Al-Nakba Awareness Projectis a small Domestic Nonprofit Corporation registered in Oregon. Our purposes are:
(1) education regarding the history of Israel in historic Palestine, and
(2) mobilization, advocacy and support for non-violent efforts to bring freedom, justice and equality to the Holy Land. None of these conditions, which Americans take for granted as bedrocks of democracy, exist there today.
We are an entirely volunteer organization with limited resources which we leverage by working in partnership with other local, regional and national organizations and with individual supporters who share our commitment to justice founded upon historical truth and international law.
Contributions to defray our expenses and expand our efforts will be deeply appreciated.
MISSION AND POSITIONS STATEMENT
We believe Middle East peace will come only through recognizing and correcting seven decades of dispossession imposed by force upon the indigenous Muslim, Christian, and other Arabic peoples of Palestine. Peace cannot bypass justice.
We advocate a solution based upon principles of democratic equality, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and international law, including the unequivocal right of return for several million UN-registered Palestinian refugees dispossessed, exiled, colonized, suffocated by military occupation, confined to blockade in Gaza or confined to poverty in UN-administered refugee camps.
As the origin of the conflict, we believe that awareness of the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe, is critical for understanding the problem. Israel’s original goal and its ongoing strategy of “nishul” – displacement or dispossession in Hebrew – remains unchanged since 1948 and has blocked resolution for many decades due in no small part to control of US Middle East foreign policy by the Israel lobby, which US citizens are responsible for permitting or blindly supporting.
We learned from our own Jim Crow history, affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, that separate is never equal. We therefore do not support a two-state solution, which would institutionalize segregation of two peoples and allow the apartheid system within Israel to remain unchallenged. A “Jewish and democratic” state is an Orwellian oxymoron. It cannot be both. Israel is a democracy only for its Jewish citizens. Non-Jews in Israel are denied equal rights in virtually every area of life.
Instead, we support an integrated, egalitarian state or binational federation with freedom and equal rights for all its citizens - as in fact was pledged by Israel's own 1948 declaration of statehood. The Arab population of historic Palestine, including the 20% non-Jewish population inside Israel, must be provided constitutional protections against the racist laws that currently exist.
Colonial Zionism is an archaic, ethnic nationalist,19th century ideology that continues to underpin a Jewish supremacist system not unlike South African apartheid and white supremacist, segregationist Jim Crow in our pre-1950s South. We challenge this and its support by our country as incompatible with American principles of government and fundamental international standards of human rights.
Israel and its lobby typically invoke the Holocaust to justify its "right" to an ethnocentric Jewish state, but Palestinians cannot be expected or required to pay for Nazi crimes. Nazi perpetrators were tried and punished, and Germany has been paying reparations to individual survivors and the state of Israel ever since. In contrast, Israel has refused to acknowledge guilt for its violent colonial land seizures, massacres and ongoing oppression, has provided no restitution or restorative justice to its own victims, and none of its perpetrators have been prosecuted.
American knee-jerk support of Israel and its continuous human rights violations has been maintained by a relentless campaign of deception, disinformation and campaign finance-engineered political control by the most powerful lobby in Washington affecting our foreign policy - AIPAC and some 50 other major American Jewish organizations. These organizations purport to represent the American Jewish community, but in fact American Jewish views of Israel are far less uniform and far less positive among a substantial fraction, especially younger, Jews. We support these awakening but underrepresented Jewish voices, and call for an end to Israeli occupation of both Palestine and Washington, D.C.
Obstruction has also come from the left, the so-called “Alternatives to AIPAC,” which promote dialogue, negotiation and compromise rather than enforcement of international law. The victim of a robbery cannot be required to negotiate or compromise with the thief over how much to return. Before dialogue or negotiation can yield resolution, external, non-violent intervention forces must be applied to equalize power, which is now grossly imbalanced.
Citizens disturbed by our pathological symbiosis with Israel can apply non-violent moral and economic force through the BDS movement that includes targeted product boycotts and divestment from Israeli and U.S. companies that support and/or exploit Israel's occupation, state violence and blockade. Obviously threatened by this growing movement, Israel and its lobby are mounting a determined propaganda effort against it. We can encourage divestment by our organizations and employers, and can support the academic and cultural boycott of Israel to communicate our repudiation of their policies and conduct to the Israeli public. And most importantly perhaps, we can lobby our elected representatives to end U.S. vetoes in the U.N. Security Council (45 through 2018) that have long protected Israel from international judgment and justice.
Ironically, this will simultaneously save Israel from its current path of self-destruction, which many insightful Israelis recognize. To survive its own arrogant excesses, gain acceptance within the community of nations, and emerge from its self-imposed ghetto behind fortress walls, Israel must repudiate Zionism and transform itself into a normal, multi-ethnic, non-discriminatory constitutional democracy in the modern Western tradition it thus far only falsely claims to represent. In so doing, and by honoring the Palestinian right of return, Israel will lose its Jewish majority and Zionist political domination, and will benefit socially, psychologically and spiritually in the process.
Our workrelies without political compromise upon:
(1) historical truthfulness citing the evidentiary record, not "narratives" or ethnic mythology;
(2) adherence by all peoples to universally recognized human rights and the international rule of law;
(3) recognition of the Palestinians as the victims, not the aggressors, in this seven-decade conflict, and not co-equal with Israel in responsibility for its origination, continuation or lack of resolution;
(4) concern for not only the wellbeing but the rights of Palestinians as an abandoned and largely helpless people who have been cruelly victimized, subjected to institutional as well as legal discrimination within both Israel and their territories which Israel illegally occupies, and denied justice, the right of self-determination, protection by the governing power, and an equal voice with other citizens of the world;
(5) condemnation of our own country's abuse-enabling support and protection of their colonizer, occupier and oppressor, and our violations of both international and U.S. law in so doing.
Our premise:There is a long history to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,which has been egregiously distorted by Israel, the Israeli lobby and its nationwide network that heavily influences our government and media, and consequently remains largely unknown to most Americans.
We draw upon a principle identified and demonstrated early in the history of psychology by the "Gestalt" school of perceptual psychology: the solution to a problem is inherent in its component parts once a sufficient number of these are visible. A puzzle can't be solved with too many missing pieces. Israel has relentlessly concealed key historical pieces of its own formation and development, without which a clear vision cannot emerge that would yield a solution. We attempt here to identify the essential missing pieces including historical information expunged from the "official story," disregarded international laws, and suppressed voices of reason, realism and justice among Palestinians, non-Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews, and all too few Americans. Without the unwitting and misguided beliefs of most Americans in support of our corrupted leaders, this website and the other efforts of the Al-Nakba Awareness Project would be unnecessary.
The central piece denied and evaded by Israel is the Nakba("catastrophe" in Arabic) of 1948, when Palestinians were ruthlessly attacked, massacred and driven from their homes into refugee camps by Zionist terror groups, and never allowed to return in violation of international law. This is the deeply flawed foundation upon which Israel was established and upon which its entire subsequent society remains structurally unsteady, morally corrupt, legally culpable, and psychologically damaged. Israel has inevitably suffered from a "spoiled identity" (a concept of sociologist Erving Goffman) against which it defends by outright lies, hysterical accusations of "anti-Semitism" and other transparent defense mechanisms, and the consequences to its Palestinian victims remain tragic and ruinous.
This conflict is typically framed as a contest between "two sides" or "two narratives" that either blames the Palestinians as "terrorists" or implies a non-existent symmetry: equivalence of violence, blame for the conflict, suffering, legitimacy of claims, and responsibility for finding a solution.
In truth, the Palestinians are an invaded, dispossessed, occupied, brutalized, blockaded, and segregated people who have the right to resist under international law and have steadfastly done so for many decades in largely non-violent ways.
1948 refugee in UNRWA camp
1948 UNRWA refugee camp
Separated by barbed wire from their home
A fictitious account omitting Israeli lawlessness and ignoring the lonely and rightful Palestinian struggle for justice has been relentlessly recited and perpetuated by the American press and entertainment media under influence of the pro-Israel lobby and social influence network.
Our position is derived not from any "narrative" but from the empirical evidence: the abundantly documented history, established doctrines of international law including United Nations resolutions and international court judgments, ordinary morality recognized by civilized peoples, and commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Until the Nakba is acknowledged, its crimes addressed and restitution provided, there can be no justice or justice-based peace. Toward the goal of justice, without which enduring peace will remain elusive, this web site is committed.
* The key in our logo, many of which are still held by Palestinian refugees expelled in 1948, represents the Palestinians' right to return under international law, and has remained a cherished symbol of their steadfast resistance against dispossession, occupation, and subjugation by the state of Israel.
The site is a primer, providing a basic chronological overview. We are continuing to build it with new information that becomes available on fundamental issues, but for ongoing news,analyses and links, see our Facebook pages: Mariah Leung and Jack Dresser.
Demand Freedom, Justice and Equality in the Holy Land