be capable of resilience in the wake of continuous Zionist propaganda denying Israel’s destruction of both territory and people, Palestinian leaders have committed themselves to facilitating distortion and promoting a series of ineffective declarations that ridicule resistance and liberation for all Palestinians into a travesty of exclusionary agreements weakening the collective.

The futility of UN resolutions and the applicability of international law has long been recognised, yet Palestinians are still coerced, through their leadership, into a series of implorations that enhance the conditions for perpetual exile. Return is incompatible with the politics of acquiescence, hence the enshrined right to resistance should take precedence over any agreement that recognises the existence of Israel to the detriment of all Palestinians.

The compromise upon 1967 instigates differentiation within a history that necessitates reclamation of its origin. Divesting the Nakba of its centrality to the narrative accommodates an imperialist perspective of what comprises Palestinian memory while strengthening the fabricated Zionist legitimacy serving as the foundations for the settler-colonial state.