Monday, July 20, 2009

The Great Nakba Debate


 My professor posted an article on my class forum: Weaker Nakba bill approved as government legislation. The article talks about legislation fining Arab-Israel groups who commemorate Nakba. He then posed the question: Does the State of Israel have the right to deny its Arab citizen's desire to commemorate the establishment of the State as a catastrophe?


In the article, one of the Arab-Israeli groups stated, "Acknowledging the fact that the establishment of the State of Israel was accompanied by a human tragedy does not challenge Israel's fundamental right to exist," the NGO argued. However, I think that's just plain wrong. At its very core, Nakba commemorates the day of catastrophe. For them, it's really analogous to tisha b'av. The Orthodox Jews mourn the destruction of the Temple and pray for the building of a new Temple just as Arabs mourn the creation of the state of Israel and pray for its eventual destruction.  Nakba isn't simply acknowledging human tragedy; it is a statement of contempt and anger at the establishment of the State. How can a government allow funds to go to organizations that commemorate Nakba? Israeli Arabs have chosen citizens. It's one thing to commemorate Nakba if you remain a Palestinian, but to be an Israeli, even an Arab Israeli and even call it Nakba seems rather counterproductive. How can their real concerns about Arab Israeli's be taken seriously, if they start with the premise that the establishment of the State was a catastrophe? As I always want to say to the socialists I grew up with in ultra-liberal Madison, Wisconsin, if you hate America so much, move!

There is something fundamentally unpatriotic to think your country shouldn't exist at all. While as a citizen you can think what you want and commemorate privately, the government shouldn't have to condone such behavior.


Am I being too harsh?

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