A Palestinian man holds a symbolic key next to Hamas militants during a rally after Nakba Day in Rafah.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The film festival at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on December 4-6 centered on the “Nakba” (catastrophe), an Arab day of mourning over the Jewish state’s creation, was simply disgraceful.
Organized by the Zochrot NGO and headed by Liat Rosenberg, this festival’s promoters are certainly living in a fantasy land. In their hopeless efforts to give a platform to the Palestinian narrative, these Israelis turn a blind eye to their own weathered history and end up vilifying themselves and their society.
Archeological evidence proves that Jews have lived in Israel continuously over a 4,000-year span.
There was an exponential increase in Jewish immigrants from the 1920s to the ‘50s due to pogroms, the Holocaust and Jewish expulsion from Arab nations. (865,000 Jews were expelled by the Arab nations alone.) There has always been tension between Jews and Arabs in Israel, but the peak of intolerance came after the UN voted in favor of Jewish statehood in 1948. This coming after the UN Partition Plan in 1947 which gave both Arabs and Jews a state of their own. That’s right: Before it became trendy to support a two-state solution, the very first two-state solution was offered 68 years ago, and was denied by the Arab population. Instead the Arabs responded to Israel’s statehood (because who can tolerate Jews as neighbors?) by launching war on all sides. Which Israel won. Since then Israel has been tried time and time again by hostile neighbors and history has shown that those who haven’t accepted Israel as a Jewish and sovereign state have only lost.
The Arab fight against Jews is not about land but rather an intolerance for Jewish culture, tradition and religion. Seeing the huge demographic challenge, the Jews offered all Arabs in the new Jewish state full citizenship; only 20 percent accepted and now live in Israel under better circumstances than any of their brethren in the surrounding 22 Arab nations. The 80% who declined to live under a Jewish state either fled because their leaders told them to (while promising to annihilate Israel) or were evacuated since they lost control of territory.
In war this happens, and if one doesn’t want to be burned one shouldn’t play with fire. The blame for the plight of the Palestinians today can only be attributed to the Arab “leadership” that strategically keeps the Arab population bitter and hostile toward Israel to this day.
Here in Tel Aviv such “peaceful” festivals that in fact do harm to our legitimacy are considered part of the package deal of a colorful democracy. I challenge the film festival organizers to bring to light the fact that Jews were expelled, restricted and discriminated against in Mandate Palestine by both the British and Arabs, not to mention massacred by Arabs (Safed and Hebron massacres). If Rosenberg and her buddies are truly concerned about peace they should bring a film festival to the West Bank and Gaza explaining the Israeli Independence Day and Israel’s positive impact on the Jewish people, Arab citizens and the rest of the world since then.
The author is a recent graduate of the Recanati Business School at Tel Aviv University. Prior to her studies she was a lone soldier serving as an infantry instructor in the IDF.
She hopes combine her passion for Zionism with business in an effort to demonstrate Israel’s positive contributions to the world.