iSRAEL IS RAMPING IT UP
Latest Israel onslaught proves the Nakba is ongoing
Last night, "a total of 40 fighter jets participated in bombing different locations," reported Middle East Eye. "Another air strike in the afternoon targeted a vehicle in Qarara town in Khan Yunis." The bombings targeted residential apartment buildings, and at least 15 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since last night. There was then an Israeli invasion into Nablus, in the West Bank, early today. The Palestinian Red Crescent says at least 145 were injured, including 12 people shot with live fire and others suffering tear gas inhalation.
There are several indications this may only be the beginning — the military operation was named, "Operation: Shield and Arrow," and army reservists have been alerted they may be called up. Most chilling were the words of Israel's Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir, after the attacks in Gaza and the West Bank. Gvir told the media, "It's a good start."
As we train our eyes and hearts on the horrors of last night, we must insist on the consistency of what we are seeing.
Israel bombed Palestinian families in their sleep last night off the same blueprint established at the very founding of the state. The Nakba, catastrophe in Arabic, is not just a historical event, but an ongoing structure of violence. With the 75th anniversary of the ongoing Nakba looming, it should come as no surprise that Israel has launched new attacks in Gaza and the West Bank.
75 Years of the Nakba
"A land without a people for a people without a land." This 19th century Christian Zionist refrain perfectly, horribly encapsulates the ideological underpinnings of apartheid Israel, from the state's 1948 founding to today. As we approach the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, or catastrophe, the Wire takes a moment to reflect on the racist erasure and historical catastrophe that have marked Palestinian lives for nearly a century.
The years leading up to and immediately following 1948 marked the Israeli military's forced displacement of over 800,000 Palestinians, and the depopulation of over 500 Palestinian towns and villages. This was ethnic cleansing, pure and simple, and it was just the first move toward the very well-documented goal of the Israeli government, which has always been, explicitly, to steal the maximum amount of land with the smallest number of Palestinians. Maintaining a regime aimed at systematic Palestinian dispossession and Jewish supremacy requires constant violence.
The horrors in Gaza last night are the latest in Israel's longstanding attack on Palestinian lives, land, and freedom; it is the unabated, ongoing Nakba.
While the last 75 years of ongoing Nakba have meant constant violence, human rights abuses, and countless apartheid crimes, the election of the most-right-wing-ever government last year has meant that Israeli officials are saying the quiet part out loud. In March, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called for the village of Huwara to be "wiped out" in the wake of settler pogroms. Itamar Ben-Gvir, convicted of racist incitement against Palestinians, is now National Security Minister.
But as it becomes chillingly commonplace for Israeli officials to tout genocide against Palestinians, so is it becoming more and more commonplace for U.S. Jews to speak out against the Israeli government — many for the first time. When Smotrich visited Washington, D.C., earlier this spring, JVP members stood in protest with 1,000 other demonstrators. Not all of them may be avowed anti-Zionists yet, but we're ready to educate, agitate, and welcome them into the movement.
It's been 75 years, and Palestinians are not yet free. But the 75 years of catastrophe have also been 75 years of resistance. Palestinians on the ground are building every day toward liberation. We are proud to stand in solidarity as part of the ever-growing, unstoppable movement for Palestinian freedom.
Join our Nakba Power Hour
As we approach the 75th anniversary of the ongoing Nakba against Palestinian lives and livelihoods, and 75 years of resistance to it, join this Power Hour to learn and take a series of key actions together with a political community that shares your resolve. JVP's next Power Hour for Palestine, on Thursday, May 11, at 3pm ET, will be a special hour-long gathering to come together and connect with others ready to take action around this anniversary of catastrophe. We'll learn the latest, take action, and be in community — together.
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