“The old will die, and the young will forget.” – David Ben Gurion
A lot has happened in 63 years. Empires have come and gone, new states have come into being, while others have faded or dissolved into the annals of history. While the latter is what Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion had in mind for the generations of Palestinians born during and in the years following the 1947-48 Nakba (“catastrophe”) when the state of Israel was created and thousands of Palestinians were expelled from the land of Palestine; on the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba this is far from what has happened. Although global Zionist forces and their patrons and sponsors have conspired and connived to wipe that fateful event from the collective minds and memories of its victims and global consciousness, generations of Palestinians have fought and struggled to hold onto the memory of their forced expulsion.
Do not make the mistake of separating Israeli policy of today and that of pre-1948. They are very much connected, and if anything, have grown more pernicious over the years. Israel’s closure regime, Separation Wall, land annexations, house demolitions, cultural colonization and theft, and population expulsions need to be viewed in the wider context of the Nakba if one wishes to understand the reality on the ground today, which not only affects the Palestinian victims, but millions of Arabs across the world who have suffered in consequence of Israel’s racist and bellicose policies; for the Nakba continues to this very day. Be not deluded, it is alive and kicking. Every day that Palestinians are denied their internationally sanctioned right to return home, every day the blockade continues in Gaza, every day that demolitions and land appropriations continue in Area C of the West Bank, every day that the Separation Wall continues its construction route, every day that settlement activity continues and increases, and every day that Israel has the might and control to alter, dictate, and commandeer the collective destiny of the Palestinian people through a matrix of occupation grounded in Apartheid and ethnic cleansing, the Nakba is resurrected. It was not a single exclusive event, but rather the beginning of an era of oppression, racism and subjugation of an entire people at the whim of another.
However… Although our Zionist antagonizers have been trying to erase and rewrite our narrative, they have inadvertently done something quite marvelous in the process.
Through their ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population, passing of racist laws such as the Loyalty Oath and Nakba Law, oppressing of any form of peaceful resistance, killing of unarmed local and international peace activists, and their absolute and total choking of the lives of every Palestinian man, woman and child, the Zionists have actually ensured the one thing they have tried so maliciously to destroy. They have ensured through their evil machinations and genocidal maneuverings that no one will ever forget the Palestinian Nakba – certainly not the old, and definitely not the young. Their invasive, pervasive and all-encompassing efforts at the eradication of the Palestinian people has been, for 63 years, met with a ceaseless fight on part of Palestinians; a fight which has shown the world that Palestine will not die, and the increasing of oppression by Israel will only strengthen the memory and presence of the constancy inherent in the Palestinian plight for self determination.
It has not been 63 years since 1948.
Don’t let the math mislead you. For Palestinians, it is still 1948 and the horrors of those events continue to this day. To Ben Gurion’s famous quote, our response is: We Shall Not Forget, and We Will Not Die. In our understanding of the depth of our history, the richness of our culture, the splendor of our lands and their fruits, the strength of our hearts and the wildness of our spirits, We vow to outlive your guns and bombs with the sanctity of our right to be better, more beautiful, and more Right.
Forever, and always, we will go on.
– Change in a Box & Love in a Box