While the Jewish state celebrated Independence Day on Thursday, Arab-Israelis gathered to condemn the State of Israel, whose founding they refer to as the “catastrophe.”
By World Israel News Staff
Every year, Israelis commemorate the declaration of Israel’s independence on Yom Ha’Atzmaut, a national holiday that includes air shows, state ceremonies, and massive barbecues, which Israelis participated in on Thursday.
While Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebrations consumed most of the nation, groups of Arab-Israelis gathered in various locations to protest the “nakba,” which means “catastrophe” in Arabic and is the preferred term among anti-Israel activists for the creation of the Jewish state in the Jewish people’s ancestral homeland.
This year, on Nakba Day Arabs marched to the site of the former village of Khubbayza in northern Israel, Times of Israel reported. Marchers also demonstrated near Umm al-Fahm, displaying Palestinian flags and demanding the “right of return” for displaced Palestinians and every one of their descendants.
Several Arab-Israeli lawmakers joined the march on Thursday, such as Ahmad Tibi and Ofer Kassif.
The “catastrophe” to which “nakba” refers is the displacement of Arabs surrounding Israel’s War of Independence in 1948-49, when neighboring states told Arabs within Israel to vacate their homes until the fledgling Jewish state could be defeated, a feat that has yet to be achieved.
During the same period, close to one million Jews were forcibly expelled from Muslim-majority nations in the Arab world, most of whom settled in the new Jewish state.
While some Arabs were forced to leave Israel due to fighting and demands by Israel, other Arab communities remained and exist within Israel in the same locations to this day.