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Letters/Discussion Forums

The ‘naqba’ – an act of historic absurdity

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NEVILLE KAHN

It is with some disbelief, but with much amusement that I take note of the unveiling of her plaque on Constitution Hill to commemorate the “naqba” – a “catastrophe” which has somehow befallen a nation that has never existed in history, ancient or modern.

In order to make sense of this so-called “catastrophe”, let’s begin with some facts:

The San Remo Conference of 1920 provided the legal framework for the creation of four Arab states on 99 per cent of the landmass of the Middle East, and one Jewish state on the remaining one per cent.

In an act which violated the Mandate for Palestine, the UN decided to further partition Palestine in order to create a fifth Arab state – this time in Palestine itself, at the expense of the Jewish people.

The Partition Plan of 1947 was the one and only time in history that the Palestinian Arabs were ever granted a legitimate opportunity to create a state of their own in Palestine, an opportunity which was handed to them on a silver platter. But in response to this partition plan, the Arabs performed an act of historic absurdity.

Instead of allowing their state to come to life, they committed it to death! The Arabs’ rejection of the Partition Plan must surely go down in history as the most classic example of self-inflicted national destruction the world has ever seen – an act of monumental stupidity.

And instead of hiding their infamous failure, the Arabs boldly publicise it by giving it a name! They call it ‘a naqba’ – a pitiful reminder to the world of their state of statelessness! So when Edelstein so proudly inform us that Constitution Hill now features a memorial to the naqba”, I have to ask the following question: What exactly is South African Jews for a Free Palestine trying to memorialise?

In my opinion the only naqba Edelstein’s beloved plaque commemorates is the inexplicable decision the Palestinians made in 1947 by which they denied themselves the opportunity of statehood – a decision which was far more foolish than sensible. Any memorial to the naqba only exposes Palestinian claims for the falsehoods they really are!

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