If Israel's High Court Approves the Nakba, Why Should the Hilltop Hooligans Even Bother?

Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat
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A Palestinian woman gives water to livestock in Masafer Yatta, South of Hebron, West Bank, last week.
A Palestinian woman gives water to livestock in Masafer Yatta, South of Hebron, West Bank, last week.Credit: REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma
Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat

If I were in charge of the Nakbas – the Palestinian ones of course – in the occupation enterprise, I would order the immediate cancellation of the new Nakba in Masafer Yatta, the cluster of villages in the South Hebron Hills. This is the Nakba that was approved with great pomp and circumstance in the High Court of Justice, and whose implementation is already on the horizon.

Not because there is no more room for Nakbas, God forbid, since the more Nakbas, the better, but for technical reasons. It’s hard to explain this Nakba to the world. To be precise, there’s a hasbara problem here.

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In the glory days, in the ’48 Nakba, it was possible to use all kinds of excuses and somehow the world bought them. But the present Nakba not only raises tough ethical questions, it also reopens the wounds, and the questions arise not only regarding the justice of the present Nakba, but also regarding that Nakba in ’48, the “Mother of all Nakbas.”

Yes, the new Nakba upsets all the basic assumptions on which Israeli hasbara has relied for a generation. For example, the new Nakba lacks the excuse that Arab countries invaded the borders of the Jewish state, as Israeli hasbara claims. Anyone who has heard this brilliant assertion would think that soldiers from Egypt and Iraq, countries that were subject to British rule, patrolled the streets of Tel Aviv and Haifa and even imposed a curfew on the Jewish residents there.

Now, what a shame, this claim has disappeared. On the contrary, the likes of the honeymoon today between Israel and Arab countries can be found only in the Egyptian films once shown on Israeli television on Fridays – relationships of bountiful love and heartrending sighs.

The learned argument that “In war as in war, there are winners and losers, that’s the way of the world” can’t be used today either. There simply is no war in the South Hebron Hills, unless the captains of Israeli hasbara decide that the settlers’ attacks against the Palestinian residents in their homes is a war over their home, which of course isn’t theirs.

The claim that the Arab countries called on the Palestinians to flee until things blew over is no more than a dubious excuse – because if it’s true, then why weren’t they allowed to return to their homes when things settled down – and today it’s already a dubious excuse in spades. The current leaders of the Arab world almost certainly haven’t heard of Masafer Yatta in order to call on the Palestinians to flee from the threat of war.

Pinning the blame, here and there, on the extreme Jewish separatists, the paramilitary Etzel and Lehi groups, as happened in Deir Yassin, won’t work today. Now it was not Etzel but the High Court of Justice that ordered the creation of another Nakba. So if the High Court approves the expulsion, why should the hilltop hooligans even bother? The time has come for them to pack their bags and return home. The High Court has arrived.

Therefore, this is one Nakba too many – a Nakba that exposes the primeval lie. This is a Nakba that says the State of Israel, on all levels – military, political and legal – is mobilized, in its entirety, for a single supreme objective: the expulsion of the Arabs from their homeland. There’s no need for more verbiage, the facts speak for themselves.

On the other hand, the limp-to-nonexistent response of the Hebrew-language media to the High Court decision is also understandable. After all, today there is no need to explain the new Nakba. In the shadow of the huge waves of refugees from Ukraine that are flooding Europe, who pays attention to the 1,000 to 2,000 hardscrabble refugees who live in difficult conditions, and suffer from endless bullying by the occupation government and violent settlers?

People will continue going to work in the morning, on the weekend they will crowd the beaches and places of entertainment, and on vacation they will conquer the cities of Europe on journeys of relaxation, tourism and shopping. Who wants to think about another tragedy taking place behind the mountain? That’s it! Instead of “Never again,” today’s slogan is “More and more.” After all, the huge crime in Europe will cover up the crime taking place here, so we shouldn’t miss an opportunity.

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