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Commentary :: International
Al-Nakba Day in Palestine
15 May 2006
May 15 is al-Nakba day, when Palestinians remember the destruction and loss of their homeland, their ethnic cleansing and expulsion in 1948. It is the core event of their national memory and national narrative.
MAY 15 -- AL-NAKBA DAY IN PALESTINE AND THROUGHOUT THE PALESTINIAN DIASPORA

Monday May 15 is al-Nakba Day, the day commemorating the Palestinian ‘catastrophe’ of the loss of their land and expulsion in May 1948. This is the most emotional day in the Palestinian calendar. And there will be demonstrations by Jews and Palestinians together, to mark that commemoration of destruction. Like the Israeli activists at zochrot (Remembering), protesting against the crimes of their country at its birth: http://www.nakbainhebrew.org/index.php?lang=english

A strong article by Eitan Bronstein on the Nakba and Israeli reception of it is timely reading today: http://www.palestineremembered.com/Articles/Genera l/Story1649.html

The site Palestine Remembered has many excellent materials about the Palestine-Israel conflict and especially the war and its ‘ethnic cleansing’ in 1948. Every day most Palestinians recall the Nakba, so central to their national memory and national narrative. But May 15 is a special time to for commemoration and renewal of the will to resist and struggle for justice.

FORWARD TO ONE DEMOCRATIC STATE

Ever more of us think the only real path forward is a single, democratic, secular state for Jews and Palestinians in all of Palestine, guaranteeing return of the Palestinian refugees and equality for all. With guarantees for Jewish cultural expression and Palestinian cultural expression in an egalitarian and radically democratic state of togetherness, convivencia for Israelis and Palestinians, a new kind of people’s commonwealth.

The grim dead-end alternative is the continuation of the Israeli ethnocracy, a form of apartheid behind a Great Wall, and perhaps a set of small territorial cages for the Palestinians, a chain of Bantustans under the Israeli boot.

The May 14 decision by the Israeli Supreme Court to uphold a law banning 'mixed' Palestinian families (marriages between Israeli Arabs and Palestinians from the 'Territories' or elsewhere) from living together in Israel only points up the need for a single unitary egalitarian and ever more antiauthoritarian state throughout all of Israel/Palestine, where all can live together where they please and with whom in dignity.

A new book that sets out this vision of a unitary state in great detail is Virginia Tilley’s THE ONE-STATE SOLUTION (U of Michigan Press 2005). Take a look at her analysis and argument.

CONNECT WITH THE ASSOCIATION FOR ONE DEMOCRATIC STATE IN PALESTINE/ISRAEL

There is a new organization, the Association for One Democratic State in Palestine/Israel. Come on board! The growing association has many Palestinians, Jews and others across the globe. United in a vision for a state in which Palestinians and Jews can live together in symbiosis, what is called in Arabic ta'ayush, and build a common future. Check out the website: http://www.one-democratic-state.org Many different political views are represented in this association, you will feel comfortable there. Maybe an avenue for you to join this struggle for a kind of bottom-up direct democracy in Palestine/Israel.

We’re not dreaming. The Jewish political party Ihud (Union) founded by antiauthoritarian communitarian socialists like Martin Buber in 1942 called for a “Federative Union of Palestine and neighboring countries,” grounded on a “Union between the Jewish and Arab peoples, essential for “cooperation between the Jewish world and the Arab world in all branches of life—social, economic, cultural, political.” That was the vision of Buber, Akiba Ernst Simon, Judah Magnes, Henrietta Szold and others. It looked to a communitarian federative future beyond the capitalist state, as intimated in Buber’s book PATHS IN UTOPIA. It is a perspective now reemerging, both among Jews in Israel and elsewhere, and among Palestinians throughout the world."

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Al-Nakba: A Panel Discussion
15 May 2006
The Institute for Middle East Understanding has an excellent round table panel with a number of Palestinians on the theme 'The Nakba: then and now': http://imeu.net/news/article001375.shtml

The work of the IMEU is exemplary. It assists journalists who want to write about Palestine and Palestinians, and can facilitate contacts
An American Targetted and Murdered
16 May 2006
Daniel Wultz's classmates wore handmade string bracelets with blue and white beads to show solidarity in recent weeks with the 16-year-old as he lay in an Israeli hospital clinging to life. The students had hoped to remove the bracelets when Daniel returned home to Weston.

But on Sunday, students at David Posnack Hebrew Day School learned that Daniel would never come back to school. After a solemn prayer service Monday, the sophomores in Daniel's class cut off their bracelets and gathered them in a box to give to his parents today.

''In the past weeks, we asked ourselves why, why Daniel, how could someone of such character, such faith in God be taken from us?'' a student read at Monday's service at the Plantation school. ``How and why should we still have this faith?''

These are questions that Jews asked themselves throughout South Florida Monday as they prayed, cried and reflected on Daniel's death. But vowing not to let the terrorists win, they renewed their commitment to Israel.

In Jerusalem, Daniel's parents, Tuly and Sheryl Wultz, and his sister, Amanda, were joined by hundreds of mourners packed into a synagogue to remember a boy who loved basketball and dreamed of becoming a rabbi.

Daniel's father, Tuly, whose leg was injured in the blast that ultimately killed Daniel, walked to the casket using a cane.

''You left us, Daniel. You gave the fight of your life. I was honored to be your father,'' he said, sobbing, according to an Associated Press account of the service.

U.S. Ambassador Richard Jones placed a folded U.S. flag on top of Daniel's simple wooden casket. Esti Wultz, Daniel's aunt, then draped a small Israeli flag over one end of the casket.

Daniel died from organ failure Sunday, the result of wounds he suffered in a suicide attack April 17 at a Tel Aviv restaurant. Daniel had traveled with his family to Israel to visit relatives for the Passover holiday. The teenager was one of 11 victims killed in the attack or who died as a result of it.

Daniel's family was expected to return to Florida this morning and hold a private funeral service today in Weston followed by burial in Hollywood.

At the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie, Julie Malin, director of family and childrens services, said students in the after-school program were crestfallen that Daniel did not make it.

''They were planning on seeing him this summer,'' she said. ``It has touched every level of this community from the preschool to the older sector.''

Even those who did not know Daniel mourned his loss Monday.

''I haven't stopped thinking about it,'' said Jill Aranow, of Cooper City, as she worked out Monday at the JCC's gym. ``I'm just heartbroken.''

Aranow said her family ate at the Sbarro Pizza in Jerusalem in 2001 just weeks before it was the site of another suicide bombing, which killed more than a dozen people. Aranow said her son asked her Sunday if she still wants to return to Israel.

''Yes I do,'' she said. ``It's my obligation as a Jew.''

But others expressed fear.

Lee Neidorf, 19, has been considering going to Israel this winter with Birthright, an organization that takes young Jews to Israel.

''I'm thinking twice whether or not I'm going to go,'' he said, in between sets lifting weights at the JCC.

At the Posnack school, sixth- and seventh-graders lined the balcony overlooking the courtyard where the older students held Monday's service.

Students read from prayerbooks, clutching each other and crying. Wearing a yarmulke skullcap and a tallis prayer shawl, a student lifted the Torah out of an ark. Laurence Kutler, head of the school, read a selection from Leviticus that is also found on the Liberty Bell: ``Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.''

Classes continued later in the day.

The school is usually loud, said Meira Maurice, a 13-year-old. But on Monday it was quiet and a lot of students were crying, she said.

''I still love Israel,'' said Meira, while at the JCC Monday afternoon. Meira lived in Israel until she was 8 years old. ``Bad things happen everywhere. . . . Not going isn't going to help.''

Temple Beth Torah in northeast Miami-Dade County recited a memorial prayer Monday morning. Daniel's grandparents are members of the temple, said Rabbi Ed Farber.

Several congregation families have children in Israel now, and another group of children will go in June.

''There are those thinking twice,'' Farber said. ``We remind them that they are going in a group, and then they are not allowed to put themselves in danger.''

On Sunday, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said soldiers killed Elias al Ashkar, the Islamic terrorist who the IDF believed orchestrated the attack that led to Daniel's death.

When doctors told Daniel's family the end was near Sunday morning, they gathered around his bedside and sang songs he loved, relatives said. When he died, they recited the Shema, a prayer central to Judaism.

After the service, Daniel's casket was carried to an ambulance as rabbis recited prayers and mourners wailed in grief, according to The AP's report.

Daniel's father walked down the street, said the traditional Jewish prayer of mourning, climbed into the ambulance and kissed the casket.
Re: Al-Nakba Day in Palestine
17 May 2006
If you want a natiion, you need to be willing to give up your lives. Sorry guys, the Jews didn't just run away. They fought. And then you ran away. You want a country you had to have died for it. You lost. That's why.