Sunday, May 15, 2016

Nakba Day 2016

From How I discovered the Nakba by British writer Stephen Shenfield:

"I was hiking [at the age of 16 or 17] somewhere on the coastal plain to the east of Tel Aviv. I had spotted what looked like some ruins in the distance and wanted to get a closer look. I was walking across a wide stretch of wasteland surrounded by a very long ring road. Apart from a few vehicles moving along that distant road, no one else was in sight. Only the wild grass and the wind.

"I reached the ruins. Clearly there had once been a village here. I sat down on a large stone and remained sitting there. I sat there for several hours. I must have fallen into some sort of trance. Now and then I heard everyday sounds, like the creak of a door opening or closing or a human voice saying something in a language that I did not understand but that I knew must be Arabic.

"Was it the spirits of the people who used to live there? Or just imaginings that my mind conjured out of the sound of the wind rustling in the grass? The spirits, if indeed they were spirits, showed no sign of being aware of my presence.

"When I finally awoke from my trance, the sun was already low in the sky. I started to walk back over the wasteland toward the road. The puzzle was now solved. I knew who the Palestinians were. They were simply the people whose country this used to be. The Zionists had stolen it from them. Some chutzpah, eh? Now I knew their dirty little secret. A good thing they weren't all that thorough in cleaning up the mess, otherwise I would still be in the dark!

"I am reluctant to believe in spirits, but I cannot explain what I experienced in any other way. I am fairly sure that at that age I had never before heard spoken Arabic. When I went to college a year or two later and met Arab students and heard them speak Arabic among themselves, I recognized it as the same language that I had heard in those ruins. So how could my mind have manufactured those voices?" (, 27/6/12)


Grappler said...

The real chutzpah is that having stolen the land they continue to blame the victim for the problems it caused.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Grappler, I used your comment today. The poor ignorant apologist for Zionism was lost for words. I'll remember it!

Anonymous said...

Who said that the problem in the Middle east was 'too complicated' and 'it goes back thousands of years' and 'it's all about religion' ???


Grappler summed it up in a few easy to understand words.