Denying the Nakba is normally a central tenet of Zionism. Israel even has laws penalizing the commemoration of the pre-planned expulsion and flight of 800,000 Palestinians by Zionist militias in 1948.
But when speaking to each other – or to Palestinians – Israelis habitually celebrate the Nakba or threaten to repeat it.
Avi Dichter, a government minister, just went a step further.“We are now rolling out the Gaza Nakba. From an operational point of view, there is no way to wage a war – as the IDF [Israeli army] seeks to do in Gaza – with masses between the tanks and the soldiers,” Dichter told Israeli television.
Nominally Israel’s agriculture minister, Dichter is a member of its war cabinet and was previously head of its Shin Bet secret police.
When asked again whether this was the “Gaza Nakba,” Dichter replied “Gaza Nakba 2023. That’s how it’ll end.”
The atrocities, expulsions and mass killing Israel is perpetrating now in Gaza appear to be a dream come true for Dichter.
“Whoever cries of the Nakba year after year, shouldn’t be surprised if they actually have a Nakba eventually,” Dichter – then public security minister – said in 2007.
That was an apparent threat to Palestinian citizens of Israel who refused to celebrate Israel’s so-called independence on the ruins of their homeland.In 2018, Dichter again warned Palestinians in Gaza that the Great March of Return – an unarmed mass movement to end the siege – “will turn into the Nakba.” Israel responded to the nonviolent protests by sending snipers to murder and maim thousands of Palestinians in Gaza.
In recent years, it has become increasingly common for Israeli ministers to threaten Palestinians with a “second Nakba” – even while Israel officially denies the first one.Dichter’s assertion that Israel is now implementing the “Gaza Nakba” lines up with leaked Israeli intelligence documents showing that Tel Aviv harbors plans for the permanent expulsion of the Palestinian population from large parts of Gaza under the cover of a wartime “humanitarian” evacuation.
On Saturday, Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant warned Lebanon’s Hizballah resistance movement, “What we’re doing in Gaza, we can also do in Beirut.”
That’s another admission – to add to a growing list – by top Israeli leaders that the mass death and destruction in Gaza is not incidental or “collateral” to a military campaign, but Israel’s purpose and goal.
“If it [Hizballah] makes this kind of mistake here, the ones who will pay the price will be first and foremost Lebanese citizens,” Gallant said, confirming that revenge against civilians is how Tel Aviv responds to armed action by resistance groups defending their people and land.
Whereas Israel long tried to deny that the 1948 Nakba was systematic and preplanned, it is not being as coy this time around – apparently emboldened by the total impunity it continues to enjoy from the so-called international community.
During the 1948 Nakba, Zionist militias – often by the admission of their own veterans – used atrocities including wanton murder and rape in order to terrorize Palestinians into leaving their land.