What is the "Nakba" and why it matters to Jews and Christians?

Historically and prophetically speaking, a very important event took place on May 14, 1948, as a result of a United Nations vote that took place in November 1947. Israel was reborn as a modern nation. This didn't happen in a vacuum. The famous 1917 Balfour Declaration set the wheels in motion for British Mandate Palestine to be born again as the modern Jewish State of Eretz Yisrael. A lesser-known, but equally if not more important event, was the 1920 San Remo Conference. That Italian conference established a legal precedent for the existence of Israel beyond what the Balfour Declaration had provided. In an ideal world, this should have been a geopolitical and legal slam dunk. Well...Not really!

May 14, 1948, was an important date indeed for Jewish people worldwide. Three years after the end of World War Two and the horrors of the Holocaust, European Jews in particular finally had a place to call their own and immigrate to.

on May 15, 1949, the Dhikra an-Nakba, meaning "Memory of the Catastrophe" started being commemorated unofficially. It was later officially established by Yasir Arafat in 1998. It has now become known as the Nakba. This date serves as a reminder of the catastrophe that took place for the Palestinians when Israel became a modern nation. So, apparently, one people group's independence became another people group's catastrophe. Is there validity in that claim?

Any time there is a wave of immigration, it has the potential to create a crisis or at the very least, a challenge. Why should it be different when it comes to Israel becoming a nation and starting to receive olim (Jewish immigrants)? Yet, the Nakba rests on a faulty foundation. It assumes that Jewish immigrants came to "Palestine" and stole land that wasn't theirs. It assumes that Israel is committing crimes against humanity. It assumes that Israel is an apartheid nation, and it assumes that Israel is committing ethnic cleansing. These myths are easily debunked when we look at the facts and I know of no better source to do this than the book by Mitchell Bard: Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab Israeli Conflict.

Before accusing Israel of all these terrible acts leading to the Nakba, serious historians, researchers and politicians should consider what really took place. Historian Benny Morris explains: "The international community proposed a compromise between the two movements, giving to each part of the territory, so they would each have a small state. The Palestinians said no and went to war.” I do not agree with a two-state solution, but had the Arabs accepted what was proposed in the 1937 Peel Commission, today, Palestine would be 80% of the land and Israel 20%, and we could be looking at two celebrations today: Israel and Palestine, but instead we look at a 75-year conflict between Arabs and Jews. The reason why? They want 100% of "Palestine" or nothing! So, the colonizing-occupying-ethnic cleansing-apartheid-human rights-abusing narrative continues in full force, and the indoctrinated politically correct masses buy it all; hook, line and sinker.

Capitalizing on the Nakba is always a good idea for the enemies of Israel, especially at a time when facts are ignored. Maybe this is why US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib recently proposed a congressional resolution to make the United States commemorate the Nakba that coincides with Israel Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel's Independence Day.) She was joined by other members of the "squad" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. Ms. Tlaib tweeted "Today, I introduced a resolution recognizing the Nakba (catastrophe), where 400 Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed, over 700,000 Palestinians uprooted from their homes, and made refugees."

The resolution will most likely receive very few votes if any, but it is a symptom of the longest hatred; the pandemic of anti-Semitism. It doesn't matter if it is not moving forward because the narrative continues regardless as  Institute for Middle East Understanding explains, "the Nakba (“catastrophe” in Arabic) refers to the mass expulsion of Palestinian Arabs from British Mandate Palestine during Israel’s creation (1947-49). The Nakba did not end in 1948 and continues to this day in the form of Israel’s ongoing theft of Palestinian land for illegal settlements and segregated communities in the Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem, its destruction of Palestinian homes and agricultural land, revocation of residency rights, deportations, periodic brutal military assaults that result in mass civilian casualties such as the one that took place in Gaza in the summer of 2014 and spring of 2021, and the denial of the internationally-recognized legal right of return of millions of stateless Palestinian refugees."

Where is Ms. Tlaib's rejection of terrorism? Why is she not mentioning what really takes place in Gaza with the hiding of weapons and shooting of missiles from hospitals, schools and civilian areas?

All of this also takes place after the tragic death of an Al-Jazeera journalist in Jenin. The Israeli authorities think that they have acquired the weapon that was used and they have been asking the Palestinian authority for the recovered bullet for ballistics. The Palestinian Authority is refusing to turn in the bullet. With both items, it would be very simple to determine where the lethal shot came from. What is taking so long? Ms. Tlaib is also capitalizing on the death of the journalist, connecting it to the supposed long thread of murders and other crimes committed by Israel since the start of the Nakba. At the same time, Ms. Tlaib completely ignores the 19 Israelis killed in several terrorist attacks in Israel during the Muslim month of Ramadan.

I am certain that the 1948 declaration of independence and the subsequent war of the same name were not without casualties for all sides. War always brings damage and unnecessary deaths, but since 1948, Israel has never started a war, but only responded to attacks.

The Nakba is simply more anti-Semitic propaganda to turn the world against the only democracy in the Middle East, because, from a biblical standpoint, Satan has always had the Jews in his crosshair. He wants to completely destroy those whom God loves (Zechariah 2:8b) and, towards that goal, he is the creator of anti-Semitism. I could almost hear God speaking to the Jewish people and saying:" I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you are my favorite people and the bad news is that you are my favorite people!"

So, let's recognize that history continues to be re-written by Israel's enemies and that nobody on that side cares to check for facts. Where are the Israeli/Palestinian conflict "fact-checkers" when we need them?

Are we inching our way towards the fulfillment of Zechariah 12?

Jerusalem has been at the very center of religious, historical and geopolitical tensions for a long time. With the recent move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it seems that fuel has once again been added to the fire already consuming the Palestinians with humiliation, or so would the media like us to believe.  Some countries have welcomed the US embassy move and some have even announced their subsequent moves in the next few weeks. Honduras, Paraguay, Guatemala, the Czech Republic and Romania have all announced their plans to move forward with a relocation. While much of the world sees this as a defiant move, Israel welcomes the decisions of the few international friends she has. There will be more.

The move of the US embassy, had it been in any other country on the planet would have garnered no interest from anybody. Generally speaking, people don't care where an embassy is located and they agree that it should be in the capital of each respective country. When the capital is Jerusalem, and its legitimacy is questioned, a move becomes a thorn in the flesh of political correctness. The locating or relocating of an embassy really shouldn't be newsworthy, but it seems that lately, anytime Israel or Jerusalem is mentioned, the world gets on edge.

If nothing else, moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem shows that this current administration supports Israel AND recognizes Jerusalem as its capital, something that previous US administrations had alluded to at best.  The United Nations General Assembly voted 128-9 (35 abstentions) in favor of condemning the upcoming move, even though US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Hailey vowed that the United States would remember those who voted against the move. This was done in the form of an attempt at rendering the "Trump decision" null and void. The 9 countries that voted against it were: Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo and the US.

Then came the move to Jerusalem. President Trump chose the symbolic date of May 14, 2018, since Israel was declared a modern nation on May 14, 1948. Palestinian Authority and its close supporters declared that the move was counterproductive to any peace efforts. Simultaneously, Hamas tried to breach the Gaza/Israel border. These people flew kites with explosives over the border and sent terrorists mixed with civilians to cross to Israel. As it turned out, over 75% of the people killed at the border were terrorists. The days leading to the move to Jerusalem were supposed to be the "Palestinian March of Return" coinciding with the date of May 14th, considered by Palestinians as the Nakba or "catastrophe." The results of the border breach attempt were far from what Hamas expected. There seems to be a "Palestinian narrative fatigue" going around, but don't worry, the contempt for Israel will return before we know it. How is THIS helping with the peace effort?

As always, the media was extremely helpful in painting a picture promoting and vindicating a false narrative. The National Catholic Reporter boldly wrote that "Emboldened by embassy move, Israel unleashes on Palestinians." making Israel sound like a murderous state killing harmless peaceful protesters. CNN reported, "The US  opens new embassy in Jerusalem as dozens are killed in Gaza." The article goes on to demonize Israel AND doesn't show one picture of Palestinian terrorism. It only shows people looking desperate and trying to defend themselves, which is a far cry from reality. A few websites have the integrity to properly report the facts. One such outfit is honestreporting.com and they produced several short videos clearly exposing the lies of Hamas, and the denial of the media.

The 128 countries that drafted a resolution to render the decision to move the embassy "null and void," are enemies of Israel and are not looking for peace in the Middle East. They have become co-conspirators of Hamas. While the resolution from the UN does not carry very much weight on the international scene an will likely not lead to a reversal of the embassy move, it is a symptom of something much deeper; it shows the world's opinion on Israel. Over 75% of the countries of the world are ready to render the move null and void. They have spoken loud and clear, and the 35 that abstained, have spoken by their silence.

There is an interesting prophecy in the Jewish Scriptures found in the prophet Zechariah 12:1-9. In it, we are told that at some point in future history, the whole world will turn against Israel. “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah....“It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.

Bible students know that to be true. The day is coming when the whole world will turn against Jerusalem. 128 countries out of 193 is definitely a move in that direction. Somehow, even America will turn against Israel. We understand that even if a country corporately declares its hatred of Israel and the Jewish people, people of good faith do not have to follow suit. During the 30s and 40s, there were people who helped, protected and hid many Jews such as my mother. They were not Jewish, they risked their own lives and took no money to do so. Today, they are known as "Yad Vashem Righteous Gentiles" or "Gentiles Among the Nations." All seems to indicate that the world is in need of a second generation of "Righteous Gentiles," and they exist, I have met some of them.

We are indeed a lot closer to a fulfillment of Zechariah 12, but we must be humbly reminded of the end of that story in verse 9 “And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."

God will indeed have the final word!