The Naqba was justified

When the naqba occurred, and upon looking back at it today, it is clear that it was justified and necessary, but not sufficient. Op-ed.

Dr. Mordechai Nisan ,

Arab rioter lobs tear gas on Nakba Day
Arab rioter lobs tear gas on Nakba Day
Flash 90

From the earliest days of the Zionist movement, the Arabs protested as a group in Eretz Yisrael, expressing feelings of revulsion, jealousy, disgust, hostility and resorting to violence. They murdered Jews, mutilated bodies, burned fields and forests, stole cars and destroyed property, fabricated libelous accusations, turned the world against us, stabbed, stoned, poisoned, raped, harassed young women, blew up restaurants and buses, spied and betrayed, abhorred our flag and hated our soldiers, lied, cheated, looted, badmouthed and took advantage.

Their terrorists attacked Jews in their homes and on the road, they lauded those who murdered Jews, kidnapped Jewish youngsters, hoarded weapons, murdered their employers, disturbed the night hours with deafening muezzin calls to prayer – what else lies ahead for Muslims who believe in the merciful Allah?

The Arabs scornfully reject the State of Israel – as criminal, racist, colonialist, thieving, conquering.

And the Arabs are still here, with us.

The struggle with them would have reached an end had all the Arabs living in Israel converted to Judaism, intermarried or emigrated. That would have brought tranquility and security. The Arabs as a group will never truly recognize the right of the State of Israel to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people.

Arab tribal loyalties, together with the feeling that they were wronged by the Jewish people prevent acceptance and peace. They did not come around in 1948, not after the 1967 Six Day War, not after the 1993 Oslo Accord, and they will not do so for another 300 years. They will not give in, compromise, soften their stance, regret, forgive, forget. Never. Because they fervently believe that the Land of Israel is their birthplace, Palestine, and that the Jews must leave it.

There is no way the Arabs in general will budge one millimeter towards accepting the legitimacy of the Jewish State. Neither employment nor education, rights or privileges, positions or budgets, joint sports clubs or friendship associations, and not even learning to speak Arabic – none of these makes a dent in Arab intransigence – in fact, they achieve the opposite, intensifying and worsening that intransigence. The Arabs are serious people, they believe in the Qu'ran and Islamic tradition that the entire country is theirs and Allah is on their side.

The Jewish-Israeli march of folly has been going on for generations. Despite wars and terror, broken agreements and hollow promises, mudslinging lies such as "Al Aksa is in danger" or "Israel is an Apartheid state," the Jews refuse to admit the permanence of the Arab-Israeli dispute.Lies abound and truth is nowhere to be found. We are witness to a special phenomenon of false awareness, self-denial and escapism.

When an Arab murders a Jew… not all the Arabs are like that. Right.

When a Jewish girl is raped by Arabs…don't generalize.

When a house is set on fire…it's an isolated incident.

When roads are blocked and Jews are threatened. But just yesterday, I bought a kilo of apples from a nice Arab.

When Arabs are on the rampage…it's a marginal group.

When Arabs are running amok at the park or swimming pool…not all of them are like that. There are also doctors, pharmacists, lecturers, journalists among the Arabs who live here.

Enough of hallucinating, enough utopian dreams, enough embracing the enemy, enough bending over backwards, enough heaping kindness on freeloaders. Enough of people who live among us with hatred bubbling in their hearts. If they were able to, the Arabs would do a rerun of Hevron's 1929 massacre in Tel Aviv. Don't delude yourselves, my fellow Jews.

Dear Jew: Go to the fields and forests, go the valleys and hills, walk on the roads – and the threat may be lying in wait to ambush you. Like at the Danny Spring, near Migdal, Ein Yael, Arad, and the road near Tal Menashe.

And I want to stress: When the Naqba (1948 Arab catastrophic loss) occurred, and upon looking back at it today, it is clear that it was justified and necessary, but not sufficient.

There are times when a person has freedom of speech and can express himself without fear, or point out a fact without trying to soften it. Moshe Smilansky of Rehovot, pioneer and Zionist leader of the First Aliyah, who believed in Arab-Jewish coexistence but was not afraid to write what he really felt, wrote a sort of uncensored epigram in 1914: "We have to deal with a half-savage people…and this is their nature: if they believe you are strong, they will give in and keep their hatred locked up in their heart. If they sense that you are weakening – they will rule over you."

Over a century has passed since those words were said. Another thousand years can pass and a more accurate sociological, psychological and nationalist sentence that shines light on the chaotic relationship between Jews and Arabs in Eretz Yisrael will not be heard.

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Dr. Mordechai Nisan is a retired lecturer in Middle East Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.Among his books is The Conscience of Lebanon: A Political Biography of Etienne Sakr (Abu-Arz). His most recent books are Only Israel West of the River: The Jewish State and the Palestinian Question and The Crack-up of the Israeli Left, available at Amazon.com.

Translated by Rochel Sylvetsky



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