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Bill Templer, "Al-Nakba Day in Palestine"

Bill Templer writes:

"Al-Nakba Day"

Bill Templer

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: here.

A strong article by Eitan Bronstein on the Nakba and Israeli reception of it is timely reading today: here.

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 special time to remember.


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.


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 anti-authoritarian 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.