'Gaza genocide is second Nakba, but even worse'

76 years after Nakba, or Catastrophe, of 1948, Palestinians continue to suffer displacement and massacres at the hands of Israel as the death toll in Gaza climbs further

15:12 - 15/05/2024 Çarşamba
File photo
File photo

Every year on May 15, Palestinians observe the anniversary of the Nakba, or Catastrophe in Arabic, when hundreds of thousands were uprooted from their homes and lands by armed Zionists in 1948.

But in 2024, 76 years after that harrowing experience took place, this anniversary rings different.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since a devastating Israeli offensive on the besieged enclave began more than seven months ago on Oct. 7 last year.

Showcasing the repeated tragedy, displacement, and massacres that Palestinians have had to suffer, images coming out of Gaza have evoked memories of 1948.

With the intensity of the bombardment and ground clashes in Gaza still escalating, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are once again compelled to abandon their homes and seek refuge in areas designated as safe by the Israeli army.

About 2.4 million Palestinians — nearly the entire population of Gaza — have been displaced as a consequence of Israel's ongoing military operations across the territory.

"Nakba for Palestinians is the greatest catastrophe that our people have been subjected to when the Israeli gangs, Zionist gangs, managed through 52 massacres in Palestine in the 40s, especially in 1948," Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti told Anadolu.

"The catastrophe in 1948 did not only include destroying villages and communities, but also the creation of a system of a much worse apartheid than what prevailed in South Africa against the Palestinian population who remained on the land of Palestine and who were occupied later in 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip," he said.

"As a matter of fact, we are now subjected to the longest occupation in modern history, the worst system of apartheid, and the worst act of settler colonial system."

Barghouti highlighted that even after 76 years, and despite half of Palestinians being refugees outside their territory, there are still more Palestinians in the land of Palestine than Jewish Israelis.

"That is why the Zionist project failed. It obtained the land. It conquered the land by force — by military force — by massacres. But it could not force us all to leave," he said.

- 'Second Nakba, but even worse'

It would be accurate to call what has been going on in Gaza since Oct. 7 the "second Nakba, but even worse," according to Barghouti, who emphasized that Israel has conducted more than 13 wars against Palestinians and killed 100,000 people since 1948.

"Today in Gaza alone in this last second Nakba, they have already killed 42,000 people in seven months," he said.

This, he stressed, is "almost half of what they killed in 76 years.

"So, it's a much worse atrocity, a much more terrible genocide, because it's an act of genocide."

But this Nakba is different for at least two reasons, according to Barghouti.

"It's three war crimes happening at the same time: the war crime of collective punishment, the war crime of genocide, and the war crime of displacement and ethnic cleansing. And that's one difference," he said.

The second difference between today and the Nakba of 1948 is that while the mainstream media supported Israelis in both wars, today, social media has "broken the borders," displaying real images of the violence across the world, he added.

"So, nobody now in the 21st century can say, 'we didn't know'," he asserted.

"That reveals how big the level of hypocrisy of the West is when they continue to speak about democracy and human rights and international law, but allow Israel to violate all of that, allow Israel to commit genocide," said Barghouti, adding that this has been "the worst kind of genocide in the 21st century."

- No stop to struggling 'until we get our freedom'

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists' preliminary investigation, Israel has killed at least 105 journalists since Oct. 7.

Barghouti added if it were not for American support, funds, and weapons, Israel would not have been able to commit all the massacres it has perpetrated in Gaza.

"That makes many Western governments, including the United States, not only complicit in these war crimes but actually a participant in them."

He underlined that Palestinians will achieve justice through their own struggle, without relying on any other country.

"We will continue to struggle and in every possible way, struggle on the ground, struggle in the media, struggle with our narrative. And we will not stop struggling until we get our freedom," said Barghouti.

"Anybody who believes in freedom and human rights and democracy, an international law, which is violated by Israel, should be standing with Palestinians."

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