Today, May 15, is considered in Palestinian circles as “Nakba Day” -- translated as the “day of catastrophe” -- an annual event commemorating the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Arabs from Israel following Israel’s declaration of independence and subsequent war. This is a yearly occurrence when Palestinians use the establishment of the State of Israel as a vehicle for anti-Israel demonstrations in many Arab and Western countries and along Israel’s borders. Last year, Arabs from the West Bank, Gaza, Syria and Lebanon marched on Israel, violating sovereign borders and security checkpoints. This provocation, intended to generate media coverage, follows similar attempts to diminish positive public opinion of Israel, such as flotillas and flytillas, the Global March on Jerusalem and Land Day. These actions, in fact, are direct assaults on Israel’s legitimacy and only serve to undermine the effort to achieve peace based on two states for two people. In an op-ed on Nakba Day, Ziad Asali, President of the American Task Force for Palestine, explains how history need not be an impediment to forging a more hopeful future between Israelis and Palestinians.
The Israel Action Network, a strategic initiative of the The Jewish Federations of North America in partnership with the JCPA will continue to monitor this event closely and provide updates as needed.