MK Ahmed Tibi at a Nakba Day rally in Ramallah, May 15, 2019.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Arab politicians used the Palestinians’ annual day of commemoration of the displacement they claim preceded and followed the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948 to speak out against the Trump Administration’s peace plan.
The “deal of the century,” as it has been coined, is slated to be released in June.
“The Palestinians’ strongest weapon against the Trump plan is a two-letter word,” said MK Ahmad Tibi (Hadash-Ta’al), speaking at a Nakba Day event in Ramallah. “No. The same ‘no’ that every Palestinian child says, the same ‘no’ that the Palestinian president says, and the same ‘no’ that the Palestinian people say – because they are without Jerusalem, without a state, without sovereignty and without the right of return.”
He added that “neither international law nor Trump’s peace plan can invalidate the narrative and struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination.”
Other Arab MKs, such as Ayman Odeh (Hadash-Ta’al) and Mtanes Shehadeh (Balad) attended a Nakba ceremony at Entin Gate, just outside the premises of Tel Aviv University.
Shehadeh reminded the crowd that on Nakba Day, “we remember the expulsion of more than 700,000 people from their lands, the destruction of more than 530 Palestinian towns and the murder of many others.
“Israel has been trying for 71 years to erase the Palestinians’ identity and collective memory by any possible colonial means, from the Nation-State Law to the ‘deal of the century’; to squelching freedom of expression, demolishing homes, political persecution and continual occupation and violation of international law,” Shehadeh said.
Jewish MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash-Ta’al) also spoke at the Tel Aviv event. He said that recognition of the Palestinian narrative is not only morally critical, it is practical.
“Anyone who does not want to live under the threat of the sword, who dreams of peace and partnership, must recognize the injustice that was caused to hundreds of thousands of people at the time of the establishment of the State,” Cassif said.
But MK Uzi Dayan (Likud) disagreed. He condemned the statements made by the Arab MKs and Nakba Day in general.
“Seventy-one years have passed – and for you, nothing has changed,” Dayan said. “You are stuck in 1948, while we march toward 2048. We send a spaceship to the moon and you fly incendiary balloons over the Gaza border.
“Your thoughts and behaviors are your Nakba.”
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