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We will not commemorate the 75th Nakba with tears, but with the strength of resistance

May 16, 2023 at 8:40 am

Palestinians march with torches on the 75th anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence, which Palestinians call the Great Catastrophe (Nakba), and its forced migration of Palestinians on Bethlehem, West Bank on May 14, 2023 [Wisam Hashlamoun/Anadolu Agency]

The 75th anniversary of the Nakba of all Arabs and Muslims, not just Palestine, is upon us. It is the catastrophe of the entire Islamic nation that began in 1948 and its consequences continue to this day. We remember that day, on 14 May 1948, on which the hearts of the Arab nation was torn out and our land, Palestine, was usurped before the eyes of the entire world, that not only blessed it, but even rushed to it, through the Security Council, which was established specifically to achieve the goals of the major countries victorious after World War II. The colonial countries hastened to recognise this usurper entity that was planted on our Arab land. The first to bless and recognise it was the Soviet Union, followed by the US, and not the other way around, as many think. The East and the West joined hands to stab the nation in the back, beginning with those closest to it. If it weren’t for the Arabs’ plotting, the West would not have been able to carry out its conspiracy in Arab Palestine.

The planting of this Zionist state was not a new act, but rather dates back a century, since the ominous Balfour Declaration, which was issued by the British government to establish a national home for the Jews on the Arab land of Palestine, on 2 November 1917. It was a promise made by those who do not own the land to those who have no right to it. This declaration, which was supported by the rest of the colonial countries, culminated in a state for them on 14 May 1948, and since that date the Palestinians have been living in an endless series of suffering, torment and the theft of more historical lands of Palestine by the Zionist enemy, who has violated their blood, honour and money. The Palestinians continue to fight against this and the Arab rulers’ plotting against the struggle of the Palestinian people has not stopped. The international community did not serve them justice nor did it restore their seized rights or land. The superpowers, headed by the US, support the Zionist state and the Arab leaders are loyal to it and guard its borders.

All the Arab rulers, without exception, traded the Palestinian cause in order to stabilise the foundations of their rule and their kingdoms. However, what was going on behind the scenes was something completely different to what appeared in public during the peace agreements reached with the Israeli enemy. The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) signed the Oslo Accords on 13 September 1993, with the Israeli enemy after the First Intifada, according to which the Zionist state was recognised and the clause of the armed struggle to liberate Palestine from the river to the sea was dropped from its national charter in exchange for an imaginary authority that achieves nothing more than security coordination between it and the Zionist enemy. The Oslo Accords also promised to establish a state that has yet to see the light, and instead, more land of the alleged state has been seized and settlements are being established on it, leaving less than 20 per cent of Palestine’s area for the alleged state. The cursed Oslo Accords also led to more killings and arrests of the struggling Palestinian people under the pretext of security coordination with the occupying power. The Second Intifada launched on 28 September 2000, and it restored the spirit of resistance to the Palestinian people under the support of the late leader Yasser Arafat, who returned frustrated from the US after the Camp David meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, under the auspices of US President Bill Clinton, and he became certain there was no point in having peace agreements with the Zionist state and that they were all illusions that quickly evaporated and were gone with the wind after there were high hopes to establish a Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of the Palestinian refugees to their land. These were hopes the Palestinians had for seven years, since the Oslo Accords were signed, but they woke up and realised they were pipe dreams and that reality dictates their need to return to the struggle to liberate Palestine.

READ: Palestinians mark 75th anniversary of Nakba

The late Arafat led the First Intifada himself, in coincidence with the birth of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, which has not abandoned the Palestinian constants and the restoration of all of Palestine, from the sea to the river, through legitimate resistance. This started a new phase of Palestinian struggle that did not end with Arafat being besieged in his compound and him being poisoned to death in 2004. The Israeli army withdrew from the Gaza Strip under pressure from the courageous resistance from Hamas, which avenged the assassination of its senior leaders, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who awakened the nation, Dr Abdel Aziz Al-Rantisi, and others.

Since that date until now, the Zionist enemy has been waging wars on the Gaza Strip, at a rate of twice a year and sometimes more than that, and it has imposed a complete blockade by land, sea and air on the Palestinian people in Gaza after Hamas won the parliamentary elections in 2007, but this did not weaken the resistance, its determination, or the strength of the Palestinian people who are willing to make sacrifices for the sake of liberating their land. They carried burdens that no people in the world could bear and suffered a lot for their independence, dignity and pride.

The latest war waged by Israel against the Gaza Strip took place a few days before its celebration of the diamond anniversary of the occupation of Palestine and the birth of their usurped entity. It was as if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to celebrate this anniversary in a violent criminal manner, as he assassinated three of the leaders of Islamic Jihad in their homes, along with their wives and children. Moreover, 40 Israeli fighter jets continued to attack the border strip of Gaza and killed farmers and innocent civilians. No more than ten hours later, the resistance factions responded with intense missile strikes and hundreds of offensives, which reached Tel Aviv and a military base next to it and near Ben Gurion Airport, which completely suspended flights. The candle of the 75th anniversary was quickly extinguished, especially after the resistance announced that it reserves the right to further respond in the appropriate place and time. This struck fear and panic in the hearts of the Zionists and put the occupation forces in a state of alert and anticipation, so he ordered the shelters to open and the closure of the main roads in settlements near Gaza, with thousands of Israelis being evacuated from cities near Ashkelon.

READ: The majority of Palestinians feel politically homeless new survey reveals on the 75 Nakba

The Palestinian resistance has imposed a new equation on the Zionist enemy and has proven its ability to exhaust it and refute its claim that it possesses a massive deterrent force that frightens the Palestinians.

The Zionist enemy failed to bring the Palestinian people to their knees in Gaza, just as it failed to defeat the resistance and force it to surrender.

Hope remains in this great nation, the Palestinian people who flip all calculations and change all equations with their creativity and innovations in their means of resistance and struggle. They struggled valiantly and courageously, and fear did not seep into their hearts. Their belief is that they will either be victorious or be martyred.

These generations are the descendants of the great-grandchildren of the Palestinians who were expelled from their land and displaced far from Palestine. They have never had the pleasure of seeing Palestine or living in it, among its plains, valleys and mountains, but in their hearts, they live in it, and it lives in them. It lives in their conscience and in their thoughts; it is their land that they will not abandon. The sayings of past leaders, like Golda Meir who said, “The old will die, and the young will forget” has been proven wrong. The old died after handing the young the keys to return, passing on the mission and the torch to hold on to after them. The Palestinian people are a nation that does not die and is not defeated.

READ: Israel seeks boycott of Nakba anniversary event at UN

The 75th anniversary of the Nakba will not be commemorated with tears over the loss of the land, but will celebrate the strength of the resistance, its changing of the rules of engagement and the imposition of the equation of strategic deterrence on the Zionist enemy.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.