The month of November, full of painful memories, passed without many Arabs remembering that on 2 November 1917, Palestine was officially usurped with the issuance of the ill-fated Balfour Declaration and that on 29 November – the real date of the Nakba – Palestine was divided. It is, therefore, a mockery that the United Nations (UN), who issued the Partition Plan on the same day in 1947, chose for this day to be the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
In his speech on this occasion in 1977, the UN secretary-general reiterated the UN’s commitment to upholding the rights of the Palestinian people and stated that the UN will not budge in its commitment to the Palestinian people. However, he did not tell us how it would be celebrated, or why he did not restore the rights of the Palestinians in this celebration, nor what is preventing him from carrying out his commitments, as he claimed. This international organisation has disregarded our minds and has not once, since its establishment, done justice to the Palestinian people. Instead, it relinquished their rights and established the Israeli state on their land.
Although this solidarity will not return the land of Palestine to its indigenous people, we have not yet seen a positive action on the ground that expresses this solidarity, neither internationally nor on the Arab level, with the exception of the images of the Palestinian keffiyeh that we post on our social media pages. However, the Arab governments have removed this day from their memories, as we have not heard a single word from them, not even a small gesture nor reference to the anniversary of this fateful day. Nothing to remind the Nakba generation or the entire Muslim nations of the usurping of Palestine, nor explanations to the Muslim nationals on how Palestine was occupied, in order to keep Palestine alive in their hearts and memories.
Making the memory of history requires the revival of historical events in the consciousness of the people, both sweet and bitter, especially those that changed the course of history and transformed the paths of nations. This is what is in order to prevent the tampering of their history and to sharpen the minds of future generations. Regrettably, all countries around the world do this, except for the Arab countries.
We want the Palestinian cause to remain burning in the hearts of the Arab and Islamic people, and not let it be extinguished with the passing of time and the development of events. Regardless of how many Arab countries rush to normalise relations with Israel, the Arab people must continue to preserve their memories in order to act as the dam, preventing normalisation.
Israel managed to gather the Jewish people from around the world, in the diaspora, to create its state based on the idea of conjuring a revival of painful historical memories and stories. It is trying, by all means possible, to change the Palestinian landmarks, to erase its historical symbols, and to Judaise it by changing the Arab names of its cities and streets to Jewish names, and by linking them to religious occasions to stir their religious senses and to strengthen their sense of belonging to this land.
Meanwhile, we have 6 December, the day on which President Donald Trump announced, two years ago, his recognition of a unified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which follows the two significant dates in November. It, too, passed without anyone marking it. This raises the question: have the nations become indistinguishable from their governments in erasing the recollection of history from the minds of the people?
It is unfair to oppress the oppressed and defeated Arab people for their desire to forget or overlook, as they are facing authoritarian governments and brutal forces directing their bullets at them, instead of at the Zionist occupation, acting as the border guards for the Israeli state.
Despite the Arab people’s distraction with themselves, their preoccupation with their domestic issues and conflicts with their tyrant leaders, they have not abandoned the Palestinian cause. It is present in their revolutions, and we have seen the Palestinian flag being waved during all of the Arab revolutions. The chants of the demonstrators demanding to topple their government have been joined by chants of liberating Palestine, in a united symphony. This highlights the level of understanding of Arab citizens of the link between the toppling of tyrannical regimes and the liberation of Palestine. The relationship between the two is organic and intertwined, and cannot be separated from one another.
Palestine will not be liberated unless the Arab nations are liberated from their fascist leaders – the Zionists’ agents in the region. This is why Israel was the nation most angered by the Arab Spring revolutions, and the most objected to them. The two following incidents ensuing the January revolutions speak for themselves: the young man who ascended the walls of a building overlooking the Nile in Cairo, climbing to the 19th floor where the Israeli embassy is located, and threw the Israeli flag onto the ground, amid clapping and chanting from the Egyptians around him, who burned the flag immediately. They also besieged the embassy in Cairo, forcing it to shut down and its staff to leave the country – an incident that surprised the Israelis and shocked the world.
The second scene is of the student who raised a Palestinian flag during a football match at the Cairo International Stadium last month and was promptly arrested and sentenced to prison.
This is the fundamental difference between revolutionary Egypt and coup-led Egypt; free Egypt and fascist Egypt. This is the case with all of the region’s countries that are ruled by dictatorships, which Israel is keen to keep in place, not wanting them to be replaced by democratic governments. The relationship between the dictatorships and Israel is also an organic one, through the exchange for protecting Israel, these dictatorships gain power from Israel to confront the people who revolt against them. This was clearly witnessed in the Syrian revolution, as they protected the killer Bashar Al-Assad, preventing his overthrow, out of fear of him being replaced by a democratic government that would work towards liberating the Golan Heights, which his tyrant father, Hafez Al-Assad, gifted Israel on a silver platter.
It is, therefore, no wonder that Israel, boasting that it is an oasis of democracy in the region, supports dictatorial regimes in the area. Without them, Israel’s flag would not have ever been raised inside occupied Palestine, and there would not have been a state called Israel.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.