Unyielding remembrance: 75 years of the Nakba

(File photo: Jordan News)
May 15 this year marked the 75th year of the Nakba.

The Nakba, far from being a faded remembrance of the past, remains an ongoing travesty, an enduring state of criminality. اضافة اعلان

As long as there exists even a single displaced child, lingering on the thresholds of their exiled abode within the confines of a refugee camp, eagerly awaiting the opportunity to return to their homeland, embraced by freedom, justice, and tranquility, the conclusion of this occupation remains far.

To dismiss the undeniable truth that indigenous Palestinians possess an inherent entitlement to their rightful lands is to undermine the legitimacy of any counterclaims made against it.

Reflecting on the relentless struggle for liberation, which spanned seven and a half decades, certain memories permeate our very existence and seep into the collective consciousness of generations. Survivors of the Nakba, including members of my own family, were forcibly uprooted from Jaffa. Yet, to this day, they preserve indelible recollections of home and expulsion, etched in every crease adorning their faces, resonating within the very core of their beings.

Their bodies serve as enduring vessels, forever bearing the scars of assaults against their autonomy, their inherent dignity as human beings, and the very essence of their existence. Each remembered grievance swims in their veins like pieces of hardened shrapnel that never dissolved in the test of time. And while certain memories may need to be cast aside for the sake of healing, survival, and progress, we simply cannot relinquish our inalienable right to nationhood, as that right remains unfulfilled.

An unhealed wound
The survivors of the Nakba harbor memories of innocence lost, with each succeeding generation bearing the weight of its enduring wounds, buried deep within their souls.
As long as the last displaced child remains on the doorsteps of their exiled home in the camp, waiting to return to the homeland in freedom, justice, and peace, the end has not neared.
In 1948, a brutal ethnic cleansing campaign resulted in the forcible displacement of approximately 750,000 Palestinians, while the emerging host, in criminal fashion, established what we now recognize as the "State of Israel," illegitimately erasing the very existence of Palestine, both past and present.

Today, Israel has transformed from a mere colonial occupying power into a radical, ultra-religious, fascist regime that vigorously upholds the notion of Jewish supremacy, unabashedly enforcing apartheid measures against non-Jews. It adheres to the biblical narrative of the Kingdom of Israel, all at the expense of its rightful owners, Palestinians.

Ongoing occupation
I recount these massacres not to trigger the gruesome details of unspeakable horrors or to draw attention to the mutilated bodies, the innocent children slain, and the egregious theft that transpired. Instead, I write as a reminder that these massacres and forced displacements have yet to reach their conclusion.

Seventy-five years later, the stone remnants of 458 Palestinian villages, systematically demolished, continue to stand defiantly in close proximity to the "Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum," a shrine where every known victim of the Nazi genocide is currently recorded.

The remains stand as haunting reminders of the atrocities that forever tarnish the conscience of those who turned a blind eye and failed to intervene in ending 75 years of ongoing Nakba. This protracted suffering of my people persists through the implementation of apartheid policies, colonization, annexation, and the daily occurrence of cold-blooded killings.

In this current year alone, one Palestinian is killed daily, on average. Moreover, the collective arrests and the myriad violations of international law and UN resolutions committed by Israel, the colonial occupying power, render any remaining prospects for peace, security, and the establishment of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, increasingly untenable.

The international consensus on a two-state solution stands as the only viable path towards stability and peace in the region, alongside the imperative of implementing the right to self-determination for my people in our usurped homeland, as stipulated by UN resolution 194.

This consensus, accepted by us Palestinians and embraced by the sole representative, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, offers a vision whereby an independent, sovereign Palestinian state is formed, occupying a mere 22 percent of Palestine's historic lands. However, this solution now appears illusory, undermined by the illegal presence of 750,000 colonial Jewish settlers residing in over 240 colonial settlements, established on the territory occupied in 1967.
Today, Israel is not just a colonial occupation power, but a radical fascist ultra-religious regime that implements the idea Jewish supremacy deserves to uphold an apartheid state against non-Jews
These territories continue to be subjected to ethnic cleansing through draconian measures imposed by the occupying regime. Its persistent refusal to implement the aforementioned solution in the land it deems the "Greater Israel" or the "Kingdom of Israel," where colonization and apartheid reign supreme, propels us toward an inescapable reality — a single apartheid state encompassing all of historic Palestine, defined by Jewish supremacy.

International apathy
The silence of the international community, turning a blind eye and deaf ear to these injustices, further compounds this grievous outcome, failing to uphold its ethical, political, and legal responsibilities in rectifying the historical injustice that commenced 75 years ago, when we were forcefully uprooted from our ancestral homeland.

Consequently, this colonial Zionist enterprise, cultivated with the support of Western colonial powers to serve their interests within our region, at the expense of resolving the Jewish question in its original communities and at the expense of our people and our national rights, must be overcome. Its defeat paves the path towards a just peace, democratic values, and justice for all the inhabitants of our region.

To expedite these essential international political transformations, and to safeguard the principles of democracy and human rights, for which the peoples of Europe have paid a great price throughout their history, it is imperative for Europe to liberate itself from the clutches of savage American foreign policies, which consistently prioritize the sustainability of Israeli colonial occupation.

Europe must prioritize its own political and economic interests and the prosperity of its people. These concerns are of no consequence to the US, whose insatiable desire for unipolar dominance places Europe at risk of enduring another devastating ordeal, much like the cataclysmic events witnessed during World War II, wherein the US remained unscathed, with not a single pane of glass shattered on its soil.

Moreover, it is incumbent upon us to incite a widespread, grassroots European progressive movement, dedicated to confronting American proxy wars and the resurgence of repugnant neo-Nazi movements, which have begun to proliferate with the backing of the US and Israel, as they meddle in various corners of the globe, encroaching upon democracy, national sovereignty, and the inalienable right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.

This year, in a historic display, the UN, in its commemoration of the Nakba, has brought to the forefront an increased awareness of this catastrophic event, and affirmed the international rights entwined with the pursuit of national independence within and for our homeland.

Marwan Emil Toubassi is the former ambassador of Palestine to Athens.

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