MennoPIN Update – May 16, 2023

In This Issue

The Never-Ending Nakba
The World Cup and Palestine
Stay Informed on Palestine

The Never-Ending Nakba


Today is May 16, 2023, one day after Palestine commemorates the Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe), the painful memory of when Israeli militants emptied nearly 500 Palestinian villages through massacres and forced removal, creating 750,000 refugees. The Nakba has continued for 75 years with the Israeli government, using a U.S.-funded military force, executing its policies of administrative detention, land confiscation, home demolition, the erection of dividing walls, settler colonialism, and assassination of civilians and press.

But even today, the Nakba goes on and on with a boy in Nablus shot down and killed by Israeli military might intent on maintaining absolute control of Palestinian lives. The Nakba is a never-ending spiral of suppression and the attempt to erase ever remnant of Palestinian life and culture.

In this issue of the MennoPIN Update, we share with you two articles by Palestinians who argue that the Nakba began years before May 15, 1948, the day Israel celebrates its beginning as a nation state. Jonathan Kuttab is a member of the MennoPIN Steering Committee, Executive Director of Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) and a human rights attorney, practicing international law in Israel, Palestine and the United States. Ghada Karmi, writing in Mondoweiss, was born in Jerusalem and received a Doctor of Medicine at Bristol University. She established the first British-Palestinian medical charity.

Jonathan Kuttab
As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nakba (“catastrophe”) of May 15, 1948, many commentators have been pointing out that the Catastrophe did not simply occur on that date or year but rather that it is an ongoing catastrophe, beginning prior to 1948 and continuing to the present day.

May 15, 1948 marks the creation of the State of Israel, and it represents the height of the campaign for the destruction of the Palestinian community which permitted that creation. Even prior to 1948, and well before the entrance of the Arab armies into the fight, the armed forces of the Zionists had substantially carried out a successful campaign to depopulate hundreds of Arab villages, drive out their occupants through terror and massacres, take over their lands and properties, and expand their control far beyond those areas allocated unfairly to them under the UN partition resolution of 1947. That resolution granted to the Zionists approximately 51% of the “territory” of Palestine, even though Jews constituted at that time only one third of the population. And, despite intensive efforts to buy land from wealthy absentee landowners, they only held ownership of about 7% of the land.

There are three basic elements to the Nakba. All three were essential for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. All three elements continue to operate today. First is the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of the land’s original inhabitants (and the barring of their return), which together with a massive influx of migration was intended to create a Jewish demographic majority. The ongoing refusal to allow Palestinian refugees to return, as well as continued attempts to push out additional numbers of Arabs in the years since, attests to the ongoing Nakba on the demographic front. As fragmentation and apartheid became the standard way of life for the remaining Palestinian population, the refugees were restricted entirely from accessing the “higher strata” of recognized rights, such as Israeli citizenship, East Jerusalem residency, West Bank residency, or Gaza residency (as opposed to outright exile).

Continue reading the full article here.

Ghada Karmi
It is that time of year when the annual commemoration of Israel’s creation in my homeland, and the disaster it led to, comes around, yet again with no end to the conflict in sight. Israel’s land grabs, ethnic cleansing, and human rights abuses against Palestinians continue unabated, unpunished, and unaccountable.

Seventy-five years ago, Israel was established on the ruins of Palestine. In that process, my family was forced to flee our home in Jerusalem. Israel’s creation, officially declared on May 15, 1948, marked the start of our long exile, even as our eviction was being celebrated for installing another people in our place. In the following decades, we watched helplessly as the new state grew in strength and dominance to become a regional superpower. Today, Israel is a nuclear power with an army ranked the fifth largest in the world. It enjoys the unstinting support of Western countries, most especially the United States. The U.S. provides Israel with advanced weaponry, intelligence sharing, and political and diplomatic support. The West regards it as an integral part of the Western world. The European Union has accorded Israel a privileged status in trade and access to EU research programs, exactly as if it were a European state. Marking Israel’s anniversary this April, the EU Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, falling over herself with praise for Israel, even enthused that Israel had “made the desert bloom.”

Continue reading the full article here.

World Cup and Palestine

Feb - world cup

Photo: A Palestinian flag in the crowd during the Tunisia vs. Australia soccer match in Qatar. (Credit: Showkat Shafi?Al Jazeer)

After watching the most eventful World Cup final people would think that Argentina won the Qatar World cup. However, Palestine took the World Cup’s respect and love from every fan worldwide who were chanting Free-Palestine at the first ever World Cup hosted in an Arab country. These fans raised the Palestinian voice and flag everywhere in Qatar supporting the Palestinian cause in disgust of the Abraham accords which neglected Palestinian’s rights by
giving more power to Israel that was approved of Gulf countries such as The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco. The Arabic Gulf has always been against Israel due to the horrific violations they have caused towards Palestinians. However, the Abraham accords were initiated to begin “peace treaties” between the gulf and Israel. Yet, these treaties were only made by high end officials for national interests resulting as bilateral trade and commerce opportunities for these countries. This neglected people’s opinions about the situation and left Palestinians with no hope as their own have ignored them. During the World Cup these countries’ true voices spoke their minds to the world and opposed these “treaties” and exposed them for dehumanizing Palestinians. The people of Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Qatar, and thousand of soccer fanatics worldwide raised the Palestinian cause in solidarity to tell the world that Israel is an apartheid state who has been abusing their power towards Palestinian civilians. Fans even denied getting interviewed by Israeli channels in Qatar to show their disapproval towards these accords by public humiliation of the Israeli journalists. The World Cup has always been bringing people together from different nationalities over a soccer game. Yet, this one brought the whole world together to stand up against apartheid.

Stay Informed on Palestine

MennoPIN keeps you informed about Palestine through our monthly update, special alerts, calls to action, important resources and tour possibilities, all from an Anabaptist perspective. But there are additional excellent organizations and web publications that can keep you informed, some on a daily basis. We invite you to explore these groups and visit the web publications as another way to keep current and active for the people of Palestine. Here are some MennoPIN recommends:


Web Publications

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