Another Nakba Day has come and gone with its not-unexpected bloody consequences. The Nakba must be the single most successful revanchist propaganda ploy ever – one which dementedly ultra-tolerant Israel has allowed to gain momentum and become a fixed feature of our surreal existence.
Never has a revanchist cause been marketed as effectively. It wasn’t so even in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 when France lost Alsace-Lorraine and seethed with patriotic retributionist ardor to reverse its wartime losses. This furious groundswell was then dubbed revanchism (from revanche, French for revenge).
Revanchism is inextricably tied to irredentism – the often unsavory nationalist agitation whereby one country claims stretches of another’s territory as property belonging to it.
World War II resulted from precisely such a lethal combination of revanchism and irredentism. Hitler strove to avenge Germany’s World War I defeat and (so he claimed initially) take control of territories populated by German-speakers. He insisted that Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland was Germania Irredenta (unredeemed Germany) – his “last demand in Europe.”
That border region’s German inhabitants, Hitler persuaded a world all-too-eager to be duped, deserve self-determination. Germans cannot live as a minority anywhere. (Just as Arabs can’t.)
Hitler’s next move was to portray Sudeten Germans as oppressed. He staged a circus of provocation charging the “perfidious Czechs” with terrorizing Sudeten women and children and murdering innocent villagers. Sounds familiar? Just substitute Israelis for Czechs and Palestinians for Sudetens.
Six months after appeasing democracies let Germany have the Sudetenland, Hitler took all of Czechoslovakia. His “last demand” wasn’t final after all. “I saw our enemies in Munich,” he later recalled his 1938 powwow with Neville Chamberlain. “They are little worms.”
Israel’s original sin is refusing to surrender without a shot like Czechoslovakia. Its subsequent most cardinal sin was having dared spoil Arab plans for its annihilation. Because Israel impudently remained alive (and kicking), its survival is denigrated as a Nakba – catastrophe.
The very term “nakba” bristles with revanchism, and nobody knows better than the volatile, incited Arab masses how to collectively fly off the handle in an orchestrated display of premeditated pseudo-righteous indignation.
This is what we face each year – to a lesser or greater extent – on the day they designate to lament the fact that we at all live. Let there be no mistake: The bottom line of their grievance is that not all our forebears perished in the Holocaust, that some had reached this land pre-WWII and that others endured and came here post-WWII.
The very assertion that the Nakba resulted wantonly out of the blue from Israel’s birth in 1948 is in itself a gross distortion. The conflict didn’t begin in 1948 – it reached its culmination then.
The Arabs violently opposed the Jewish community which existed in this country pre-WWII and was ripe for statehood before the Holocaust. The “Great Arab Revolt” of 1936-39 – fomented by the still-revered Haj Amin al-Husseini and financed by Nazi Germany – delayed Jewish independence. The Arabs denied asylum here to desperate Jewish escapees from Hitler’s hell. Thereby they doomed these refugees to death. The blood of these exterminated Jews indelibly stains Arab hands.
But that’s not all. Husseini, in the role of pan-Arab prime minister, spent the war years in Berlin, where he hobnobbed with Hitler, Himmler, Eichmann, et al. He broadcast Nazi propaganda, recruited Muslims to the SS and actively foiled the rescue of any Jews, even children, during the Holocaust.
The Arabs of this country were avidly pro-Nazi, saluted each other with Heil Hitler, flaunted the swastika, hoarded arms, harbored German spies and planned to heartily welcome Rommel’s invading Afrika Korps.
The war that the entire Arab world launched against newborn Israel, three years post-Holocaust, was explicitly geared to complete Hitler’s unfinished mission. Not only was there no attempt to camouflage this genocidal goal, but it was broadcast boastfully for all to hear and be intimidated.
Two weeks pre-attack, on May 1, 1948, Arab League Secretary-General Abdul- Rahman Azzam Pasha declared: “If the Zionists dare establish a state, the massacres we would unleash would dwarf anything which Genghis Khan and Hitler perpetrated.”
Lest any doubt linger, Azzam reiterated his message the day seven Arab armies attacked: “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”
But things, alas, didn’t turn out as per Azzam’s bravado. Ever since, consequently, frustrated Arabs fume with ferocious wrath about being unfairly denied their state under the UN partition plan that they deliberately sabotaged.
Murderous Arab rampages already greeted the November 29, 1947 UN General Assembly decision to divide this tiny land into a Palestinian Arab state and a pitifully puny, terrifyingly vulnerable Jewish counterpart (wedged mainly along the coastal highway between Tel Aviv and Netanya).
Jerusalem was consigned to international administration, and the entire unlikely shebang was to form one economic unit in the abiding spirit of brotherly love. The pipe dream’s single outstanding shortcoming was the palpable paucity of brotherly love.
The Arabs set out to thwart the implementation of the UN decision. Now they pose as the hapless victims of the war they instigated. They lost their own war and, ever since, are consumed by the twin rages of irredentism and revanchism.
What they call “occupation” doesn’t only relate to the territories that came under Israeli control in 1967. Occupation also – and principally – refers to the territories that constitute Israel since 1948. In other words, all of Israel is illegitimate. Israel’s very existence is unacceptable. No Jews should be here.
It is somehow unfair that by dint of our ancestors’ good fortune, they escaped the Holocaust – either before or during its perpetration. That is the historical injustice which Husseini’s and Azzam’s spiritual heirs and torchbearers lament under the Nakba moniker.
Like Hitler and his mouthpiece Goebbels, Arabs honed the skill of disguising their aggressive revanchism and irredentism as wretched victimhood. Exceedingly more than in Czechoslovakia’s case, the world is all-too-eager to be duped.
Defeat-spawned Arab revanchism is as unjustified as would have been German revanchism after the Third Reich’s fall. Essentially our War of Independence was an Arab-plotted epilogue to WWII. Hence the Nakba isn’t about the undeserved displacement of innocents, who in all innocence merely yearn for their parents’ and grandparents’ erstwhile homes.
That’s why back in 1949, after the first outcry to turn back the clock’s hands and repatriate hostile Arabs inside minuscule Israel, David Ben-Gurion determined that “just as it is impossible to resurrect 6,000 of our finest sons and daughters who fell in the War of Independence which the Arabs forced upon us; or heal the thousands maimed in that same Arab onslaught; or bring back the millions who could have been saved from the Holocaust had the Arabs not barred their entry to Eretz Yisrael; or breathe life into all those they massacred before 1948 – so it is impossible for those called Arab refugees to demand the right to return as if nothing had happened.”