When Nakba Day Meets US Embassy Move Day

The Fellowship  |  March 5, 2018

Israeli soldiers intervene in Nakba demonstrations
RAMALLAH, WEST BANK - MAY 15 : Israeli security forces intervene in a commemoration demonstration by Palestinians, marking the 69th anniversary of Nakba, also known as Day of the Catastrophe in 1948, at Beit El checkpoint in Ramallah, West Bank on May 15, 2017. (Photo by Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

This coming May 14 will be a day of celebration and festivities, as the American embassy in Israel will move from Tel Aviv to the Holy City of Jerusalem. However, The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff reports, Palestinians are also planning an eventful day – one of massive clashes and violence:

May 14, 2018, will likely go down in history as one of the most festive days that Israel has ever known. At long last, the United States, the world’s greatest superpower, will move its embassy to Jerusalem. The prime minister will give a speech, joined by his ministers and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, with — just possibly — a guest appearance by US President Donald Trump himself; a real celebration.

But an “alternative party” is already in the works: enormous Palestinian protest events, with the largest of them planned for the Gaza Strip. Preparations are under way for marches that will set out toward the border fence with Israel. Such a massive event, on the scale of the refugees’ march to the Israeli-Syrian border on the Golan Heights on Nakba Day in 2011, could become problematic for the State of Israel and for the Israeli army — to put it mildly.

It bears mention that the Palestinians observe Nakba Day (nakba means “catastrophe”) every year on May 15, the day after the Gregorian date on which the establishment of the State of Israel was declared. All the Palestinian organizations, without exception, mark the event that led to the alleged expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their ancestral territories. Nakba Day has long been a hate festival, including explicit calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and the return of all the refugees to Haifa, Jaffa, and so on.

Still, this year it is is a particularly explosive combination: the seventieth anniversary of the “catastrophe” alongside the celebrations that Israel and the US are planning regarding Jerusalem and moving the embassy. Thus, on the Palestinian side there could be a surplus of motivation among the public to go out and take part in these events, including marches toward the border fence in Gaza.

The preparations are being made mainly on social networks…