Anti-Israel group leading pro-Hamas protests under fire for false claim about Israel’s Independence Day

Critics quickly noted that Nakba Day was inaugurated about 35 years after Independence Day and the other major Israeli national holidays near it, making intentionally obscuring it impossible.

By Jack Elbaum, The Algemeiner

A prominent anti-Israel group that has helped organize widespread demonstrations against the Jewish state during the war in Gaza falsely claimed that Israel’s Independence Day was intentionally placed to “obscure” a Palestinian day of remembrance, sparking outrage and criticism.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which wrote the statement, is a fringe anti-Israel organization that did not condemn Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel and has long celebrated terrorism against Israelis.

“Yesterday [Monday], the Israeli government ended its yearly cycle of state holidays that sequentially commemorates the Holocaust, Israeli militarism, and the creation of the state of Israel,” the statement read.

“The sequencing of these holidays,” it argued, “was intentionally designed to conclude and obscure May 15, the day Palestinians mark the ongoing Nakba.” The tweet has garnered more than 7,700 likes.

However, critics quickly noted that Nakba Day — meant to commemorate the Palestinian “Nakba,” or “catastrophe,” of the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948 — was inaugurated about 35 years after Independence Day and the other major Israeli national holidays near it, making it impossible for the latter to be intentionally established to desecrate the former.

Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Hazikaron — Israel’s Independence Day and Memorial Day, respectively — were each established by law in 1963. Meanwhile, Yom Hashoah, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day, was established in 1959.

In contrast, Nakba Day was officially established by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 1998. However, local commemorations and protests were held for years before that.

The term “Nakba” was initially coined by Arab intellectual Constantin Zureiq in his 1948 book, The Meaning of the Nakba. He used the term to refer to the humiliation caused by many Arab armies losing to a small Jewish one in the 1948 war for Israel’s independence.

Over time, however, it has come to refer to the fact that about 750,000 Palestinians became refugees as a result of the war, fleeing amid the Arab invasion.

At the same time, a similar number of Jews became refugees as they were expelled from countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

David May, research manager at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, rebuked JVP’s tweet, arguing, “Nakba Day was placed there specifically as a rejection of Jewish independence in their ancestral land. Its timing marks a continued rejection of the Jewish right to independence and self-rule that the Palestinians desire for themselves. So, the Palestinians placed their holiday around the Israeli ones, not the other way around.”

“A basic knowledge of the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the thought process of Israelis,” he continued, “would have prevented a tweet assuming that everything Israel does is a callous attempt to erase Palestinians rather than an internal decision based on collective memory.”

“But JVP and their ilk see Israel as an irredeemable evil in a binary world composed of victims and oppressors,” he explained. “Everything they do stems from this basic perception.