German company fires employee in Jordan for defending Israel

The former employee posted a personal Facebook post stating that if the Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi had slapped a Jordanian soldier, “she would have been immediately shot.” Continue reading

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Where is the international outrage?

As the human rights of women and minorities is systematically violated across the Muslim world, the international community is eerily silent, preferring to systematically condemn Israel Continue reading

Keith Ellison supported by Extremists

Keith Ellison Donor: ‘Israelis Have to be Bombed,’ Only Understand ‘Resistance’
Anti-Israel group official openly advocates for violence, gave $2,500 to Ellison in 2017 Continue reading

Palestinians: The Nightmare of Christians

Without question, Samir Qumsieh is one of the most courageous Christian leaders in the Middle East. Qumsieh is one of the few willing to risk his life to speak out against Muslim persecution of Christians in the Palestinian territories and the Middle East, generally. Continue reading

Der Moslem als neuer “Heiliger”

Für die zunehmend orientierungslosen Linken gibt es nach einer langanhaltenden Serie von demütigenden Wahlniederlagen quer durch Europa nur noch ganz wenige Fixpunkte in ihrem ansonsten großteils kollabierenden GutmenschInnen-Universum. Continue reading

The United Nations and the Palestinians

There is one way in which the Palestinian refugees are unique. The United Nations has created a special organization for Palestinian refugees that both defines them differently and cares for them separately from every other refugee population on earth. In so doing, the international community has been a full partner in helping the Palestinian refugees preserve their status and nurture their grievances. Continue reading

Has the UN Human Rights Council Become Frankenstein?

Seventy years ago this week, in the aftermath of the Nazi atrocities, Eleanor Roosevelt and French legal philosopher René Cassin assembled for the first meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights. The founders had a dream: to reaffirm the principle of human dignity, and to guarantee fundamental freedoms for all. Continue reading

Obama meddling with Israeli Elections

U.S. Embassy Met With Group Trying to Influence Israeli Elections
State Department helped group of Arab-Israeli mayors get last-minute visas

Top officials at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv met in late January with one of the main progressive groups working to tip the upcoming Israeli elections against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and helped facilitate the organization’s visit to the United States this week to learn political organizing techniques. Continue reading

Israel issues Travel Warning for Western Europe

In light of the return of many jihadists from fighting in Syria and Iraq to their home countries, counter-terrorism unit advises Israelis use caution when traveling abroad during High Holy Days.
Israelis and Jews in western Europe could be the target of terror attacks from global jihadists, the National Security Agency’s counter-terrorism unit said Monday, as it issued travel warning for Europe ahead of the High Holy Days. Continue reading

What was – or is – the Nakba?

Israel and Hamas are once again on the brink of war. Palestinian support for a two-state option is plummeting. The brutal slayings of three Israeli yeshiva students on the West Bank have been followed by reprisals by Israeli civilians against Arabs on an order not seen since the creation of the state.

In the days and weeks ahead, battles will be waged with weapons and with words. And for the Palestinians, one of the most powerful of those words will be Nakba – the catastrophe of 1948.
The political use of the Arabic word nakba (disaster) goes back to 1920, when Arabs decried European colonial rule over portions of the now-defunct Ottoman empire. While the 1948 war was still raging, Constantine Zureiq, a professor at the American University in Beirut, wrote a book, “The Meaning of the Disaster,” which used the term Nakba to describe the internal weaknesses and failings of the Arab world that had made Israel’s victory possible.
Over time, the term Nakba has come to be associated with the forced migration of the Palestinians in 1948 and the Israeli government’s refusal to let the refugees return after the war’s end. Most Israeli Jews and supporters of Israel have a visceral, negative reaction to the word. A recent Israeli law (which has not yet been tested in the courts) allows the government to fine publicly-funded institutions that commemorate Israel’s Independence Day as a day of mourning. This legislation is colloquially referred to as “the Nakba law.”
Why is this word so threatening? When Israeli Jews hear the word Naqba, they infer a denial of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. They associate the Naqba with the Palestinian Right of Return, which, if exercised, could theoretically lead to millions of Palestinian refugees (those surviving from 1948, and their descendants) coming to Israel and claiming their lands, upon which hundreds of Israeli communities now sit.
Denial of the Nakba is less about what happened in 1948 than about why. It is about causes and consequences of events, not events themselves. Mainstream Israeli narratives of 1948 often underestimate the number of Palestinian refugees, but many Israeli Jews would acknowledge that in 1948 hundreds of thousands of Palestinians lost their homes – and their homeland. Along with that acknowledgment, though, comes the claim that the Palestinians brought disaster upon themselves by not accepting the United Nations Partition plan of November 1947. Israeli denial of the Nakba is a denial of responsibility, and hence of culpability.
For Palestinians, mourning for their lost homeland is inseparable from rage against all the actors – the international community, the Arab states, and, most of all, Israel – who, they feel, brought, and continue to bring, disaster upon them. Nakba is more than a description, more than a lament – it is an accusation of crimes past and present.
It is hard to deny the Nakba, however, without using the word itself. Israeli newspapers now write about the Naqba more than ever before. Palestinian political rhetoric has been accepted into Israeli public conversation.
During the Cold War, conservative West German newspapers referred to East Germany in quotes, as the “DDR,” and in communist East Germany West Berlin’s separate status as part of the Federal Republic of Germany was obscured by referring to it as Berlin (West). Such linguistic trickery served only to strengthen awareness of the reality of both East Germany and West Berlin. The Cold War of the 1940s through 1980s is now over, and East Germany and West Berlin have ceased to exist as political entities. But the Nakba continues, and it will continue to continue, until Israel acknowledges its past and the Palestinians, including Hamas, legitimize Israel’s future. In the current climate, neither appears likely.

Derek Penslar