The Nakba, or "day of catastrophe," remains the central issue of struggle for the Palestinian people. Commemorated each May 15th, the Nakba began in May 1948 when the State of Israel was founded on Palestinian lands, leading to the forcible expulsion of 75% of the indigenous population. Today, over 5 million Palestinian refugees remain in refugee camps in countries around the world, unable to return to their land and homes. They are the oldest and largest refugee population in the world.
With the announcement, just one day before the Nakba, that Israel has settled with hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike, we reflect on 64 years of Israeli occupation—and Palestinian resistance—with a survey of Verso's responses to this struggle.
The roots of Israel's settler ideology—along with Jewish national narrative—are inextricably linked to the construction of hegemonic Zionist myths. As Netenyahu recently rehearsed, in tired pantomime, before the US Congress, Israel is unwilling to even consider ending settlement construction and allowing for the return of Palestinian refugees—these of course run counter to the 'Sovereign Settler' line of Israeli discourse. As Jimmy Johnson points out in his review of Gabriel Piterberg's The Returns of Zionism: Myth, Politics and Scholarship in Israel, the success of this national discourse is built upon the
... negation of exile, by which the modern Israeli state traces its genealogy directly from the ancient monarchies of Kings David and Solomon. The period of exile... is rendered as a historical pause.