Gerald Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral work in Middle East studies, has lectured on numerous university and other platforms. He has debated many of the best Arab and pro-Arab academics in public debates and on television. Mr. Honigman is widely published in academic journals, magazines, newspapers and other publications.
Fri May 13, 2011 6:59 pm The Case Of The Missing Nakba...
May 15th And The Case Of The Missing Nakba...
by Gerald A. Honigman
It's that time of the year again...May 15th.
Arabs and their stooges get to prance around and curse the Jews over the catastrophe (nakba)--Israel's rebirth. A resurrection which occurred, by the way, on about 12% of the original April 25,1920 Mandate of Palestine after what is now Jordan made off with the lions' share (about 80%) upon its own creation in 1922...a gift of British imperialist shanigans.
In 1947, Arabs were offered about half of the 20% that was left but refused that second partition. In their eyes, almost 90% of Palestine was not enough. By the way, the name "Palestine" was bestowed upon Judea by the Roman emperor, Hadrian, after the Jews' second revolt for freedom in an attempt to squash their hopes forever. To pour salt on the wound, Rome renamed land for the Jews' historic, non-Semitic enemies, the Philistines--the invading "Sea People" of ancient Egyptian records, David and Goliath, and Samson and Delilah fame. They came from the islands of the Aegean Sea.
Like elsewhere in a region which Arabs simply call "purely Arab patrimony," Jews were entitled to nothing in this Arab vision.
So, upon Israel's declaration of independence on May 14, 1948 on a small fraction of the original territory, a half dozen Arab armies immediately invaded.
At great cost, the Jews finally turned the tide. In the aftermath, two refugee populations were created as a result of the Arab attack. Arabs constantly remind everyone about their own--many of whom got deliberately caged in refugee camps to be used as perpetual pawns in the Arabs' anti-Israel games.
Not much is spoken, however, about at least as many Jews (owning far more property and leaving behind far more wealth) who fled the "Arab"/Muslim world.
While, once bullets start to fly and comrades start to die, there is no such thing as perfect saints or sinners in any war, volumes of solid evidence show that the Arabs themselves were mostly responsible for the flight of their refugees. Add to this the fact that so many so-called Arab "natives" were newcomers themselves into the Mandate that the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) had to redefine the very word "refugee" from its prior meaning of persons normally and traditionally resident to those who had lived in the Mandate for a minimum of only two years prior to 1948. Please ponder the implications of this and also consider that no such agency was created to assist Jewish or any other refugees.
So, sorry...I'm not shedding tears for Arabs on May 15th. I feel for their suffering--especially the children--but that suffering can be laid mostly at the doorstep of their own leaders and their own collective subjugating mindset which will not allow anyone else but themselves a semblance of justice in the region.
I refuse to sob because Arabs tried to slaughter all of Israel's Jews in 1948 and destroy their sole, miniscule nation and their attempt backfired on themselves. Afterwards, time after time, reasonable compromises were offered to them as well. To this date--and despite those in high places who whitewash their rejectionism--those offers have all been rejected. Nothing short of the Jews agreeing to their own suicide will suffice. What compromises have Arabs ever offered anyone else in "their" region?
What I really want to know, however, is this...
When will some twelve million native Egyptian Copts--the pre-Arab, non-Arab people of Egypt whose men frequently get murdered, women raped, churches torched, live in a constant state of intimidation, and so forth--get to have their Nakba Day?
When will Copts be able to cry out to the world and demonstrate--without placing their own lives in further jeopardy--about the horror which befell them after the Arab conquest of their land--at the same time Arab caliphal imperial armies were conquering and settling the Jews' and others' lands as well?
When will over thirty million native, pre-Arab, non-Arab Kabyle, Amazigh, and other native, North African people--the "Berbers"--get to have their Nakba Day? These folks have had their own native cultures and languages outlawed--part of the forced Arabization all of the region's peoples have been subjected to.
Nope...No tears for the Arab's self-inflicted nakba...none, at least until the story of another 35 million stateless people--the Kurds--gets to have its own special day as well.
As I like to remind readers, the one best chance Kurds had at independence was aborted after World War I as a result of the same collusion of British imperialism and Arab nationalism which handed over some 80% of Palestine to the latter in 1922. Purely Arab Iraq arose in the Mandate of Mesopotamia instead, and hundreds of thousands of Kurds have been slaughtered in "Arab" lands and elsewhere ever since.
Who cries out for the Kurds' nakba? Who will demand a roadmap for Kurdistan while the Arabs' 22nd state--and second one in Palestine--gets shoved down Israel's throat?
After a half century, it appears that the blacks of southern Sudan will finally gain independence this July from the Arab north. It took millions of their murdered, enslaved, displaced, maimed, and subjugated brethren to finally make this moment possible. Yet the blacks in the Darfur region of the country--Muslim, but non-Arab nor Arabized enough in Arab eyes--have no such end to their nightmare in sight.
Where are the universal cries for black Africans--and not only in the Sudan--who are still suffering at the hands of Arab tormentors?
And what of Lebanon? What is that bloody story really also largely all about? Did Arabs conquer an empty land there too?
No...too many others--scores of millions--have been and continue to be victimized by Arabs for Jews to be taken to task instead for wanting to finally end their millennial scapegoat, whipping post, and victim par exellence existence. That's what the rebirth of Israel truly represents.
What Arabs claim as their catastrophe occurred primarily because of their own conquering, subjugating mindset which allows none but themselves any semblance of justice in a region where many different peoples--not just Arabs--live. True, Arabs have tried very hard to erase those other identities in their continuous forced Arabization process...
I totally agree with Mr. Honigman's article. Let us also not forget that many Palestinian Christians mourn the birth of the modern state of Israel. Yet Christians in Israel have freedom as opposed to severe persecution in Muslim-controlled territories. But Palestinian Christians would rather talk about how Israel is the source of their poverty. As a Christian in America, I am aware of struggles that they face, but they insist that Christians in the West must stop supporting Israel.
Evangelical Christians support Israel because they recognize the Biblical significance of ADONAI's Covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Evangelicals know the historical outcomes of peoples and nations that have opposed Israel and done harm to the Jewish community. Pharaoh drowned, Haman died on his own gallows, the empires of Spain, France, and Great Britain are gone, and Adolph Hitler is no more.
But even more, Christians cannot proclaim they love God and harbor anti-Jewish and anti-Israel attitudes. Christianity has nurtured anti-Semitism for centuries. Even today, there are those in Roman Catholic circles that still deny the Holocaust as vehemently as people like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does.
Overall, Palestinian Christians need to not only accept Israel's existence but support Israel in conjunction with Scripture. They need to stand against Hamas and Fatah who have vowed to destroy Israel and its Jewish citizens. And by the way, Hamas and Fatah will be targeting the Christians, too.