John Reynolds: Israel has operated in a self-declared and continuous constitutional emergency since the first week of its existence. Since the Nakba. Or, rather, throughout the Nakba. The logic of emergency underpins the catastrophe of 1948; its shadow continues to loom over the catastrophe of today and tomorrow. It permeates the ‘jagged time’ of catastrophe, as J.M. Coetzee puts it, in which empire locates its existence.
Emilio Dabed: The Palestinian national movement was created and sustained by refugees, and it always defined its struggle as a battle not for statehood per se, but for the liberation of Palestine and the return of its people to their land. Everything in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations indicates that a potential Palestinian state will be built, if ever, on the very renunciation of the right of return. This is exactly the opposite of what Palestinians were fighting for.
Eman Abu Hanna-Nahhas: How is the memory of the Nakba sustained by younger generations of Palestinians living in Israel? Unlike Palestinians living in camps or elsewhere in exile, those living in Israel face sustained state efforts to erase this event. Yet the collective memory of 1948 is still mapping out Palestinians’ daily lives so that there is no place to ‘forget’ it – how does this happen?
Majd Kayyal: Goats and colonizers are the oldest of foes, linked by an enmity that rages across all of Palestine, especially in the Naqab. It is a battle over the land: its dimensions, its shape, its uses.
Amjad Iraqi recaps “The Nakba & The Law” workshop that took place on 7-8 December in Ramallah.
Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian: For the past several weeks we had been working with teachers and parents to collect hand-written letters from the girls. We asked them to reflect on their experiences as girls growing up in Jerusalem. What was it like to be a Palestinian girl in Jerusalem? What did justice mean to them?
Greg Thomas: I have long been interested in the resonances between the Nakba and the Maafa – this is the Swahili word chosen for what is otherwise dubbed the “Middle Passage” in the history of African enslavement in the Americas, in North America specifically in this case. Both terms translate to the same thing: disaster or catastrophe. Both are used for enormous dislocating experiences that go on to define ongoing lives of struggle. Whenever I hear “Nakba,” I think immediately Maafa.
Susan Slyomovics: Can we imagine reparations for the Nakba outside the framework of settler colonialism?
Nimer Sultany: Notwithstanding its “activist,” rights-vindicating image, Israel’s Supreme Court has developed many techniques that ultimately reinforce judicial deference.