Nakba Day, Hamas and Hopes for Peace

Once again, as they do every May 14th, Palestinians celebrated (protested or rioted might be a better description) Nakba Day.

Young Palestinians throw Molotov cocktails during protests marking the 63rd anniversary of Israel's creation, which is called the "Nakba". Photo: Al Jazeera and AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images.

“Palestinians refer to establishment of the State of Israel as the Nakba, or catastrophe, and hold Nakba commemorations on May 14, the anniversary of the establishment of Israel. Some Palestinian writer and commentators have used the concept of the Nakba to insinuate that the very existence of Israel is a catastrophe and question the legitimacy of Israel as the Jewish national homeland.” (ADL

On more than one occasion we’ve lamented the absence and/or inability of Palestinian leadership to prepare the Palestinian people for real coexistence with Israel.  This doesn’t require the abandonment of Palestinian identity or history, but does require an end to anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement/education; and a public acknowledgement that tough compromises will be required to achieve a Palestinian state and real peace with Israel.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly and repeatedly stated that Israel will make “painful compromises” for peace.

In addition, the recent apparent reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas sets the stage for something positive, but is immediate bad news.  Clearly, Palestinians in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank need to reach some type of political unity, accommodation and understanding in order to achieve real peace with Israel.  Otherwise, it will be difficult for Israel to reach agreement with half the Palestinians, and vice-versa.  However, as long as Hamas refuses to renounce its stated goal of Israel’s destruction, it cannot play a constructive role for peace.

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