The Myth of the Nakba, and Its Consequences

Used by Palestinians to denote the creation of the Jewish state, the term nakba—meaning “catastrophe”—has come to be part of the vocabulary of anti-Israel activists. Shmuel Trigano investigates the historical narrative summed up by this word, which involves a deft inversion of good and evil and has evolved in such a way as to appeal to Western, especially European sympathies:

The defeat of [the Arab] armies and [the Arab states’] political failure in opposing the partition of Mandatory Palestine have been rewritten . . . as a shocking, congenital injustice of which [Palestinians] are the victims. This injustice is affixed to the very existence of Israel, which, in order to exist, purportedly dispossessed an innocent people of their land so that it could take their place. The Palestinian aggressors, [through this interpretation] became the victims. The [failed attempt at the] extermination of others became [reason for] self-pity and compassion.

The actual term, nakba, is an evident translation of shoah, meaning “catastrophe,” and it derives its emotional impact from accusing the victims of becoming the executioners, so that the new Palestinian “victims” have taken the place of the victims of Nazism, the holders of the memory of the Holocaust. This follows exactly the formula coined by Edward Said: “The Palestinians are the victims of the victims.”

By manipulating the West’s sensitivity and feelings of guilt, the Palestinians have not only become known as victims, but they also offer Westerners a delayed reaction to the Nazi extermination of the Jews, thereby freeing themselves from blame. Westerners can now denounce the victims’ descendants by accusing them of the same atrocities as the Nazis and the Europeans of [the colonial] era. In this way they accomplish two goals at once: Nazi Europe effectively becomes colonial Europe, and honoring the memory of the Holocaust becomes, through this manipulation, an occasion to condemn racism—“apartheid”—by the Israelis against the Palestinians and to accuse them of colonialism [and even of] Nazism.

Read more at Jewish Political Studies Review

More about: Edward Said, Europe and Israel, Israeli War of Independence, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security