The International Writers Festival is hosting events all this week 

in Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the first community to be built outside the walls 

"photo windmill", "image windmill", "picture Jerusalem windmill"

of Jerusalem, perhaps best known for its iconic Montefiore Windmill

which is now undergoing renovation.

This Jewish neighborhood was unsafe and deserted from 1948–1967.

In answer to a question the speaker encouraged writers to write about

 what they know.  What do I know?

"picture Yemin Moshe" ,"photo steps', "image Jerusalem"

 I know that it was not easy to get to the lecture hall as the narrow streets

"photo Jerusalem","image Yemin Moshe", "Picture Jerusalem Day"

were full of school children.

"picture Jerusalem", "photo Old City" "image Old City walls"

on their way to the Old City.

This week marks 45 years since the reunification of Jerusalem.

"photo Jerusalem","image J Street","picture interview"

As Channel 1 looked for a story at the Writers Festival,

"photo Jerusalem", "image double decker bus", "photo J Street"

I was amazed by the sight across the valley near the Old City walls.

"photo Jerusalem", "image J Street", "picture Jerusalem Day"

Hundreds and hundreds of Israeli school children

"photo Old City", "picutre Al Quds", "photo Al Quds"

were climbing the path towards the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.

"picture Al Quds", "photo Al Quds", "Al Quds image"

In 1965 when Jerusalem was divided and under Jordanian rule,

 a Jewish person could not get near the Kotel, the Western Wall,

so this photo had to be taken at the edge of No-Man’s Land.

"photo Kosel", "image Kosel","picture Al Quds"

Next week for the Shavuot holiday, tens of thousands

 of worshipers will pack the plaza for the break of dawn services.

"picture east Jerusalem", "photo east Jerusalem", "image east Jerusalem"

 I stood on this pedestrian bridge watching 

"picture Al; Quds", "image J Street", "photo Jerusalem"

the endless stream of school children walking  on my left.

"picture nakba", Photo East Jerusalem", "image Nakba riots"

At that very moment, on my right

smoke was rising from Arab neighborhoods.

It was Nakba Day, the “catastrophe” or “disaster” the Arab world

has observed for 64 years because of the establishment of Israel.

"picture Arab girl". "photo Arab girl", "image Arab girl"

Below, an Arab girl was walking alone

"picture Palestinian boy","photo Palestinian child?,"image Palestinian boy"

and this Arab boy was hanging around the cinema.

They were heading home around the time PA leader Mahmoud Abbas was 

in Ramallah inciting the crowd with charges of “ethnic cleansing”.

"picture East Jerusalem", "photo Jerusalem" "image Arab boys"

I passed through the Liberty Bell Park

"Arab boys photos","picture Arab boys, "palestinian boys image"

and saw two Arab boys climbing on a sculpture in the gardens.

"picture Israel flag", "image Jerusalem Day", "photo Jerusalem street"

It is not easy to relocate under the best of circumstances,

but my Christian friends from Lebanon did it in America.

My Jewish friends from Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, Iraq and Morocco

lost everything when they were forced from their childhood homes,

but they moved on, and built good lives for themselves and their families.

Yes, there is a Nakba, a disaster and a real tragedy.

"east Jerusalem picture",

As long as the Arab world continues on its destructive path…

there is indeed a Nakba .

9 thoughts on “Nakba

  • May 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Nakba, (Arab catstrophe) should be recognized by Israel for what it really is – yes, the suffering and hardship did occur to a people who at the time did not have a nation, land or common cause except to annihilate the Jews and when they could not defeat the Jews, their weapon of choice (after killing and murder failed), they started to circulate myths and lies dealing with the founding of the State of Israel. Compounded lies of wholesale ethnic cleansing or deportation of Arab population. This Nakba, the suffering was 100% the fault of the Arabs who rejected every plan presented. Who still refuse and reject every overture to peace and instead of taking responsibility for their own suffering and mistakes, the myth of their “Nakba’ makes for really good TV pictures and propaganda which is more important to them than accepting a peace plan to make their lives better. The myth of the nakba is an unprecedented and brazen fraud whose sole purpose is to rewrite Jewish history. Palestinians were not a cohesive people as the overwhelming majority of the Arabs living within the Green Line were “large groups of immigrants who made their way to Israel from Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Yemen, Sudan and elsewhere,” largely to profit from the development brought to the area by the Zionist enterprise and the British Mandate. By checking surnames, this fact is irrefutable – the Arabs orginated from countries outside the State of Israel.
    Arabs are not so innocent as far as their history is concerned. They paint themselves as victims but ignore their own crimes against humanity and atrocities against not only Jews but Christians and their own Muslim brothers depending on tribe or dialect.They ignore their support to Nazis during WW11. Ignore the Jewish Nakba- expulsion of 900,000 Jews from Arab and Muslim countries, Intifada one and two ++

    • May 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Arafat was born in Egypt even spoke Arabic with an Egyptian accent.
      He brought so much suffering and is still revered.

  • May 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you for your photo documentation and your well reasoned words…may the world soon listen

  • May 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    In addition to everything you said so beautifully, seeing throngs of our children walking to the kotel on Yom Yerushalayim is so inspiring. You lifted my spirits here in the states. You make my heart happy. I was born in a DP camp outside of Berlin. To watch our beautiful youth “coming home” is a kind of closure. Chag Sameach.

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