"Many catastrophes occur in this cruel world. Some are caused by nature, and over them humans have no control. Some are man-made - catastrophes caused by wars of aggression and wars of oppression by one people against another. Such was World War II, an attempt by Germany to conquer the world, oppress the non-Germanic peoples and exterminate the Jews. It took more than five years to roll back the conquering German armies, at great sacrifice to the Allied armies that defeated Germany. On May 8, V-E Day, the world celebrates the victory in Europe, the day on which Germany surrendered unconditionally in 1945. It was a victory of light over darkness.
The German people suffered during that war. More than 5 million German soldiers were killed during the fighting, and more than 2 million German civilians died during the war. In addition, millions were left homeless and millions became refugees as eastern Germany was turned over to Poland and the Sudeten region was returned to Czechoslovakia after the war. German cities were destroyed by aerial bombardments. Thirty-nine square kilometers of Dresden's city center were destroyed. Greatly damaged were the cities of Hamburg, Cologne and Berlin, in addition to many other German cities, in an aerial campaign to disrupt the German war effort and force Germany to surrender.
Yet the German people do not commemorate V-E Day as their day of catastrophe, as the German Nakba. No demonstrations are held in Germany on that day. The German people know that they brought the catastrophe upon themselves. They know there is no reason to shift the blame for their catastrophe onto others; they have only themselves to blame.
There is another day on which the world celebrates victory in World War II. It is V-J Day, August 15, the day in 1945 when Japan, Germany's ally, surrendered unconditionally to the Allied forces. The Japanese people suffered grievously during the war - a war in which they tried to conquer China, the Philippines, Burma and Indonesia. More than 2 million Japanese soldiers were killed in the war and more than 3 million Japanese civilians perished. Tokyo was firebombed, and two atomic bombs devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
But the Japanese people do not commemorate their suffering during the war on V-J Day as the Japanese Nakba. They know that they brought that catastrophe upon themselves. They know that the blame for their suffering cannot be shifted onto others.
So what is the Palestinian Nakba all about? Those who promote the commemoration of the "Palestinian catastrophe" have chosen May 15 - the day in 1948 on which the Arab armies invaded Palestine in order to destroy the infant Jewish state - as Nakba Day. The Arabs intended to destroy the Jewish community in Palestine, were confident that they were going to win, but in the end lost the war. That is the origin of the Palestinian catastrophe, a catastrophe the Arabs brought upon themselves.
So why is it that the Arabs do not accept that it was the war that they began, the catastrophe that they intended to inflict on the Jewish community in Palestine, which is the cause of their suffering? That their catastrophe is self-inflicted? Why don't they recognize their own responsibility for their catastrophe, as do the Germans and the Japanese following World War II, and instead try to place the blame on Israel?
The difference is that the Germans and Japanese were forced to surrender unconditionally, and when the war was over they harbored no hope and had no intentions of overcoming the powers that had defeated them. The Arabs, however, did not surrender; they were prepared for an armistice - no more. Israel had neither the power nor the intention to force them to surrender unconditionally. And unlike the Germans and the Japanese after World War II, many Palestinians and their Arab supporters harbor hopes of ultimately defeating the State of Israel and destroying the Jewish state.
For them the Nakba demonstrations are one more stick with which to beat Israel. With a total disregard for the facts, they are out there demonstrating on May 15, blaming Israel for a catastrophe they brought upon themselves.
And those Jews in Israel and abroad who join the Nakba demonstrations year after year, waving Palestinian flags? The Jewish students at Tel Aviv University who join their Palestinian colleagues in blaming Israel for the "Palestinian catastrophe"? They are what Lenin called the "useful idiots" who are so important when a lie is to be spread."
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
A great article about Palestinian hypocrisy when it comes to the Nakba, published in Ha'aretz of all places: