Prof. Steven PlautSteven Plaut teaches at the University of Haifa and is author of "The Scout" (available from Gefen Publishing House). More of his writings can be seen on the New Plaut Blog, as well as in numerous electronic and print newspapers.
"The Arab nationalist anti-Israel radicals and their fellow travelers from the Jewish radical Left insisted that everyone commemorate "Nakba Day," where Nakba means catastrophe. On that day they want the world to mourn the victory of Israel over its genocidal enemies and also to mourn the very existence of Israel.
"Apologists for the Nakba commemorators claim that they simply want everyone to commemorate all forms of suffering, including the suffering of the genocidal Arab militias, gangs, and armies that unsuccessfully attempted to annihilate the Jews of Israel in 1948-9."
There is no political agenda to be read into those taking this position, argue the apologists for Nakba Day events.
It behooves us, then, to make a list of other apolitical and neutral examples of human suffering to demonstrate that there are no political agendas behind the choice of which events are selected to be commemorated and mourned.
First, a day of commemoration for the tragic losses in property values by white slave owners in the American south, stripped of their slave assets, as a result of the loss of the Confederacy in the American Civil War, would be a great step in the direction of neutral apolitical honoring of human rights and dignity.
Second, we should be holding special campus days of commemoration and empathy for male rapists who have been injured while violently raping women. Their bruised knees and knuckles and scratched faces are human tragedies that all compassionate members of society must honor and respect in the name of neutral human rights and apolitical dignity.
While we are on the subject, members of the Boko Haram group in Nigeria who have ever been insulted or called names by Christian girls should also be specially honored and empathy expressed for their plight. There would be no political agenda behind those taking such a position.
After that, we need to hold a special day of remembrance for the guards at Gulag facilities in the days of Stalin who suffered terribly and at long distances from their homes and families in order to man and staff the gulag internment camps.
And a special day of sympathy should be held on September 11 each year to remember the sufferings of the Al-Qaeda hijackers who died such terrible deaths that day in 2001.
A much more important event would have to be the day in which the German and Japanese victims of Allied bombing raids are remembered and honored, and there of course should be no need to mention any other people who suffered during World War II, since there is no need for proportionality or inclusion of unrelated cases of human suffering.
At the same time, we would want the Law School at the University of Haifa to operate special clinics for prisoner's rights that only provide free legal counsel to convicted Arab terrorists. Why confuse the issue by bringing up unrelated cases of prisoners, which would only make people think there is an ideological agenda behind the choice?
Only after all of that, by all means, do hold completely apolitical Nakba Day mourning events that have nothing at all to do with any ideological agenda. Clearly there is no political agenda behind those engaging in such behavior.