# 293 – Naqba – Part I by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 293 – Naqba – Part I

by

Artwork: Stephen Pohlmann

Helping others to understand Israel - and Israelis to understand others...
  • Joined Sep 2016
  • Published Books 409
1

May 15, 2016

Naqba – Part I

‘Naqba’ means ‘catastrophe’, which is how the Palestinians (Israeli Arabs) remember the 1948 War of (Israeli) Independence.

So there I was, only bike, at nearby Tel Aviv University, buying something in one of their stores. This is the view I saw…

 

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Let me set the scene:

The tiny panoramic image, with the finger on the lens, shows, from left to right

  • Armed police gathering next to the trees (I think all Israeli police are armed)

  • In the background, a giant wall of images of Palestinians (Israeli Arabs) – let’s call them PIA) who have died during the conflict since 1948.

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# 293 – Naqba – Part I by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

 

  • In front of the wall, black-t-shirted PIA gathering for their day.

  • In the centre, a police barrier , with a small white part – just seen in images 2 and 4 – in the middle, representing the separation wall (security fence) between Israel and the West Bank

  • To the right of the barrier, Jewish students gathering.

 

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# 293 – Naqba – Part I by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

And around the perimeters, people like me gathering, some with cameras, others just onlookers, with more police arriving here and there.

It’s happening now, while I wrote.

I stopped, pushed my biked up the few steps and started chatting to one of the male students. That went on for perhaps 20 mins. Then Raiah (I hope I have the spelling right) joined.

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My opening ‘gambit’ was the suggestion that the signs with ‘Naqba Day’ should either be change to ‘Reconstruction Day’ or at least have that word in brackets – gotta move forward. And why allow a barrier in the middle. Do they WANT confrontation?

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They were (are) aged around 19; they have family/-ies across the various border (West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria); they say they have lost family, they have less rights, the wall hinders their lives etc. etc.

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And I started discussing this with them –

  • Jordan should have been Palestine

  • The Jews stole the Palestinian land

  • There should only be the 1 state (Palestine) – where Jews, they claimed, could live peacefully

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  • The British helped the Jews establish Israel (Tell that to the those that suffered at the hands of the British).

  • The UN declaration in 1947 was not fair – “Would you give up half your house to the neighbors?”, she asked. She didn’t believe my “Yes” answer.

  • They have proper water system in Nazareth-Illit (Jewish neighborhood) and not in Nazareth (I should have asked her about the Christian population’s complaints against the Muslims).

 

11

My conversation of not more than 1/2 hour contained decent discussion. They started looking over their shoulders (no, not out of fear, out of lateness) , so I gave them my card, begged them to contact me, told them of my keenness to meet over coffee.

And we parted.

Let’s see if Part II is necessary

Stephen

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