The Nakba – Perpetuating a Lie – Moshe Arens (Ha’aretz)
(dailyalert.org, May 19, 2014)
The Nakba is a bald-faced lie – and peace will not be built on a lie. The date that the Nakba demonstrators have chosen to mark the day – May 15 – is the day on which the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq invaded Israel with the intention of destroying the nascent Jewish State. The combined attack of the regular Arab armies on that day proves beyond doubt that the Nakba, “the Catastrophe,” is a catastrophe that the Arabs brought upon themselves.
With all the sympathy that we can and should muster for the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Arabs in Palestine that resulted from the mistakes made by their leaders and the leaders of the Arab world – mistakes which the local Arab population supported without dissent – those who argue that we in Israel should recognize the Nakba are lending a hand to perpetuating a lie and engaging in Soviet-style manipulation of history.
The Palestinian Arabs are not the only Arabs who have suffered as a result of their leaders’ mistakes. Just look at Syria, where the number of casualties and refugees by now exceeds by far the plight of the Palestinian Arabs.
Germans and Japanese, nations that were devastated by war initiated by their leaders, well understand that they themselves are the guilty ones for the tragedies that they suffered as a result.
Victory in Europe Day, May 8, is not commemorated in Germany as the day of the German catastrophe, nor is Victory in Japan Day, August 15, commemorated in Japan as the day of the Japanese catastrophe. The Palestinians can take a lesson here.
But far more importantly, the recognition by the people of Germany and the people of Japan of their guilt for their own suffering and the suffering of others paved the way to peaceful relations with their former enemies.