While Arabs around the world, and especially in the PA-controlled areas, commemorated Catastrophe Day, many Israelis celebrated the anniversary of Israel’s Declaration of Independence by distributing and waving Israeli flags.
Volunteers stood at intersections and gave out the flags to drivers. The initiative was that of Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika and Shomron Residents Council director Benny Katzover.
Naqba Day literally means Catastrophe Day, and commemorates the “catastrophe” of the founding of the State of Israel on May 15, 1948. The Palestinian Authority teaches that had it not been for that event, Arabs would still be living in their homes, and a Palestinian country would have been established on the entirety of their ancestors’ historic homeland. Such a state would have "replaced" the Jewish population of the time, estimated at over 600,000 - likely leading to large-scale bloodshed.
In fact, however, there was no interest among the Arab nations of that time to establish an Arab state in the Holy Land. The Arab League rejected the Partition Plan of 1947, which called for the establishment of such a state. Even after 1948, when Jordan took control of Judea and Samaria, and Egypt grabbed Gaza, those countries did not move to grant Arab independence to these areas.
Only in 1964, in fact, when Jordan still controlled Judea and Samaria, was the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) founded for the purpose of establishing a Palestinian Arab state.
Experience has shown that had the Arabs not waged war against Israel in 1948, most of them would still be living in their homes in Jaffa, Haifa, Safed, and elsewhere. In the event, however, the Arab countries declared war on fledgling Israel and called upon the Arab residents to leave - thus becoming "refugees" until this very day.
End of the Aspiration to Wipe Out Jews
On the other hand, the establishment of the State of Israel did put an end to another Arab aspiration – that which was heard from the throats of many Arabs in various attacks in the decades leading up to 1948 – namely, Itbah al-Yahud (Slaughter the Jews)! Some have even likened Naqba Day to an attempt by former Nazis to mark the end of World War II as their “Catastrophe” in that it marked the end of their dream to liquidate world Jewry.
In an open letter to residents, Mesika gave a different translation to the word Naqba, “The Palestinian Authority has chosen to call this day ‘Holocaust Day,’ and the establishment of the State of Israel as a ‘holocaust.’ This is no wonder, when we see that the head of this terrorist authority is none other than Holocaust-denier Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas)… In response to the de-legitimization of Israel by our own extremist left, and to the PA’s attempts to frighten us with their Naqba Day violence, I believe that the simple act of waving the Israeli flag on this day will emit a sense of safety and faith in the justness of our cause.”
Ayalon: The Real Catastrophe
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon called yesterday upon the international community to recognize the “real” Naqba of 1948 and afterwards – namely, the persecution and eviction of hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes in Arab countries.
"While the Arabs in 1948 were involved in hostilities against the Jews,” Ayalon said, “the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa were not present in a theater of war, yet overnight their citizenship was revoked, their assets stolen and they were expelled or forced to flee."
“While the Arabs refugees numbered just over half a million,” Ayalon added, “the Jewish refugees numbered over 900,000. And because they were urban and wealthy, their assets accounted for almost double those of the more rural Arabs."