Latest tactic: Rebranding the Nakba as a Jewish tragedy

This is the latest in cultural rebranding, a strategy bent on erasing historical or cultural fact and taking up a modified version of the fact as one’s own.

According to this individual, the Nakba represents the ethnic cleansing of Jews, too, by Israeli and Arab armies. In other words, a Palestinian tragedy has been rebranded into a Jewish one. It’s a distasteful move, partly because it is written under the pretense of historical accuracy but also because it simply ignores Palestinian agency.

The Nakba, commemoration on May 15 every year, marks the first full day of Israel’s establishment as a state. It also honors the 750,000 Palestinians forcefully displaced from their homes and made into refugees—not on May 15, 1948 but over a course of years well before Israel’s unilateral declaration of independence.

Also, as a side note, the specificity of the national armies is not reciprocated in the specificity, or lack thereof, of the “Arabs” who were evicted from their homes. It’s as if acknowledging the existence of Palestinians is off-limits.

Sami Kishawi


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