Nakba? What Nakba?

Amidst the protests, snipers, independence parties and commemorations change is apace to re-write history and kill the dual narratives for the next generation of Palestinians:

Israel’s education ministry has ordered the removal of the word nakba – Arabic for the “catastrophe” of the 1948 war – from a school textbook for young Arab children, it has been announced.

Netanyahu spoke for many Jewish Israelis two years ago when he argued that using the word nakba in Arab schools was tantamount to spreading propaganda against Israel.

Netanyahu’s Likud takes a different view. “There is no reason to present the creation of the Israeli state as a catastrophe in an official teaching programme,” said the education minister, Gideon Saar. “The objective of the education system is not to deny the legitimacy of our state, nor promote extremism among Arab-Israelis.” [Source]

It is a shameless counter-propaganda and will be futile: if Bibi looks to Jordan he will realise the endurance of the Palestinian narrative.

Although Jordanian school text books have played down and skewed issues such as the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939, the annexation of the West Bank (and de-annexation), the Palestinian version survives through a narrative imparted in the home, generation to generation.

The books can be changed, but memory cannot and if one aspect impels the Palestinian struggle to sustain for over 60 years, it is the unwillingness to forget.

Nakba forever, it is then.

For further details on Jordanian re-interpretations of Palestinian and Jordanian history, see: Laurie Brand, ‘National Narratives and Migration: Discursive Strategies of Inclusion and Exclusion in Jordan and Lebanon’ in The International Migration Review, Vol. 44, no. 1, 2010.

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This entry was posted on May 17, 2011 by in Israel, Palestine and tagged , , , , , , .
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