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Preserving the Past, Mobilizing the Past: The Nakba as a Prospective Media Realm

Abstract

This article discusses the mediated presentation of the Nakba in the post-Oslo era through an examination of ‘anniversarial’ journalism. By viewing media as an interpretative memory community, this work reveals how Palestinian society has shaped its ideological framing and worldview over time. Building on previous scholarly works which challenge media’s preoccupation with the immediate present, this work highlights the mediated application of the past in Palestinian media as a prospective memory that reflects the communities’ political and cultural circumstances in line with the disparate historical and contemporary geo-political circumstances in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and inside the 1948 borders. This article opines that within these communities the Nakba is not simply invoked as a foundational historical event, but as an analogy which contextualizes present-day cultural and political concerns as a result of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Introduction

With the seventieth anniversary of the official outbreak of the war[1] in Palestine fast-approaching, this article discusses the mediated presentation of the Nakba in the post-Oslo era.[2] Palestinian newspapers, both print and online, have been examined in the period between May 1994 and May 2016. The newspapers with the largest readership and circulation in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and inside the 1948 borders, respectively Al-Quds [Ar. Jerusalem] and Kul al-Arab [Ar. all the Arabs], were selected. Complemented by an analysis of al-Hayat al-Jadida [Ar. the new life], the official daily newspaper of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA or PA) established in 1995, the examination of the most influential Palestinian media in the post-Oslo era[3] reveals how Palestinian society has shaped its ideological framing and worldview over time, illuminating the workings of media as well as providing valuable insight into a society’s self-understanding.[4]

Indeed, the media, as with other ‘interpretative memory communities,’ disseminate “mediated memories”[5] that fall within a cultural and political framework dictated by the interests of media’s audiences and financial patrons.[6] Even though (individual) media producers are responsible for the creation of culturally resonant narratives as “creators of meaning,”[7] the necessary dialogic interaction between journalists and audiences blurs the line between the media producer and the consumer, creating what David Lowenthal calls “a unifying web of retrospection.”[8] Media professionals, as “the people behind the text,” consequently are not be considered here as creators of novel mnemonic interpretations, but rather constructors of cultural-interpretive media frames that reflect the Palestinian communities’ Zeitgeist.[9]

Building on previous scholarly works challenging media’s preoccupation with the immediate present,[10] this article highlights the mediated application of the past in Palestinian media as a ‘prospective memory’. The concept of prospective memory, as defined by Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt, conceives of mediated memories as vehicles that spur on a ‘to-do-list’ and encourage the execution of an intended, prospective action.[11] As will become clear through a systematic analysis of ‘anniversarial’ mediation—media output pertaining to Nakba Day mnemonics—the Nakba is not simply invoked as a foundational historical event, but as an analogy which contextualizes and legitimizes present-day cultural and political concerns resulting from the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

While recognizing that the Oslo Accords on both sides of the Green Line transformed the media into a ‘counterhegemonic public space’ for and by Palestinians,[12] this work illustrates that the disparate historic and contemporary political landscapes on both sides of the Green Line have resulted in divergent “national problems” or “nationalist goals”.[13] Through the inclusion of news outlets that represent different Palestinian communities, this article differentiates between media production in Palestinian society on both sides of the Green Line[14] and reveals that post-1994 Palestinian media mirrors Palestinian communities’ particularistic engagement with Israeli hegemony. An historical analysis of media content pertaining to Yawm al-Nakbah [Ar. Nakba Day] and the associated Nakba mnemonics over a period of twenty-two years demonstrates that Nakba media output primarily constitutes an interpretative framework for contemporary grievances held by the Palestinian minority inside the 1948 borders, which since 2011 include legalized efforts by the Israeli majority to thwart Nakba commemoration. Within the same period, the Nakba has been employed as an all-encompassing metaphor in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Representative of the Nakba as a ‘present continuous’, mediated Nakba output here intertwines the undoing of the Nakba based on the ‘right of return’ [Ar. haq al-ʻawdah] and national independence through the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Laying the Groundwork: The Historic Palestinian Media Landscape

The media models installed by the Israeli state and the Israeli military government subsequent to the 1948 War inside Israel and the Six-Day War in the West Bank were to become formative frameworks for post-1994 Palestinian media. The distinct shift to a mobilized mode of expression for and on behalf of the Palestinians in the wake of the First Intifada and the Oslo Accords thus constituted an inversion of the hitherto Israeli-dictated repression of Palestinian media. The liberation of the Palestinian press “from the shackles of the [Israeli] establishment,”[15] came forth from vastly different media environments on both sides of the Green Line, reflecting the disparate political circumstances and the dynamics of the relationship between Israeli and the respective Palestinian communities. Indicative of the societal and political aftermath of the 1948 War, inside the 1948 borders an integrationist media model was developed by the Israeli victorious majority for the Palestinian vanquished minority of approximately 156,000, creating what Dan Caspi and Mustafa Kabaha succinctly term a ‘media-for’ model. The production of Arabic media by the Israeli establishment, which included the Israeli government, various Zionist political parties, and the Israeli communist party in its various reincarnations, was meant to serve as a medium through which the Jewish majority could communicate with the minority, while simultaneously reducing the objections of the minority to the national goals of the majority and diminishing the realization of Palestinian national ambitions.[16]  In al-Yawm [Ar. the day] (1948-1966), a newspaper affiliated with the ruling party Mapai and its satellites in return for generous (financial) support, the Israeli state was therefore presented in a positive light resulting from “the benefits and the fruits of Israeli democracy,” as indicated in the writing of Wafi’a Iqdays who informed his readers in June 1950 that “anyone who claims that the situation has not taken a turn for the good since the end of the fighting probably suffers from the ‘malady of exaggeration’.”[17]

Although the termination of the military government in 1966 led to increased freedom of movement among Palestinian journalists and, consequently, access to their target population, the amalgamation of previously installed legalized modes of censorship and the incorporation of the newly occupied territories meant that a media for and by Palestinians remained elusive. Fueled by a heighted climate of suspicion resulting from exposure to East Jerusalem and West Bank newspapers, previous adoption of the British Ordinance of 1933 and the Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945 by the Ministry of Interior in 1948 enabled close surveillance of Arabic press produced by Palestinians.[18] Content related to the conflict, the coverage of settlements, land expropriation and discrimination towards the Palestinian population, both in the occupied territories and inside Israel, were particularly subject to scrutiny by censors, leading Palestinian journalists to engage in self-censorship to avoid attracting warnings or suspensions. Moreover, the continued dependence on political funding and the partisan nature of Arabic newspapers led to a dearth in Palestinian readership. As a result, between 1967 and 1983, circulation numbers remained largely similar to the first period, with the most popular daily newspaper, al-Ānbāʻ [Ar. the news], a mouthpiece for Israeli government policies, only reaching a circulation of approximately 4-6,000 in spite of distribution on both sides of the Green Line and a rising literacy rate.[19]

In contrast to the media landscape inside the 1948 borders, a popular Palestinian press did emerge in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the wake of the 1967 War, albeit under heavy restrictions imposed by the Israeli state. In addition to the media-for model, namely a media wholly owned and managed by the Israeli military regime, a Palestinian press came forth out of the merger of West Bank newspapers and the forced move to Amman in March 1967 under King Hussein bin Talal. Al-Quds, representing the merging of al-Difāʻ [Ar. the defense] and al-Jihād [Ar. the (inner) struggle or holy war], became the first ‘independent’ daily to obtain publication rights from the Israeli military government and, despite its initial pro-Jordanian stance, became the most popular publication in the territories.[20] Yet, as was the case for Palestinian media in Israel, a fully independent press in the newly occupied territories remained absent. Similar to their predecessors—the Jordanians and the British—the Israelis applied legal means to subdue any mediated Palestinian (and Arab) nationalism in annexed East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, including by censoring any criticism of the Israeli occupation and thwarting usage of the media as a medium for political mobilization. The issuing of military orders together with the adoption of the above-mentioned British press regulations meant that Palestinian publications in the territories operated under more severe constraints than those published inside the 1948 borders.[21] As such, the system of external prior censorship consistent with the 1945 Emergency Regulations was bolstered by military orders issued from 1967 onwards which forbid the publication of anything that according to the military court was deemed of “political significance” and “prejudicial to the defense of [the state] or to the public safety or to public order.”[22]

News items of political significance were not limited to material that incited violence, hatred, or civil disorder, as claimed by the Israeli authorities. Instead, in his 1983 work, Meron Benvenisti, the former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, noted that censors’ primary concern was “to eradicate expression that could foster Palestinian nationalist feelings, or that suggest[ed] that Palestinians are a nation with a national heritage,” including by omitting text containing the word ‘Palestine’.[23] It was because of Israeli authorities’ tendency to view Palestinian publications as propaganda organs rather than vehicles of news that one Palestinian journalist concluded in 1986 that Israel’s censorship measures were designed to “censor our heritage, our history, and our culture, in order to deprive us of our Palestinian consciousness.”[24] Indeed, contemporary reports on censored content by human rights organizations indicate that, in addition to words such as suffering, colonialism, Jewish gangs, and Zionism, words that had taken on a symbolically-loaded meaning were targeted for censorship, including kifā [Ar. struggle], umūd [Ar. steadfastness] and ʻawdah [Ar. return].[25]

The Emergence of a Mobilized Palestinian Press

The existence of censorship practices in the post-1967 era in East Jerusalem and the West Bank proved formative for the conception of media as a potential mobilization medium on behalf of the Palestinians, which was to be practically realized following the Oslo Accords. Palestinian journalists living under previous Israeli censorship noted that, in theory, it was the task of journalists “to mobilize the masses against the occupation and the escalation of national activities in that struggle.”[26] However, it was not merely the systematic prevention of mediated resistance under Israel’s military government that informed the emergence of a mobilized media under the Palestinian Authority. With the 1980 amendment of the Tamir Law, any material deemed to support terrorist organizations was made punishable by a prison term of up to three years, a fine, or both; consequently, any mediated mention of the PLO, considered a terrorist organization under Israeli law until 1993, was curtailed.[27] For Al-Quds, a newspaper located in annexed East Jerusalem and therefore jurisdictionally part of the state of Israel, the Tamir Law meant that the publication’s pro-PLO stance following the cessation of talks between Arafat and King Hussein in February 1986 and Israeli officials’ accusation of Al-Quds accepting money from the PLO went hand in hand with a mass clampdown on the newspaper.[28] Publication restrictions were further intensified with the outbreak of the First Intifada in 1987, when any material that could be interpreted as implicitly supporting the PLO became subject to censorship. As such, the newspaper’s explicit support of the PA following the Oslo Accords,[29] part and parcel of Nakba media output, formed the realization of a mediated collective political engagement and consciousness which had previously been thwarted.

Research conducted on the emergence of an independent Palestinian press inside the 1948 borders in the mid-80s suggests that financial motivations proved decisive in the development of a media for and by the Palestinian minority. Hanna Adoni, Dan Caspi, and Akiva Cohen argue that the rise of privately-owned newspapers resulted from the uncovering of substantial advertising potential among Palestinians, thereby immunizing newspapers from the effects of political subsidies and pressure.[30] Yet, while the discovery of new economic opportunities might have enabled the establishment of Palestinian commercial newspapers, their resonance among readers should be considered in the contemporary political climate and in the context of what Margaret Gibson and John Ogbu term “an involuntary minority.”[31] Thus, the Palestinian public’s withdrawal from the Israeli public sphere in the late 1980s, resulting from the experienced marginalization of Palestinian affairs, bolstered cultural autonomy, because as the poet Samih al-Qasim and editor of Kul al-Arab stated in 1993: “We don't want a Berlin wall between Arabs and Jews. But it is natural that we would want to feel more comfortable with our language, with our culture, with our spiritual needs. We want our own theater, which doesn't exist now. We need to rebuild ourselves. We have been in a siege since 1948. We are unknown. For decades, nobody has heard about us.”[32] The need for a creation of what Amal Jamal describes as “a counterhegemonic public space” was reinforced in the wake of the outbreak of the First Intifada which brought about a surge in Palestinian identity at the expense of a hybrid identity, in part, Jamal claims, as a result of new Arabic publications demonstrating unsurprising empathy with the Palestinian side.[33] Despite a continued dependence on (Israeli-Jewish) advertising firms, for the first time, Palestinian media, located in the eye of the storm of the Arab-Israeli conflict, could express the unique circumstances of the Palestinian population in Israel and respond to cultural and political events in relation to their past, including, as will become evident below, by portraying the Nakba as an ongoing event, contextualizing relations with the dominant majority.[34]

Exposing the Nakba as a Historical Event: A Land with a People

Five years after the 1993 Declaration of Principles and two years prior to the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Israel commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Nakba. Mirroring the collective preoccupation with the past, Palestinian media partook in what can be identified as the first mediated Nakba ‘anniversarial event’, with Nakba output surfacing in the weeks and months preceding what was to become Nakba Day.[35] In an interview, Wadiah Awadah, a former journalist at Kul al-Arab responsible for the consistent publication of refugees’ narratives in the lead-up to the 50th anniversary, maintained that the increased media output prior to the anniversary was indicative of the heightened preoccupation with the Nakba on its upcoming 50th anniversary and, at the same time, reflected readers’ interest in writings on the Nakba that challenged the official Israeli narrative.[36]

The novelty of Nakba media output on the occasion of the 50th anniversary is evidenced by both the placement of Nakba media output and the sheer amount of articles dedicated to the topic. In contrast to previous years, the examined newspapers’ front pages on Nakba Day reminded readers of the momentous commemorative events taking place, creating, in the words of Daniel Dayan and Elihu Katz, a ‘suspended mediation’.[37] Moreover, in the weeks prior to the 1998 anniversary and on the anniversary itself, Palestinian media on both sides of the Green Line provided readers with an historical overview of the displacement that took place in 1948 with the aim of revealing Israel’s “complete web of lies and rumors and historical falsities of a land without a people for a people without a land”[38] and, perhaps most importantly, exposing “the forgery of the Zionist claim that the Palestinian refugees left willingly following calls by their own leaders.”[39] Individual refugee stories deemed representative of the expulsion of the “more than 750,000”[40] Palestinians and of the 40,000 internally-displaced “present absentees” at the hands of the “Zionist gangs” not only laid claim to the pre-1948 cultural and physical landscape, but also attested to the ongoing ramifications of a forced displacement in line with the political landscape created in the aftermath of the 1948 War.[41] Demonstrative of the readership’s cadres sociaux,[42] Kul al-Arab disclosed internal refugees’ stories while Al-Quds concentrated on the plight of those living in refugee camps in the West Bank.[43]

The 50th anniversary of the Nakba in 1998, as the first mass mediated anniversarial event, also constituted a formative framework for Nakba Day mediation in subsequent years, during which newspapers have simultaneously acted as active participants in Nakba mnemonics and as ‘commemorative mobilization agents’.[44] In addition to giving prominence to the anniversary of the Nakba on their front pages, since 1998, the newspapers under review have offered what can be termed ‘commemorative prompts’, reminding their readers in content and in graphics of the year of the anniversary and calling upon them to participate in commemorative marches and festivals or, as Kul al-Arab put it in 1998, to “answer the call of the national and humanistic obligation to commemorate the Nakba memory and to revive the national memory and to assure the continuation of the struggle in a popular rally.”[45]

 

Figure 1.1. The Nakba as a mediated commemoration

“50 years of the Palestinian Nakba,” Kul al-Arab, May 15, 1998

Al-Quds, May 15, 1998

“Let’s participate in the March of the Millions,” Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 13, 1998

On the 60th anniversary of the Nakba. General strikes among Arab student groups create high tensions in the country’s universities. Kul al-Arab, May 16, 2008

“68 years of the Nakba,” Al-Quds Online, May 15, 2016

“Citizens gather around the ‘64 years’ candles in Ramallah in preparation for the commemoration of the Nakba.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2012

A further textual commemorative reminder from 1998 is the placement of official political statements in Nakba anniversary issues, which in that year not only set out the legislative council’s roadmap for the reversal of the Nakba “in spite of entering the peace process,” but also called on the “masses to commemorate the anniversary of the Nakba extensively and […] to participate in the Palestinian March of the Millions.”[46] Consistent with the political landscape in the West Bank (and indeed Gaza), these official statements, typically only published in Al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida,[47] have moved from representing the legislative council, virtually defunct since 2006, to incorporating the announcements of various political parties and semi-political commemorative agencies.[48] Following the split between Hamas and Fatah, official announcements by the Fatah-backed PLO, the Higher Committee for Nakba Commemoration and the PLO’s Refugee Department, calling upon “you in the homeland to take part as participants with us in a central rally and return festival today,” were firmly situated within the political framework approved by the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank.[49] Juxtaposing Hamas’ “prolonging of division and preservation of partisan interests [at] the expense of the supreme interests of our people and their national cause” with the PLO’s commitment to “national unity,” the anniversary of the Nakba thus became a political opportunity to garner support among those who believed in “the rights of our Palestinian people.”[50]

Preserving the Past for Future Generations: The Media as a Prospective Memory Realm

Although the above-mentioned commemorative prompts might point to a contemporary mnemonic preoccupation, media exposure to the anniversarial events of the Nakba is also considered a means of conveying the past to present and future generations in order to ensure knowledge of the past. Calls to transmit the Nakba to future generations have been identified from 1995 onwards, which emphasize external familial transmission alongside the media as a ‘prospective’ memory realm. The earliest materialization of the first can be found in Al-Quds issue of 10 April 1995. Here, readers are not only exposed to a reportage of the commemorative festival conducted on the 48th anniversary of the Deir Yassin massacre (9 April), but also to an explicit call by the contemporary governor of Ramallah and al-Bireh, Mustafa Aysha Abu Firaz, addressed to a “group of Deir Yassin scouts,” the “grandchildren of the strugglers” to become “the soldiers of the homeland [and] to remember with utmost emotion several of the homeland’s martyrs who with their blood gave water to the soil.”[51] Two years later, in 1997, al-Hayat al-Jadida dedicated two editorials to the media’s role as a formative realm of transmission. Criticizing the media’s own previous neglect of the Nakba and its anniversary, editorials by Hassan al-Kashif and Hafez al-Barghouti maintained the media’s responsibility to address the Nakba in the public sphere to “commemorate it and educate the youth on what happened and its significance,”[52] even if “the burden of memories abolishes the pleasures of life.”[53] When questioned about the timing of these editorials in the PA’s mouthpiece, Omar Hilmi al-Ghoul, a columnist for al-Hayat al-Jadida and former chief political advisor to the Prime Minister of Palestine, Salam Fayyad (2007-2013), emphasized the political transition in the wake of the Oslo Accords. Al-Ghoul contended that following the establishment of an independent Palestinian media, the duty to transmit the Nakba was amplified, because, as Al-Ghoul stated, “I, like other officials, am responsible for expressing the interests of my people […] our heritage, culture and national identity cannot be forgotten.”[54]

Beyond the effects of the Oslo Accords on media’s role as a ‘prospective memory agent’, the lingering mortality of first-generation Nakba eyewitnesses, inferred in al-Kashif’s article, should not to be neglected.[55] Indeed, for Awadah, the increased attention given to the Nakba from the mid-90s onwards also spurred from the realization that transferring stories of the Nakba to future generations was pertinent, as “eyewitnesses of the Nakba might die without sharing their stories.”[56] In order to “forge a Palestinian identity and record history,” Awadah “started collecting stories about the Nakba and the time before the Nakba so that our narrative will remain alive [and] so that the new generation would know what happened in Nakba.”[57] Yet, while the media’s self-proclaimed role as an agent of Nakba transmission can be found explicitly in editorials in the lead-up to the 50th anniversary and implicitly in reportages on the 50th anniversary itself, calls for Nakba generational transmission have most consistently appeared from the mid-2000s onwards, in editorials calling for extra-media educational and commemorative initiatives and through the collection and transmission of refugees’ testimonies.[58] Reflective of the decreased life expectancy of the remaining first-generation Nakba eyewitnesses,[59] refugees representing the jīl al-Nakbah [Ar. the Nakba generation][60] have therefore been commanded to pass on the stories to “the grandchildren,” the jīl al-Awslū [Ar. the Oslo generation], “[to] refute the statement made by the founders of the Jewish state that the adults will die and the children will forget.”[61]

The Nakba as a Present Continuous: Nakba Mediation Inside the 1948 Borders

Mediated calls for engagement with Nakba mnemonics reflect the Palestinian communities’ particularistic relation with the Israeli state, thereby testifying to the notion that mass media do not act in a vacuum, but rather interact within the historical, cultural and political circumstances of each society, as well as its contemporary interactions with other (dominant) groups.[62] Inside the 1948 borders, Nakba mediated output has consequently simultaneously constituted an interpretative framework, reflecting the Palestinians’ minority status, and an analogical tool, exposing the ongoing manifestations of the Nakba resulting from their minority status. Israel’s marginalization of the Palestinian narrative in the educational system and attempts to prevent Palestinian commemoration of the Nakba are clear examples of the former, albeit with different temporal manifestations. Whereas the failure to convey the Palestinian conception of the 1948 War to Israeli and Palestinian students can first be identified in 1998, implicitly inferring the contemporary content of textbooks which largely failed to convey the Palestinian conception of the 1948 War,[63] right-wing organizational thwarting of Nakba commemoration on Israel’s Independence Day surfaced ten years later, in 2008.[64] Following the 60th anniversary of the Nakba, Kul al-Arab’s front page informed its readers of the clashes that had taken place the previous day at Haifa University when Palestinian students sought to commemorate the Nakba and were confronted by members of Hatikvah [Heb. the hope], a far-right political party established the previous year under the leadership of Ayre Eldad in order to counter Likud’s implementation of “the policies of Peace Now” and to expose the Palestinian narrative as “a lie.”[65] In addition to exposing attempts by recently-established far-right groups such as Hatikvah and Im Tirtzu[66] to prevent commemoration, in the wake of the Knesset’s 2009 approval of a preliminary Nakba Bill and the subsequent ratification of its amendment in 2011,[67] Nakba mediated output has emphasized collective mnemonics in spite of the “racist and dangerous law”[68] which seeks to “ban the commemoration of the Nakba”[69] and leads to “a worsening of [Israeli] denial of the Palestinian Nakba.”[70]

Contemporary marginalization is not solely deemed emblematic of Palestinians’ present-day status in Israel; rather, it is the foundational event creating this involuntary minority that spawns the conception of the Nakba as an analogy for subsequent marginalization, or a present continuous Nakba. Indeed, anniversarial Nakba mediation in Kul al-Arab does not conceive of the Nakba as a past event, but rather as “an ongoing Nakba,” since, as one article put it in 2010, al-Nakbah mā zālāt mustamirah [Ar. the Nakba does not stop continuing].[71] Apart from emphasizing “racist discrimination and apartheid,”[72] and “the [geopolitical] division of the Palestinian people into five groups,”[73] materialization of the continuous Nakba is principally found in Israeli land confiscation policies and contemporary Palestinian displacement inside the 1948 borders. Although media dedicated to present-day Palestinian displacement at the hands of the Israelis can be identified from the late 1990s onwards,[74] it is only a decade later that it is explicitly placed in the context of an ongoing Nakba, itself an outcome of what is termed the “ongoing Zionist project.”[75] Following the concept of a Zionist transfer policy,[76] this project, which is equated with the “Judaization of the land” and “the ethnic cleansing [of Palestinians],” is deemed perceivable in contemporaneous house demolitions “under the pretext of illegal construction,” the Judaization of East Jerusalem and the failure to implement UN resolution 194.[77] Indicative of the historical implementation of policies which enable these practices, including the designation of “open landscape areas”[78] in East Jerusalem following the adoption of the 1980 Basic Law,[79] materializations of the ongoing Nakba are identified year-on-year, albeit in a contemporary context.[80] In 2012, a Kul al-Arab article invoking a speech by the party leader of Balad [Ar. country or land], MK Jamal Zahalka, noted that “Israel continues the war it began in 1948 [which sought] to plunder the land of the homeland” with reference to a “series of racist confiscation laws [recently] passed by the Knesset under the Netanyahu government.”[81] A year later, a report on the displacement of 14,000 (Bedouin) Palestinians and the destruction of 2,000 homes in the Negev was considered an indication of “ongoing Israeli policies [aimed] at uprooting Palestinians from their land to this day.”[82]

Mobilizing the Past: Nakba Mediation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank

Beyond conceiving of the Nakba as an interpretative framework, emblematic of today’s occupied and annexed state, Nakba anniversarial mediation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has taken on a retrospective analogical role to illustrate the occupied/annexed fate of the Palestinian majority in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.[83] Symbolizing both the emergence of nationalist goals and, through the Nakba’s continued presence, a necessary adherence to their objectives in mnemonic activities, Nakba mediation has become a primary means of expressing Palestinian national concerns and goals. Chief among these nationalist aims are implementing the right of return, challenging the ongoing Israeli occupation and the illegal dispossession of land earmarked for the Palestinian state in the Oslo Accords and, in addition to this, advancing the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.[84] Contemporary politics seek to contextualize the need for these nationalist objectives—a necessity which is further exemplified by recurrent employment of the symbolically-charged terminology of tamasuk [Ar. holding on] and umūd [Ar. steadfastness]. As such, amid the Oslo Accords, adherence to the right of return is stressed by opposition parties, as seen in an April 1994 Al-Quds interview with the general director of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), Nayef Hawatmeh. In line with the party’s perception of the Oslo Accords as a surrendering of Palestinian rights, the article criticizes the absence of any meaningful discussion concerning the “sacred right of return [which] is fixed according to UN Resolution 194 [1948] and in Resolution 237 [1967].” In order to “restart negotiations and rebuild the [peace] process,” Hawatmeh therefore calls for a safeguarding of “the return of the displaced without pre-conditions.”[85]

While what the Palestinian historian Abdul Latif Tibawi termed an “Arab Zionism”,[86] can be identified in subsequent years, including in pictures of keys as an ever-present reminder of sanaʻūd [Ar. we will return],[87] explicit criticism of the PLO and, subsequently, the PA’s handling of the refugee problem is practically non-existent.[88] Studies conducted on freedom of expression in Palestinian press, including (semi-)independent and wholly-owned outlets by the PA, demonstrate that despite the absence of censorship regulations as they existed until 1994,[89] the PA has exercised its own form of control over media institutions.[90] The encouragement of self-censorship through a carrot and stick policy and the existence of overt, external censorship through detaining journalists and withdrawing publication licenses even led a 2000 Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) report to claim that the “censorship, intimidation, and arbitrary arrests of Palestinian journalists that marked full-fledged Israeli occupation are now practiced by Palestinian president Yasser Arafat and his coterie.”[91] The existence of censorship practices is evident in Nakba meditation on the right of return. Although articles published in the aftermath of the Oslo Accords firmly reject “all solutions that do not provide the right of return to four million refugees”[92] and any negotiations and wavering of this “sacred right”[93] based on any “statute of limitations,”[94] the PA’s own negotiations on this right are not mentioned. Even in the wake of Al Jazeera’s publication of the Palestine Papers,[95] responsibility for “the perpetuating of the Nakba”[96] through the existence of the refugee problem, according to the PA’s chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, needs to be firmly placed with Israel and the international community, and his claim of a sole “solution to the refugee issue based on UN resolution 194”[97] goes wholly unchallenged.

The allusion to the international community alongside Israel, as seen above, should not infer that the international community is deemed equally accountable for the existence and perpetuation of Palestinians’ national problems. Indeed, while articles published on Nakba Day note that the anniversary is welcomed as a means of reminding the world “of the historical injustice inflicted upon our people”[98] and to demand “the world’s commitment to international law,”[99] it is Israel that is chiefly held responsible for “challenging international laws, regulations, treaties and the will of the international community.”[100] Beyond the “continuous occupation” which, according to President mahmoud

Figure 1.2. The key and the dream of a return

Al-Quds, May 14, 2001

al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 2005

al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2008

al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2012

“Returning to Haifa.” Al-Quds Online, May 15, 2016

“We will return.” Al-Quds Online, May 14, 2016

Mahmoud Abbas in 2008, characterizes “the permanent Nakba,”[101] land confiscation is deemed the principal defiance of international law and of “individual and collective [Palestinian] rights.”[102] In response to the maintenance of settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in line with Netanyahu’s 1997 ‘Allon Plus Plan’[103] and the concurrent implementation of a secret plan by the Israeli Civil Administration to dedicate ten percent of the West Bank to further settlements,[104] annual Nakba mediation since the mid-90s has consistently proclaimed “the destruction of the two-state solution.”[105] Deriving from “Zionist colonial aggression,”[106] the destruction of the peace process is principally characterized by the  “continuation of the settlement policy,”[107] “the Judaization of East Jerusalem,”[108] and, since 2003, “the racist separation wall.”[109]

In order to confront “these serious challenges [to] our national project and the goals of people [to live] in freedom and independence,”[110] Nakba mediated output has sought reinforcement of, and adherence to, the so-called “fixed national principles,”[111] which dictate “no peace or security or stability unless the Palestinian refugee issue is resolved based on resolution 194; return, self-determination and establishment of the [Palestinian] state.”[112] In addition to participation in mnemonic activities to “show national anger,”[113] loyalty to these principles is advocated through holding on [Ar. tamasuk ] to the land in spite of “incursions into Palestinian territories”[114] and, at times, hailing violent confrontations with “occupation forces.”[115] In the latter context, it is worth noting that in al-Hayat al-Jadida’s 2000 Nakba Day black and white edition, the blood of a “martyr who died in [Nakba Day] clashes at Qalqilya” did appear in color on the front page; thereby suggesting that the “confrontation with occupation soldiers to stress their commitment to the right of return and refuse nationalization projects” validates an interruption in the commemorative mediation.[116] Importantly, glorification of violent confrontations prior and subsequent to the Al-Aqsa Intifada—deemed a renewal of the “people’s allegiance [to the land] with blood”[117]—also indicates that existent mobilization efforts in Nakba meditation do not necessarily only coincide with times of increased violence or heightened political strife.[118]

Figure 1.3. Holding on to the ‘national goals

“The remaining Palestinian people [held captive by] settlements.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 1998

al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2000

Crucially, the achievement of the “fixed national interests” is not solely dependent on a demonstrative social mobilization on Nakba Day, but also on the existence of national political unity.[119] Repeated calls in Nakba media output seeking “unity among all political factions” can be traced to two distinct periods: In the wake of the 1993 Oslo I Accord and, more consistently, following the outbreak of what Joel S. Migdal termed “a Palestinian civil war” between Hamas and Fatah in 2006/7.[120] In the period under examination, the advancement of a “national unity” and “true solidarity” in Nakba mediation forms a mirror into the domestic Palestinian political landscape.[121] As such, while in the period following the 1993 Oslo Accords, editorials and news articles stress the creation of “unity among all Palestinian factions [in] the ongoing negotiations”[122] and the “solidification of the work of the PLO to strengthen the unity of our people,”[123] the rift between Fatah and Hamas prompted calls for “national unity [through] political reconciliation.”[124] Yet, despite the difference in timing and in political objectives, both in the aftermath of Oslo and subsequent to the various reconciliatory attempts between Hamas and Fatah,[125] advancement of domestic political unity within Nakba mediation must be understood as a clear engagement with its neighbors. Moving from the political consolidation of the PLO in the 1990s to the pursuit of a new Palestinian unity government from the late 2000s onwards, Nakba mediation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank thus forms a continual explicit negation of Israel’s “no partner for peace narrative,”[126] all the while holding on to “the supreme interest of our people and their national cause.”[127]

Concluding Remarks

In the build-up to the 50th anniversary to the Nakba, Palestinian media on both sides of the Green Line collectively turned their attention to the past. Bolstered by the post-Oslo media landscape in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and, inside the 1948 borders, the perceived capitulation of Oslo, Nakba anniversarial mediation became a means of expressing the communities’ concerns in coherence with the readerships’ cadres sociaux. The commemorative prompts identified within Palestinian media, which originated during the 1998 anniversary, moreover, both testify to the media’s heightened role as an agent of transgenerational transmission and equally reveal usage of Nakba mediation as a form of ‘commemorative mobilization’.

Forming the inverse of Israeli-dictated mediation in the wake of the 1948 and 1967 War, post-Oslo media for and by Palestinians reflects the communities’ relations with Israeli hegemony. Demonstrative of its readership’s principal concerns, Kul al-Arab has presented the Nakba as an interpretative framework for contemporary grievances resulting from Palestinians’ status as an involuntary minority in Israel. As such, within anniversarial mediation, the Nakba as a continuous present does not simply signify the historical fate of internal refugees, but furthermore is considered the foundational event which generated the marginalization experienced at the hands of the majority. In addition to legislative attempts by far-right Israeli groups to thwart Nakba commemoration, which culminated in the 2009 Nakba Bill, the ongoing Nakba is presented in the framework of a continuous Judaization of Palestinian land. Considered symptomatic of the Zionist transfer policy, Nakba media output thus presents “the ethnic cleansing” [128] of Palestine both as an outcome of the continued implementation of pre-Oslo legislation and the introduction of new laws, including the 2009 Land Administration Law which allows refugees’ land to be sold off to private investors and placed beyond future restitution claims.

Nakba anniversarial mediation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, similarly to inside the 1948 borders, illustrates the Palestinians’ particularistic relations with Israeli hegemony, shedding light on the majority’s occupied/annexed fate. Application of the Nakba as an interpretative framework and, simultaneously, an analogical tool testifies to the mediated expression of what McQuail defined as national goals. Through repeated usage of previously censored symbolic terminology, the readership of the semi-independent Al-Quds and the PA’s mouthpiece, Al-Hayat al-Jadida, is admonished to adhere to these national objectives, which call for an end to “the permanent Nakba”[129] through a resolution to the refugee problem, the right of self-determination and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Yet, invocation of the so-called fixed national principles, as expressed in the publication of (semi)political mnemonic reminders, is not only meant to advance collective adherence to national objectives but, importantly, seeks to challenge the main actor deemed responsible for their suspension: Israel. Charged with the destruction of the two-state solution through repeated and, as revealed in 2012, clandestine settlement incursion into the Palestinian state to-be, Nakba mediated output has consequently become a realm of collective social mobilization against ‘the Zionist entity’, albeit one that does not deviate from the politically-accepted discourse of the PA. A comprehensive metaphor for the effects of ‘Zionist colonial aggression’ and its ongoing implications for daily Palestinian life, Nakba media output has therefore come to embody all Palestinian suffering—by refugees and non-refugees alike—at the hands of the Israelis­.

[1] The outbreak of the international war occurred on May 15, 1948. On this date, one day after the Israeli Declaration of Independence, the ongoing civil war transformed into an international conflict with the combined invasion of Palestine by Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, and Syria, together with forces from Iraq.

[2] The Nakba not only represents the loss of “the homeland” as a result of the 1948 War, but also, as Ahmed Sa’di points out, “the disintegration of society, the frustration of national aspirations, and the beginning of a hasty process of destruction of their culture.” Ahmad H. Sa’di, “Catastrophe, memory and identity: Al-Nakbah as a component of Palestinian identity,” Israel Studies 7:2 (2002): 175.

[3] Although few academic studies have been conducted on reading habits and consumption patterns of (online) Arabic newspapers in Israel, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank, readership surveys have been held by various polling institutes, including the I’lam Centre for Research of Arabic Media and the Palestinian Central Bureau for Statics (PCBS). Polls conducted inside Israel consistently have found that the commercial weekly newspaper Kul al-Arab has remained the most popular newspapers since its founding, with 29.5 percent of respondents in a 2011 survey preferring it over the other two major weekly newspapers, al-Sinnārah and Panorama. Figures on newspaper circulation in East Jerusalem and Ramallah are more difficult to verify, as polling among media consumers is infrequent and estimates by newspaper staff are notoriously high. Thus, al-Quds, founded in 1951, according to its publishers distributes 50,000 copies daily; however, media observers and polls conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau for Statistics have called this claim into question, stating that the level does not exceed 30,000 copies. Despite this discrepancy, since the late 1980s, al-Quds, which is distributed widely in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem, has been the paper with the highest circulation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. A 2002 survey held in the Palestinian Territories found that 81.1 of respondents preferred Al-Quds, far outnumbering al-Hayat al-Jadida (4.8 percent). Indeed, al-Hayat al-Jadida, which is wholly owned and funded by the PA and, since 1997 has kept most of the staff on its payroll, is the least popular ‘major’ newspaper. Research conducted by Nibal Thawabteh puts the circulation numbers at approximately 7,000 copies, 3,000 less than the publishers claim. Despite these low numbers, al-Hayat al-Jadida does enjoy a remarkable reception in certain areas of the West Bank, including in the governorates of Hebron, Jenin, and Tulkarem and in the ministries and government organizations in Ramallah.

 

There is also a lack of reliable figures on online news consumption by the Palestinian community inside the 1948 borders, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank and electronic media consumption’s evolvement in the time period under review. Nevertheless, an article published by Haaretz in 2008 noted that 45,000 people a day visit the Kul al-Arab website, making it the second most popular site after panet.com, which is linked to the Arabic newspaper Panorama. While concrete insight into electronic media consumption in the Palestinian Territories and East Jerusalem does not exist, statistics published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in 2014 indicate that 35.7 percent of persons (10 years and over) use the internet (54.5 percent in the West Bank) to read online newspapers, magazines or electronic books. Nathan Lipson and Maayan Cohen, “Google Trends presents a very different picture of the popularity of Israeli Websites,” Haaretz, June 23, 2008, accessed August 16, 2017, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/business/ynet-is-the-leading-israeli-internet-portal-1.248301; PCBS, Percentage Distribution of Persons (10 Years and Over) Who Use Computer by Internet Use and Selected Background Characteristics (PCBS, 2014); PCBS, Percentage of Persons (10 Years and Over) in the Palestine Who Use the Internet by Purpose of Use (PCBS, 2014); Dan Caspi and Mustafa Kabaha, The Palestinian Arab in/outsiders : media and conflict in Israel (Vallentine Mitchell, London/Portland, 2011), 64, 202; Jamal Amal, The Arab Public Sphere in Israel : Media Space and Cultural Resistance (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009), 83; Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Mass Media Survey 2000 – Main Findings (PCBS, 2000), 22.

[4] Carolyn Kitch, “Placing journalism inside memory – and memory studies,” Memory Studies 1 (2008): 313; Marita Sturken, “Memory, Consumerism and Media: Reflections on the Emergence of the Field,” Memory Studies 1 (2008): 73.

[5] José van Dijck, Mediated Memories in the Digital Age (Stanford University Press: Stanford, 2007), 21.

[6] In the case of commercial media, the assumption is that mediated messages reach a mass audience or at least are intended to appeal to a mass audience in order to maximize profit and influence. Public service media similarly can be assumed to represent broadly shared social values and understandings, albeit potentially somewhat more elite driven than in commercial systems, and to seek a mass audience as a requirement of their funding with taxpayer or ratepayer support. Jill A. Edy, “Collective Memory in a Post-Broadcast World,” in Journalism and Memory, ed. Barbie Zelizer and Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 67.

[7] According to Joseph Turow, “research on the production and dissemination of mass media messages requires seeing organizations and industries as creators of meaning.” Joseph Turow, “The Challenge of Inference in Interinstitutional Research on Mass Communication,” Communication Research 18:2 (1991): 224.

[8] David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 198.

[9] Eyal Zandberg, “The right to tell the (right) story: journalism, authority and memory,” Media, Culture & Society 32:1 (2010): 6.

[10] Kitch, “Placing,” 312.

[11] Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt, “Journalism as an agent of prospective memory,” in Journalism and Memory, ed. Barbie Zelizer and Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 213.

[12] Dan Caspi and Nelly Elias, “Don’t patronize me: media-by and media for minorities,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 34:1 (2011): 62-82.

[13] Denis McQuail argues that the mediated expression of national goals is a part of what he defines as the developmental media model. The developmental model is found chiefly in developing countries, particularly in new states in Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia created after the Second World War. According to this model, the media are expected to facilitate the advancement of declared national goals, with most emphasis on unifying the nation and promoting social integration. Denis McQuail, Mass communication theory (Sage Publications, 2000), 155.

[14] Readership across these borders does exist. According to a 2002 PCBS report, Kul al-Arab is also read frequently in the West Bank, with 68.8 percent of respondents claiming to read it. Moreover, findings revealed that in Gaza, 44.6 percent aged 18 and over read al-Quds, while only 1.9 percent read Kul al-Arab. 25.4 percent of Gazan inhabitants claimed to read al-Hayat al-Jadida; nevertheless, these numbers cannot be considered indicative of trends following Hamas’ takeover of Gaza in 2007. PCBS, Mass Media Survey 2000 – Main Findings (PCBS, 2002), 75.

[15] Caspi and Kabaha, Palestinian, 15.

[16] This media was also designed for Jewish immigrants from Muslim countries. Thus, al-Waan [Ar. the homeland], appeared on behalf of Mapai (1952-3) and was directed mainly at new immigrants from Arabic-speaking countries. Arabic newspapers such as alWaan suffered from a short lifespan if only because they were perceived as an exigency, stemming from the need to communicate with new immigrants from Arabic-speaking countries in their own language, “the language of the enemy.” Hanna Adoni, Dan Caspi and Akiva Cohen, Media, minorities and hybrid identities: The Arab and Russian communities in Israel (Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press, 2006),, 60.

[17] Caspi and Kabaha, Palestinian, 79/80.

[18]  The 1933 Ordinance empowered the Israeli government to shut down a newspaper if it was deemed detrimental to public interest, while Regulation 95 of the Defense Regulations enabled the administration to refuse to grant a license for the publication of a newspaper without giving any reason for its decision. Oren Soffer, Mass Communication in Israel: Nationalism, Globalization, and Segmentation (Berghahn Books: New York; London, 2015), 40, 41.

[19] Amal Jamal, “Mechanisms of Governmentality and Constructing Hollow Citizenship: Arab Palestinians in Israel,” in Israel and its Palestinian Citizens: Ethnic Privileges in the Jewish State, ed. Nadim N. Rouhana and Sahar S. Huneidi (Cambridge University Press, 2017), 176, 177; Caspi and Kabaha, Palestinian, 145.

[20] Orayb Najjar, “Power and the Palestinian Press: Israeli Censorship on the West Bank, 1967-1991,” (PhD diss., Indiana University, 1992), 95, 96; Article 19, Journalism under occupation Israel’s regulation of the Palestinian press (New York: Committee to Protect Journalists, 1988), 24, 25.

[21] Wael Abdelal, Hamas and the Media: Politics and Strategy (Routledge, 2016), 34; Najjar, “Power,” 87.

[22] Khalil Rinnawi and Hillel Nossek differentiate between three different modes of censorship: I) The external mode, which refers to censorship implemented through written laws, regulations or other legal and formal tools; II) The consensual mode, which concerns various permanent or ad hoc agreements and arrangements between government or other bodies and the media, and whose aim is to prevent the publication of damaging material without needing to resort to legal means and without imposing the burden of responsibility solely on the media, and III) The self-internal mode, referring to the form of voluntarily applied censorship that the media impose on themselves. It is clear that in this case the external mode was applied. Hillel Nossek and Khalil Rinnawi, “Censorship and Freedom of the Press Under Changing Political Regimes: Palestinian Media from Israeli Occupation to the Palestinian Authority,” Gazette 65 (2003): 184.

[23] After the 1967 War, the Israeli military government in Nablus informed all printers in the city that it was forbidden to print any text containing the word ‘Palestine’, regardless of the text’s content. Najjar, “Power,” 274/5; Meron Benvenisti, Israeli Censorship on Arab Publication (New York: Fund for Free Expression, 1983), 1.

[24] Benvenisti, Israeli, 44; Radwan Abu Ayyash, Head of the Arab Journalists’ Association in the occupied territories, quoted by Ori Nir in Haaretz, August 29, 1986.

[25] Najjar, “Power,” 170. For further information on censorship in action, see: Article 19, Cry for Change: Israeli Censorship in the Occupied Territories (London: Library Association Publishing, 1992); B’Tselem, Censorship of the Palestinian press in East Jerusalem (B’Tselem, 1990), 17-26; Article 19, Journalism.

[26] Amahl Bishara, “New Media and Political Change in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Assembling Media Worlds and Cultivating Networks of Care,” Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 3:1 (2010): 67; Benvenisti, Israeli, 38-9.

[27] The 1980 amendment of the 1948 ‘Prevention of Terrorism Act’, known as the Tamir Law, made it a criminal offense for anyone to “publish, in writing or orally, words of praise or sympathy for, or an appeal for aid or support of, a terrorist organization.” While not explicitly defined, the amendment, Orayb Najjar contends, was aimed at the PLO and any publication using PLO discourse. In 1986, the Israeli government passed another amendment, making it illegal to contact officials of “terrorist organizations.” Najjar, “Power,” 146.

[28] In addition to censoring texts written by authority figures and the periodical suspension of distribution permits, Al-Quds’ editors were placed under administrative detention or given deportation orders. Najjar, “Power,” 163.

[29] In this context, it is worth noting that Saeb Erekat, a key Fatah leader and deputy head of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid conference, served on the editorial board of Al-Quds from 1982-1994.

[30] Readers’ appreciation of the newly founded commercial press was clearly articulated. Thus, while the organ of the communist party al-Ittiḥād retained its four-digit circulation, weekly circulation of Kul al-Arab in the late 1980s ranged from 30,000 to 35,000 copies. Adoni, Caspi and Cohen, Media, 62.

[31] Margaret Gibson and John U. Ogbu, Minority status and schooling; a comparative study of immigrant and involuntary minorities (New York, London, 1991).

[32] Samih al-Qasim cited in the New York Times. Clyde Haberman, “Israeli Arabs Say P.L.O. Pact Is a Path to First-Class Status,” New York Times, November 24, 1993, accessed August 16, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/1993/11/24/world/israeli-arabs-say-plo-pact-is-a-path-to-first-class-status.html?sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1.

[33] Amal Jamal, The Arab public sphere in Israel: media space and cultural resistance (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009), 1, 4, 5; Adoni, Caspi and Cohen, Media, 62, 163.

[34] Jamal, Arab, 1.

[35] Yasser Arafat inaugurated an official Nakba Day [Ar. Yawm al-Nakbah] on May 15, 1998.

[36] Interview conducted with Wadiah Awadah on July 13 and 15, 2016. The collection of these narratives was published in the following book: Wadiah Awadah, Memory that does not die: Eyewitness open their hearts to talk about what happened to them in 1948 – the year of the Nakba (ADRID, Haifa, 2000) [in Arabic].

[37] Daniel Dayan and Elihu Katz, Media events: The live broadcasting of history (Harvard University Press, 1992), 5.

[38] Ahmad Qariya, “Lessons of the 50th anniversary and options for the future,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 12, 1998, 5.

[39] Hussein Suweitee, “The expellees,” Kul al-Arab, May 15, 1998, 2, 3.

[40] Mohammed al-Rahmihi, “The main challenges after 50 years of Nakba,” Al-Quds, May 2, 1998, 15.

[41] Suweitee, “Expellees,” 2, 3.

[42] Maurice Halbwachs, evidencing the influence of his teacher, the social theorist Émile Durkheim, argued that group membership ­– as a social milieu – provides the materials for memory and prods individuals into recalling certain events, including those that have never been experienced in a direct sense. Émile Durkheim, “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life,” in The Collective Memory Reader, ed. Jeffrey K. Olick, Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi, and Daniel Levy (New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 136; Maurice Halbwachs, On Collective Memory, trans. Lewis A. Coser (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1992), 40.

[43] For the adoption of this model in ensuing years, see: Samih al-Qasim, “1948…The storm talks…basil hushes,” Kul al-Arab, May 15, 1998, 4, 5; Wadiah Awadah, “Jaffa that was,” Kul al-Arab, May 15, 1998, 10, 11 (on internal refugees’ fate). For examples of stories invoking West Bank refugees, see: Anonymous, “The march and the meaning,” Al-Quds, May 14, 1998, 13; Rumur Sharur, “Abu al-Adeen al-Damouni refuses [giving up] the name of [his original] village,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2000, 7; AFP, “Dheisheh refugees commemorate the Nakba in the villages from which they were expelled,” Al-Quds, May 18. 2000, 7; Anonymous, “The 66th anniversary of the Nakba and the bitterness of genocide and displacement,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 2014, 14; Abdul Rahman Yunis, “The refugee Mrs. al-Lahham: If we had known we would become refugees, we would not have left our villages,” Al-Quds Online, May 18, 2016, accessed April 19, 2017, http://www.alquds.com/articles/146355753444634 /0200/.

[44]  The pre-1998 commemorative mediated exceptions include: Anonymous, “Today the anniversary of the 15th of May,” Al-Quds, May 15, 1996, front page; Hafez al-Barghouti, “Our life,” Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 1997, 20; Hassan al-Kashif, “Remembering,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 1997, 20.

[45] See: Anonymous, “On the 50th anniversary of the Nakba,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 1998, front page; Hussein Suweitee, “50 years since the Nakba, 50 years of struggle,” Kul al-Arab, May 15, 1998, front page; Wafa, “In order for our people and the world not to forget the Palestinian Nakba,” Al-Quds, May 15, 1998, front page.

[46] Anonymous, “Announcement by the legislative council on the 50th anniversary of the Nakba” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 13, 1998, 2.

[47] It is worth noting that Kul al-Arab has placed commemorative reminders by the High Follow-Up Committee, an extra-parliamentary organization that represents Palestinian citizens of Israel. For an example, see: Anonymous, “The High Follow-up Committee calls for wide participation in Nakba commemoration activities and the March of Return,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 10, 2016, accessed August 17, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/746379.

[48] These include political parties which are part of the PLO’s umbrella organization, such as the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PDFLP), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), in addition to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, the Union of Farmers and Agricultural Collectives, and the National Committee for the Commemoration of the Nakba. For examples, see: Anonymous, “Call upon our people to commemorate the 52nd Nakba anniversary,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 13, 2000, front page; Lama Qandeel, “The national commemoration committee for the commemoration of the Nakba of 60th anniversary announces its program in the country and the diaspora,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, April 14, 2008, 9; Anonymous, “On the 62nd anniversary of the Nakba we stick to the land and there is no alternative to return. Announcement by the PLO, the Higher Committee for Nakba Commemoration, Refugee Affairs Department,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 2010, 12; Anonymous, “The president on the anniversary of the Nakba: Palestinians do not forget….and will not forget,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2016, front page. Anonymous, “The national committee for the commemoration of the Nakba calls for broad participation in Nakba activities,” Al-Quds Online, May 14, 2016, accessed April 19, 2017, http://www.alquds.com/articles/1463231183412484000/.

[49] Jonathan Schanzer, Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine (Palgrave Macmillan: 2008), 26.

[50] Anonymous, “The PLO on the anniversary of the Nakba: The struggle for freedom and independence continues,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2012, 6.

[51] Khalid Amar, “A festival in Ramallah commemorates the anniversary of the Deir Yassin massacre,” Al-Quds, April 10, 1995, 2.

[52] Hassan al-Kashif, “Remembering,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 1997, 20.

[53] Hafez al-Barghouti, “Our life,” Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 1997, 20. For calls on the media to expose the public to the Nakba see: Nanal Musa, “The committee for commemoration of the Nakba calls on the international community to take responsibility,” Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 2005, 4; Ibrahim Alama, “The memory of the pride of the past….celebration of the future: A conversation with Samih al-Qasim,” Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2008, 8 (supplement on the Nakba); Nufud al-Bakri, “Sticking to the right of return based on international resolutions and activating diplomatic, media and academic works to address the refugee issue,” Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2012, 6; Anonymous, “Extensive preparations in all of the governorates of the homeland for the commemoration of the Nakba tomorrow,” Al-Quds, May 14, 2001, 5.

[54] Interview conducted with Omar Hilmi al-Ghoul on August 15 and 16, 2016 via email.

[55] Al-Kashif wrote that the passing of “grandparents [as] the best, most honest and most convincing storytellers [who] etched the entire story in the memory of the descendants” meant that “it is the duty of all media devices [including] newspapers” to “evoke [the Nakba] until its memory becomes a collective and unified one of the people.” Hassan al-Kashif, “Remembering,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 1997, 20.

[56] Interview conducted with Wadiah Awadah on July 13 and 15, 2016. Awadah, in his own words, belongs to a family where the Nakba had a profound impact as his grandfather was displaced to Jordan.

[57] The ability to focus on the Nakba extensively, as Awadah admits, also resulted from the interests of the contemporary editor, al-Qasim, for whom the Nakba constituted his “first images.” Interview conducted with Wadiah Awadah on July 13 and 15, 2016; Mahmoud Darwish, Samih al-Qasim and Abdullah Udhari, Victims of a map: A bilingual anthology of Arabic poetry (London: Saqi, 2005), 50; Caspi and Kabaha, Palestinian, 119.

[58] For editorials calling for educational transmission of the Nakba see: Anonymous, “Towards a better awareness on the anniversary of the Nakba,” Al-Quds Online, April 21, 2015, accessed April 19, 2017, http://www.alquds.com/articles/1429595927270852900/. For commemorative activities for children, see: Anonymous, “The cultural forum center in Bidu village organizes a massive rally in commemoration of the Nakba,”  Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 10, 2008, 5. For calls on Arab and international media sources to participate in efforts to collect testimonies of Palestinian refugees, see: Al-Quds Online, “Ministry of Information: The suffering of our refugees gives evidence of the biggest political crime by Britain and the occupation [Israel],” Al-Quds Online, May 15, 2016, accessed April 19, 2017, http://www.alquds.com/articles/1463302629997788600/.

[59] Life expectancy at birth for Palestinians born between 1939-1941 was approximately 47 years. Jacob Metzer, The Divided Economy for Mandatory Palestine (Cambridge University Press: 1998), 45.

[60] Efrat Ben-Ze’ev, Remembering Palestine in 1948: beyond national narratives (New York; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 2.

[61] Nader al-Qasir, “Generations that lived through the Nakba are departing and the new generations are holding more firmly to the right of return and the national principles,” Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2012, 7. For other refugees calling for transgenerational transmission, see: Supplement, Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2007, 16; Abdul Rahman Yunis, “The refugee Mrs. al-Lahham: If we had known we would become refugees, we would not have left our villages,” Al-Quds Online, May 18, 2016, accessed April 19, 2017, http://www.alquds.com/articles/146355753444634 /0200; Muhasin Nassar, Mohammed Wattad and Rallib Qiwan, “General strikes among student groups creating high tensions in the country’s universities,” Kul al-Arab, May 16, 2008, 8; Supplement, Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2007, 16.

[62] Adoni, Caspi and Cohen, Media, 5.

[63] For an analysis of the presentation of the 1948 War in Israeli textbooks, see: Grace Wermenbol, “A Battlefield of Memory: The Holocaust and the Nakba as Exclusive Victimhood Narratives,” (PhD diss., University of Oxford, forthcoming), Chapter one.

[64] Hussein Suweitee, “The expellees,” Kul al-Arab, May 15, 1998, 2,3. More explicit criticism of the education in the so-called ‘Israeli-Arab sector’ followed the removal of the word Nakba from textbooks in 2009 which, according to one editorial, was indicative of the “discrimination” suffered by “Israeli Arabs.” Anonymous, “Nakba removed from textbooks,” Kul al-Arab, July 23, 2009, accessed July 10, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/154553.

[65] Gil Stern Hoffman, “Ayre Eldad to head new secular right party,” Jerusalem Post, November 20, 2007, accessed July 10, 2017, http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Arye-Eldad-to-head-new-secular-Right-party; Shay Fogelman, “Port in a storm,” Haaretz, June 3, 2011, accessed July 10, 2017, http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/port-in-a-storm-1.365729.

[66] Im Tirzu [Heb. If you will], invoking Theodor Herzl’s famous statement “If you will, it is not a dream,” indicates in its mission statement that it works “on behalf of Zionism and Jewish democratic values,” while seeking to unmask and expose “various threats to Zionism and Israel. Five years after its founding, in May 2011, Im Tirtzu launched a campaigned entitled ‘Nakba Nonsense’ which conceived of the Nakba as a “lie that threatens to drown us like a tsunami.” Ben Hartman and Lahav Harkov, “Im Tirtzu launches campaign against ‘myths’ of the Nakba,” Jerusalem Post, May 13, 2011, accessed July 10, 2017,  http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Im-Tirtzu-launches-campaign-against-myths-of-the-Nakba; “About us,” Im Tirtzu, accessed July 10, 2017, https://imti.org.il/en/about-us/movement/.

[67] According to the amended law, the minister of finance is authorized to halt funding for organizations who support the commemoration the Nakba. Officially termed the Budget Foundations Law, it is more commonly known as the Nakba Law. Israeli state-funded organizations found guilty of violating the Nakba Bill can be fine dup to three times the sponsorship they previously received, with further penalties imposed for consistent breaches. Brendan Ciaran Browne, “Transitional Justice and the case of Palestine,” in Research Handbook on Transitional Justice, ed.  Cheryl Lawther, Luke Moffett and Dov Jacobs (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010), 503.

[68] Anonymous, “El-Sanah: Knesset’s decision on the first reading of the Nakba law reflects the failure of the Zionist movement,” Kul al-Arab, March 18, 2010, accessed March 7, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/265751.

[69] Anonymous, “Lieberman proposes to prevent Nakba commemoration,” Kul al-Arab, May 15, 2009, accessed March 7, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/137997.

[70] Anonymous, “Netanyahu: The revival of what they call the Nakba leads to incitement against Israel,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 18, 2014, accessed July 11, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/612265.

[71] Anonymous, “Zahalka in a protest rally in occupied Jerusalem: The Judaization of Jerusalem is the biggest Nakba,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 16, 2010, accessed July 11, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/300474. It should be noted that Kul al-Arab also mentions the ongoing hardship of refugee life in Gaza and the West Bank. For recent examples, see: Anonymous, “Archbishop Hanna in Ramallah: The Nakba is the reality in which we live and we will not give up a grain of soil of Palestinian soil,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 14, 2013, accessed March 6, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/534462; Mustafa Ibrahim, “The children of al-Shati and the Palestinian Nakba,”  Kul al-Arab Online, May 12, 2016, accessed March 6, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/746643.

[72] Walid Thahir, “The Nakba and the dream of return,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 26, 2013, accessed August 16, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/537058.

[73] These five groups are: The Palestinians of Jerusalem, the Palestinians inside Israel, the Palestinians in the West Bank, the Palestinians in Gaza, and the Palestinians in the diaspora. Ali Heidar, “Ongoing Nakba,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 14, 2013, accessed July 11, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/534410.

[74] Suweitee, “Expellees.”

[75] Abdul Anbatawi, “On the anniversary of the Nakba: The disaster continues in [our] existence and awareness,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 18, 2013, accessed March 6, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/535363. Also see: Farid Hassan, “67 years of the Nakba,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 16, 2015, accessed July 11, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/680650.

[76] According to historians such as Ilan Pappé and Nur Masalha, a Zionist consensus had come into existence during the late 1930s under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion which sought the transfer of the Palestinian population from Palestine to establish a Jewish homeland. See: Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of “Transfer” in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948 (Washington, D.C: Institute for Palestine studies, 1992); Ilan Pappé, ed., The Israel/Palestine Question (Routledge: London & New York, 1999), 190.

[77] Ahmed Natour, “The Nakba continues,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 2, 2015, accessed March 6, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/677910.

[78] In these open landscape areas, which constitute 40 percent of East Jerusalem, building is forbidden. According to B’Tselem, a human rights organization, the Jerusalem Municipality enforces the building laws on Palestinians much more stringently than on the Jewish population, even though the number of violations is much higher in the Jewish neighborhoods. B’Tselem, Discrimination in Planning, Building, and Land Expropriation (B’Tselem, 2011); Eyal Benvenisti, The International Law of Occupation (Oxford University Press: 2012), 205.

[79] In 1980, the Knesset adopted the Basic Law, declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel and merged East Jerusalem with West Jerusalem. The UN Security Council declared the law a violation of international law. John B. Quigley, The Case for Palestine: An International Law Perspective (Duke University Press: Durham & London, 2005), 172.

[80] For examples of articles discussing contemporary Nakba manifestations, see: Abu Wahib, “The Nakba continues,” Kul al-Arab Online, April 18, 2013, accessed July 11, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/528196; Anonymous, “The Naqab foundation: The crime of demolition in Atir, a new Nakba on the anniversary of the Nakba,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 16, 2013, accessed July 11, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/534910 (on Palestinian Bedouin displacement in the Negev).

[81] Anonymous, “Zahalka: During the Nakba Israel occupied the land with weapons and today [Israel does it] by legal measures,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 27, 2012, accessed March 6, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/461097. These laws include the Admissions Committee Law (2011) and the Israel Land Administration Law (2009). The latter allows land owned by the Palestinian refugees and internally‐displaced persons to be sold off to private investors and placed beyond future restitution claims. The former requires anyone seeking to move to any community in the Negev and Galilee regions with fewer than 400 families to obtain approval from committees consisting of town residents, a member of the Jewish Agency or the World Zionist Organization, and several others. The law empowers these committees to reject candidates who, among other things, “are not suitable to the community’s way of life” or “might harm the community’s fabric.” Adalah, New Discriminatory Laws and Bills in Israel (June 2011), 3-5.

[82] Anonymous, “From al-Araqib to Susiya: A short documentary on the anniversary of the Nakba calls for justice,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 15, 2013, accessed March 7, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/534646.

[83] In 2009, while the Palestinian population was estimated to be 275,900, the Israeli settler population of East Jerusalem was approximately 198,000. A year earlier, the West Bank settler population stood at 285,800 settlers, making up 14 percent of the Palestinian population (2,016,786 in 2008 in the West Bank). Michael Dumper, Jerusalem Unbound: Geography, History, and the Future of the Holy City (Columbia University Press: New York, 2014),143; PCBS, Estimated Population in the Palestinian Territory Mid-Year by Governorate,1997-2016 (PCBS, 2016); PCBS, Localities in Jerusalem Governorate by Type of Locality and Population Estimates, 2007-2016 (PCBS, 2016).

[84] For examples, see: Wafa, “In order for our people and the world not to forget the Palestinian Nakba,” Al-Quds, May 14, 1998, 1, 14; Anonymous, “Extensive preparations in all of the governorates of the homeland for the commemoration of the Nakba tomorrow,” Al-Quds, May 15, 2001, 5; Anonymous, “On the 62nd anniversary of the Nakba we stick to the land and there is no alternative to return. Announcement by the PLO, the Higher Committee for Nakba Commemoration, Refugee Affairs Department,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 2010, 12; Anonymous, “The national committee for the commemoration of the Nakba calls for broad participation in Nakba activities,” Al-Quds Online, May 14, 2016, accessed April 19, 2017, http://www.alquds.com/articles/1463231183412484000/.

[85] Rashid Hilal, “Nayif Hawatmeh: We move toward holding a national popular conference, return is a sacred right to Palestinians, we reject inter-Palestinian fighting,” Al-Quds, April 8, 1994, 4. For the DFLP’s conception of Oslo, see: Michael Bröning, Political Parties in Palestine: Leadership and Thought (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 177.

[86] Tibawi realized that there is “a striking similarity between present Arab [Palestinian] aspirations and emotions concerning ‘the return’ and those from which Zionism was born.” He called this feeling “New Zionism” that is, “Arab Zionism with the aim of returning to the [Palestinian] homeland.” Abdul Latif Tibawi, “The Palestine Arab Refugees in Arabic Poetry and Art.” Middle East Journal 17:5 (1963): 508, 509.

[87] Sa’di noted that the house key is also considered the last symbol of home and a reminder that before al-Nakba, Palestinians had a different life. Sa’di, “Catastrophe,” 181.

[88] For an exception, see: Tahir Taseer al-Masri, “The refugees and the right of return,” Al-Quds, April 10, 1996, 13. Al-Masri argues that the PA should introduce a ‘Right of Return’ law, which would allow refugees to return to a future Palestinian state.

[89] For further information on censorship in action in the post-1967 era, see: Article 19, Cry; B’Tselem, Censorship, 17-26; Najjar, “Power,” 95, 96; Article 19, Journalism, 24, 25

[90] Amahl Bishara, “New,” 63-81; Orayb Najjar, “The 1995 Palestinian press law: A comparative study,” Communication Law and Policy 2:1 (1997): 41-103.

[91] Cited in CPJ, Attacks on the Press 1999: Israel and the Occupied Territories (CPJ: 2000). In the aftermath of the PA’s closing of the PA-critical daily al-Nahār [Ar. the afternoon], known for its pro-Jordanian sympathies, on 28 July 1994, just three months after the authority was established, other newspapers, including Al-Quds, reduced coverage of opposition parties and dissenting viewpoints in its op-ed pages, leading Nigel Parsons to claim that it “was intimidated into taking a very pro-Arafat, if not pro-Fatah view.” When self-censorship has not been successfully implemented, as occurred in 1995, when Mahir al-Alami, an Al-Quds editor, failed to comply with a PA request to publish a flattering story and photo of Arafat, the PA resorted to externally-imposed censorship, by detaining al-Alami and temporarily withdrawing Al-Quds publishing license. Nigel Parsons, The Politics of the Palestinian Authority: From Oslo to Al-Aqsa (Routledge: New York & London, 2005), 174, 175.

[92] Wafa, “In order for our people and the world not to forget the Palestinian Nakba,” Al-Quds, May 14, 1998, 1, 14.

[93] Rashid Hilal, “Nayif Hawatmeh: We move toward holding a national popular conference, return is a sacred right to Palestinians, we reject inter-Palestinian fighting,” Al-Quds, April 8, 1994, 4.

[94] Atif Abu al-Rab, “Jenin, activities and marches stress the right of return,” Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2001, 6. Also see: Anonymous, “Announcement by the legislative council on the 50th anniversary of the Nakba,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 13, 1998.

[95] In 2001, the newspaper Al Jazeera published secret documents concerning Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations. These documents, which became known as the ‘Palestine Papers’, revealed the extent to which Palestinian negotiators had been willing to give up on the right of return to merely “a handful….symbolic number of returnees” of 10,000 to satisfy Palestinian public demand.  The publication of these documents was deemed further proof of the PA’s lack of true engagement with the refugee issue. These accusations, which the Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat refuted as “foundationless,” came in the wake of further incendiary reports on the PNA. In 2010, Wikileaks revealed cooperation between Arab leaders (including the PNA) and Israel during the wars in Gaza (2008), Lebanon (2006) and Iraq (2003) and what Khaldun Bshara refers to as “other ‘scandalous’ economic and military relations.” Khaldun A. M. Bshara, “Space and Memory: The Poetics and Politics of Home in the Palestinian Diaspora,” (PhD diss., University of California, Irvine, 2012), 162. For articles published by Al Jazeera on this topic, see: Anonymous, “PA selling sort the refugees,” Al Jazeera, January 25, 2011, accessed August 1, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/palestinepapers/2011/01/2011124123324887267.html. Also see: Amira Howeidy, “PA relinquished right of return,” Al Jazeera, January 24, 2011, accessed August 1, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/palestinepapers/2011/01/2011124121923486877.html.

[96] Anonymous, “The masses commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the Nakba,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2010, front page.

[97] Anonymous, “On the 62nd Nakba, declarations of the factions assure determination on the right of return,” Al-Quds, May 15, 2010, 3.

[98] Wafa, “A torchlit march to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the Nakba in Ramallah,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2014, 11.

[99] Anonymous, “On the 62nd Nakba [anniversary], declaration of the factions assures determination on the right of return,” Al-Quds, May 15, 2010, 3; Anonymous, “The masses commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the Nakba,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2010, front page.

[100] Lama Qandeel, “The national commemoration committee for the commemoration of the Nakba of 60th anniversary announces its program in the country and the diaspora,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, April 14, 2008, 9.

[101] Anonymous, “The president: It is time for the calamity called the Nakba of the Palestinian people to end,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 18, 2008, front page.

[102] Atif Abu al-Rab, “Jenin, activities and marches stress the right of return,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2001, 6.

[103] Netanyahu’s plan, bearing a similar title to the 1967 Allon Plan proposed by former Labor politician Yigal Allon, sought the annexation of 60 percent of the West Bank to Israel “for security reasons” and offered to hand over the remaining 40 percent to the PA. It should be noted that some scholars, such as Dov Waxman, considered this plan evidence of Netanyahu’s continuation of the peace process, as “he became the first Likud leader to publicly present a plan that called for an Israeli withdrawal from over half of the West Bank.” Dov Waxman, The Pursuit of Peace and the Crisis of Israeli Identity: Defending/Defining the Nation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), 131.

[104] In the plan, uncovered in 2012, a total of 569 parcels of land were marked out, encompassing around 155,000 acres. Since the late 1990s, 23 unauthorized outposts had been built on land included on the maps.  The maps also mark 81 sites in areas A and B – under Palestinian civil control – which indicates that the Civil Administration began identifying available land before the Oslo Accords. Akiva Eldar, “Israel Defense Ministry Plan Earmarks 10 Percent of West Bank for Settlement Expansion, Haaretz, March 30, 2012, accessed August 21, 2017, http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israel-defense-ministry-plan-earmarks-10-percent-of-west-bank-for-settlement-expansion-1.421589.

[105] Anonymous, “The president on the anniversary of the Nakba: Palestinians do not forget….and will not forget,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2016, front page.

[106] Natif Hawatmeh, “Nakba, Intifadah and resistance,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2001, 8.

[107] Anonymous, “The president on the anniversary of the Nakba: Palestinians do not forget….and will not forget,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2016, front page.

[108] Anonymous, “The PLO on the anniversary of the Nakba: The struggle for freedom and independence continues,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2012, 6;

[109] Anonymous, “The director of the Palestinian bureau of statistics,” Al-Quds, May 15, 2005, 12.

[110] Anonymous, “The PLO on the anniversary of the Nakba: The struggle for freedom and independence continues,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2012, 6.

[111] Anonymous, “The president: It is time for the calamity called the Nakba of the Palestinian people to end,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 18, 2008, front page.

[112] Anonymous, “The masses in our homeland and the diaspora commemorate the 57th anniversary of the Nakba,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2005, front page.

[113] Anonymous, “The two committees, the national and the subcommittee affirm the final program for the 60th Nakba [anniversary],” al-Hayat al-Jadida, April 5, 2008, 9.

[114] Staff editorial, “After 53 years, the features of the Nakba are present once again,” Al-Quds, May 15, 2001, 13; Anonymous, “Between the Nakba and the dawn of a new birth,” Al-Quds, May 14, 2001, 13.

[115] Anonymous, “National forces call to commemorate the Nakba with a large participation,” Al-Quds Online, April 23, 2016, accessed March 16, 2017, http://www.alquds.com/articles/146142750087623 /5500.

[116] Anonymous, “A martyr in Qalqilya and hundreds injured in a fire in Magidu [prison] and dozens of civilians injured in confrontations with occupation soldiers in Gaza, Qalqilya, Nablus and Ramallah,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2000, front page.

[117] For Munir Abu Razaq, “The people renew their allegiance with blood and the leader confirms the inevitability of victory,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2001, 6.

[118] Anonymous, “Our people commemorating the Nakba [led to] three martyrs and hundreds of injured,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2000, front page; Anonymous, “More than 70 injured in clashes in Bethlehem,”  al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2000, 5; Anonymous, “Dozens injured in clashes in Qalqilya,”  al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2000, 5; Anonymous, “Confrontations in Hebron and dozens of injured,”  al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2000, 5; Anonymous, “260 protesters were injured in confrontation in the Palestinian territories during Nakba marches,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 15, 2012, accessed May 5, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/458419.

[119] Nufud al-Bakri, “The DFLP calls for social mobilisation on the anniversary of the Nakba to defend the land,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 2000, 5.

[120] Joel S. Migdal, Shifting Sands: The United States in the Middle East (Columbia University Press: 2014), 351.

[121] Anonymous, “Announcement by the legislative council on the 50th anniversary of the Nakba” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 13, 1998, 2.

[122] Mustafa al-Rimawi, “Return is a sacred right to every expellee, there is a need for a Palestinian initiative to regain unity,” Al-Quds, April 6, 1994, 6. Also see: Rashid Hilaal, “Nayif Hawatmeh: We move toward holding a national popular conference, return is a sacred right to Palestinians, we reject inter-Palestinian fighting,” Al-Quds, April 8, 1994, 4.

[123] Anonymous, “General national body calls for broad participation in Nakba commemoration activities,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 13, 2000, 8.

[124] Anonymous, “The president: It is time for the calamity called the Nakba of the Palestinian people to end,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 18, 2008, front page.

[125] Instrumentalization of the Nakba’s anniversary to endow recent reconciliatory attempts, including the March 2008 Sana’a Declaration, the February 2012 Doha Agreement and the April 2014 Gaza Agreement, are principally voiced in al-Hayat al-Jadida by Fatah affiliates, including President Abbas and, from prison, by the political figure Marwan al-Barghouti. For examples, see: Anonymous, “The PLO on the anniversary of the Nakba: the struggle for freedom and independence continues,” al-Hayat al-Jadida,  May 15, 2012, 6; Anonymous, “In a statement on the occasion of the Nakba anniversary the captive leader Al-Barghouti [says]: we bless the reconciliation agreement and there is no partner in Israel,” al-Hayat al-Jadida,  May 15, 2014, 6; Nufud al-Bakri, “A meeting in Gaza demanding support for the right of return and the speedy completion of the reconciliation agreement,” al-Hayat al-Jadida,  May 15, 2014, 4.

[126] Raffaella A. Del Sarto, Israel Under Siege: The Politics of Insecurity and the Rise of the Israeli Neo-Revisionist Right (Georgetown University Press, Washington D.C.: 2017), 2, 35.

[127] Anonymous, “The PLO on the anniversary of the Nakba: The struggle for freedom and independence continues,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2012, 6.

[128] Ahmed Natour, “The Nakba continues,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 2, 2015, accessed March 6, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/677910.

[129] Anonymous, “The president: It is time for the calamity called the Nakba of the Palestinian people to end,” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 18, 2008, front page.

 

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Al-Bakri, Nufud. “The DFLP calls for social mobilisation on the anniversary of the Nakba to defend the land.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 2000.

Al-Barghouti, Hafez. “Our life.” Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 1997.

Al-Ghoul, Omar Hilmi. “Dancing to the drums of racism.” al-Hayat al-Jadida Online, December 26, 2015. Accessed April 19, 2017. http://www.alhaya.ps/ar_page.php?id=c87891y13138065Yc87891.

Al-Ghoul, Omar Hilmi. “Evoking the lessons of the Holocaust.” al-Hayat al-Jadida Online, May 8, 2015. Accessed April 19, 2017. http://www.alhaya.ps/ar_page.php?id=1496aaby21588651Y1496aab

Al-Ghoul, Omar Hilmi. “Holidays sticky with blood.” al-Hayat al-Jadida Online, October 5, 2015. Accessed April 19, 2017. http://www.alhaya.ps/ar_page.php?id=7d3763y8206179Y7d3763.

Al-Ghoul, Omar Hilmi. “Netanyahu and the Holocaust of history.” al-Hayat al-Jadida Online, October 22, 2015. Accessed April 20, 2017. http://www.alhaya.ps/ar_page.php?id=8c7f1ey9207582Y8c7f1e.

Al-Ghoul, Omar Hilmi. “No change to the initiative.” al-Hayat al-Jadida Online, May 29, 2016. Accessed April 20, 2017. http://www.alhaya.ps/ar_page.php?id=15bcd60y22793568Y15bcd60.

Al-Ghoul, Omar Hilmi. “The circle of Fascism is complete.” al-Hayat al-Jadida Online, March    31, 2016. Accessed April 21, 2017. http://www.alhaya.ps/ar_page.php?id=125e4bby19260603Y125e4bb.

Al-Jarwan, Seif Ali. “The Jews and [their] control of the media.” Al-Hayat al-Jadida, July 2, 1998.

Al-Kashif, Hassan. “Remembering.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 1997.

Al-Masri, Tahir Taseer. “The refugees and the right of return.” Al-Quds, April 10, 1996.

Al-Qasim, Samih. “1948…The storm talks….basil hushes,” Kul al-Arab, May 15, 1998.

Al-Qasir, Nader. “Generations that lived through the Nakba are departing and the new generations are holding more firmly to the right of return and the national principles.” Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2012.

Al-Quds Online. “Ministry of Information: The suffering of our refugees gives evidence of the biggest political crime by Britain and the occupation [Israel].” Al-Quds Online,          May 15, 2016. Accessed April 19, 2017. http://www.alquds.com/articles/1463302629997788600/.

Al-Quds Online. “[The number of] Palestinians has doubled nine times since the Nakba and more than one third of them are refugees. Al-Quds Online, May 15, 2016. Accessed April 19, 2017. http://www.alquds.com/articles/1463295797597400300/.

Al-Rahmihi, Mohammed, “The main challenges after 50 years of Nakba,” Al-Quds, May 2, 1998.

Al-Rab, Atif Abu. “Jenin, activities and marches stress the right of return.” Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2001.

Al-Rimawi, Mustafa. “Return is a sacred right to every expellee, there is a need for a    Palestinian initiative to regain unity.” Al-Quds, April 6, 1994.

Amar, Khalid. “A festival in Ramallah commemorates the anniversary of the Deir Yassin massacre.” Al-Quds, April 10, 1995.

Anbatawi, Abdul. “On the anniversary of the Nakba: The disaster continues in [our] existence and awareness.” Kul al-Arab Online, May 13, 2014. Accessed March 7, 2017. http://www.alarab.com/Article/610876.

Anonymous. “260 protesters were injured in confrontation in the Palestinian territories during Nakba marches.” Kul al-Arab Online, May 15, 2012. Accessed May 5, 2017. http://www.alarab.com/Article/458419.

Anonymous. “Abbas in a speech addressing the people in the homeland and the diaspora on the anniversary of the Nakba.” Al-Quds, May 15, 2012.

Anonymous. “A martyr in Qalqilya and hundreds injured in a fire in Magidu [prison] and dozens of civilians injured in confrontations with occupation soldiers in Gaza, Qalqilya, Nablus and Ramallah.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2000.

Anonymous. “Announcement by the legislative council on the 50th anniversary of the Nakba.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 13, 1998.

Anonymous. “Arab students at the university of Be’er Sheva thwart an attempt by Im Tirtzu to prevent the commemoration of the Nakba.” Kul al-Arab, May 12, 2014. Accessed March 7, 2017. http://www.alarab.com/Article/610863.

Anonymous. “Archbishop Hanna in Ramallah: The Nakba is the reality in which we live and we will not give up a grain of soil of Palestinian soil.” Kul al-Arab Online, May 14, 2013. Accessed March 6, 2017. http://www.alarab.com/Article/534462.

Anonymous. “Between the Nakba and the dawn of a new birth.” Al-Quds, May 14, 2001.

Anonymous. “Call upon our people to commemorate the 52nd Nakba anniversary.” al-Hayat  al-Jadida, May 13, 2000.

Anonymous. “Clarification for readers.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2000.

Anonymous. “Commemoration activities to the Nakba in the governorates.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2000.

Anonymous. “Confrontations in Hebron and dozens of injured.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2000.

Anonymous. “Dozens injured in clashes in Qalqilya.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2000.

Anonymous, “El-Sanah: Knesset’s decision on the first reading of the Nakba law reflects the failure of the Zionist movement,” Kul al-Arab, March 18, 2010, accessed March 7, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/265751.

Anonymous. “Extensive preparations in all of the governorates of the homeland for the commemoration of the Nakba tomorrow.” Al-Quds, May 14, 2001.

Anonymous. “From al-Araqib to Susiya: A short documentary on the anniversary of the Nakba calls for justice.” Kul al-Arab Online, May 15, 2014. Accessed March 7, 2017. http://www.alarab.com/Article/534646.

Anonymous. “From the villages that were destroyed—Qaqun.” Al-Quds, June 30, 1999.

Anonymous. “General national body calls for broad participation in Nakba commemoration activities.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 13, 2000.

Anonymous. “In a statement on the occasion of the Nakba anniversary the captive leader al-Barghouti: We bless the reconciliation agreement and there is no partner in Israel.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2014.

Anonymous, “Lieberman proposes to prevent Nakba commemoration,” Kul al-Arab, May 15, 2009, accessed March 7, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/137997.

Anonymous. “More than 70 injured in clashes in Bethlehem.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2000.

Anonymous. “Nakba removed from textbooks.” Kul al-Arab, July 23, 2009. Accessed July 10, 2017. http://www.alarab.com/Article/154553.

Anonymous. “National festival in Kufr Kana for the anniversary of the Nakba and prisoner day.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 13, 2000.

Anonymous. “National forces call to commemorate the Nakba with a large participation.” al-Quds Online, April 23, 2016. Accessed March 16, 2017. http://www.alquds.com/articles/146142750087623 /5500.

Anonymous, “Netanyahu: The revival of what they call the Nakba leads to incitement against Israel,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 18, 2014, accessed July 11, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/612265.

Anonymous. “On the 50th anniversary of the Nakba.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 1998.

Anonymous. “On the 62nd anniversary of the Nakba we stick to the land and there is no alternative to return. Announcement by the PLO, the Higher Committee for Nakba Commemoration, Refugee Affairs Department.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 2010.

Anonymous. “On the 62nd Nakba [anniversary], declaration of the factions assures determination on the right of return.” Al-Quds, May 15, 2010.

Anonymous. “On the anniversary of the Nakba: Factions affirm the right of our people to return and their will for freedom and independence.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2016.

Anonymous. “Our people commemorating the Nakba [led to] three martyrs and hundreds of injured. One martyr [was] among the security forces in al-Bireh and two martyrs in Nablus and more then 600 injured among [Palestinian] journalists and police members, occupation forces fire new kinds of weapons on demonstrators in Gaza, 7 seven        occupation forces injured from gun shots among them two officers in al-Bira and Jenin.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2000.

Anonymous. “Result of a survey by the site al-Arab: 90.9% commemorate the Nakba and do not recognize Israel’s independence [day].” Kul al-Arab 28 April 2012. Accessed September 6, 2017. http://www.alarab.com/Article/453971.

Anonymous. “The 66th anniversary of the Nakba and the bitterness of genocide and displacement.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 2014.

Anonymous. “The cultural forum center in Bidu village organizes a massive rally in commemoration of the Nakba.”  Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 10, 2008.

Anonymous. “The executive council condemns the occupation’s repression of peaceful rallies and called for a PNC session and valued the prisoners’ steadfastness highly.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2000.

Anonymous. “The director of the Palestinian bureau of statistics.” Al-Quds, May 15, 2005.

Anonymous. “The High Follow-up Committee calls for wide participation in Nakba commemoration activities and the March of Return.” Kul al-Arab Online, May 10, 2016. Accessed August 17, 2017. http://www.alarab.com/Article/746379.

Anonymous. “The march and the meaning.” Al-Quds, May 14, 1998.

Anonymous. “The masses commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the Nakba.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2010.

Anonymous. “The masses in our homeland and the diaspora commemorate the 57th anniversary of the Nakba.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2005.

Anonymous. “The Naqab foundation: The crime of demolition in Atir, a new Nakba on the anniversary of the Nakba.” Kul al-Arab Online, May 16, 2013. Accessed July 11, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/534910.

Anonymous. “The national committee for the commemoration of the Nakba calls for broad participation in Nakba activities,” Al-Quds Online, May 14, 2016. Accessed April 19, 2017. http://www.alquds.com/articles/1463231183412484000/.

Anonymous. “The Palestinian Legislative Council holds a special session in commemoration of the Nakba.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2005.

Anonymous. “The PLO on the anniversary of the Nakba: The struggle for freedom and independence continues.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2012.

Anonymous. “The president on the anniversary of the Nakba: Palestinians do not forget….and will not forget.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2016.

Anonymous. “The president: It is time for the calamity called the Nakba of the Palestinian people to end.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 18, 2008.

Anonymous. “The president: Our people will not forget the situation in the aftermath of the Nakba.” Hayat al-Jadida, May 13, 1998.

Anonymous. “Today the anniversary of the 15th of May.” Al-Quds, May 15, 1996.

Anonymous. “Towards a better awareness on the anniversary of the Nakba.” Al-Quds Online, April 21, 2015. Accessed April 19, 2017. http://www.alquds.com/articles/1429595927270852900/.

Anonymous. “We remain on this land […] like olive trees.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2012.

Anonymous. “Zahalka: During the Nakba Israel occupied the land with weapons and today   [Israel does it] by legal measures.” Kul al-Arab Online, May 27, 2012.        Accessed March 6, 2017. http://www.alarab.com/Article/461097.

Anonymous, “Zahalka in a protest rally in occupied Jerusalem: The Judaization of Jerusalem is the biggest Nakba,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 16, 2010, accessed July 11, 2017, http://www.alarab.com/Article/300474.

Awadah, Wadiah. “Jaffa that was.” Kul al-Arab, May 15, 1998.

Badran, Jamama. “Witnesses of the Nakba.” Al-Quds, May 15, 2001.

Dachbur, Ahmad. “Jew against Jew.” Al-Hayat al-Jadida, June 24, 2003.

Farah, Najib. “Lighting a torch on the 68th anniversary of the Nakba in Dheisheh camp.” Al- Quds Online, May 14, 2016. Accessed April 19, 2017. http://www.alquds.com/articles/1463256282504194700/.

Hassan, Farid. “67 years of the Nakba,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 16, 2015. Accessed July 11, 2017. http://www.alarab.com/Article/680650.

Hawatmeh, Natif. “Nakba, Intifadah and resistance.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2001.

Heidar, Ali. “Ongoing Nakba,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 14, 2013. Accessed July 11, 2017. http://www.alarab.com/Article/534410.

Hilal, Rashid. “Natif Hawatmeh: We move toward holding a national popular conference, return is a sacred right to Palestinians, we reject inter-Palestinian fighting.” Al-Quds, April 8, 1994.

Khadra, Faisal Abu. “The Palestinian people will not kneel.” Al-Quds Online, December 18, 2015. Accessed April 19, 2017. http://www.alquds.com/articles/1450420728492938700/.

Ibrahim, Mustafa. “The children of al-Shati and the Palestinian Nakba.” Kul al-Arab Online, May 12, 2016. Accessed March 6, 2017. http://www.alarab.com/Article/746643.

Mansour, Chari. “Marketing Ashes.” Al-Hayat al-Jadida, April, 13, 2001.

Musa, Nanal and Isama Alisha. “The occupation suppresses rallies against the wall and settlements and uses police dogs to arrest demonstrators.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15 2010.

Musa, Nanal. “The committee for commemoration of the Nakba calls on the international community to take responsibility.” Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 2005.

Musa, Nanal. “Villages in Ramallah countryside witness central and regional activities on the     62nd Nakba commemoration –  demonstrators carried huge keys sticking to the right of return.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2010.

Nassar, Muhasin, Mohammed Wattad and Rallib Qiwan. “General strikes among student groups create high tensions in the country’s universities.” Kul al-Arab, May 16, 2008.

Natour, Ahmed. “The Nakba continues,” Kul al-Arab Online, May 2, 2015. Accessed March 6, 2017. http://www.alarab.com/Article/677910.

Qandeel, Lama. “The national commemoration committee for the commemoration of the Nakba of 60th anniversary announces its program in the country and the diaspora.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, April 14, 2008.

Qariya, Ahmad. “Lessons of the 50th anniversary and options for the future.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 12, 1998.

Razaq, Munir Abu. “The people renew their allegiance with blood and the leader confirms the inevitability of victory.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2001.

Sa’ada, Imad. “Refugees: The anniversary of the Nakba brings back our wounds and affection for our land.” Al-Quds Online, May 13, 2016. Accessed April 19, 2017. http://www.alquds.com/articles/1463072654162173900/.

Sharur, Rumur. “Abu al-Adeen al-Damouni refuses [giving up] the name of [his original] village.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2000.

Staff editorial. “After 53 years, the features of the Nakba are embodied once again.” Al-Quds, May 15, 2001.

Staff editorial. “The right of return, our national name.” Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2014.

Suweitee, Hussein. “50 years since the Nakba, 50 years of struggle.” Kul al-Arab, May 15, 1998.

Suweitee, Hussein. “The expellees.” Kul al-Arab, May 15, 1998.

Suweitee, Hussein. “The Palestinian refugees, regular people…but.” Kul al-Arab, May 15, 1998.

Thahir, Walid. “The Nakba and the dream of return.” Kul al-Arab Online, May 26, 2013. Accessed March 7, 2017. http://www.alarab.com/Article/537058.

Wafa and correspondents. “The march of the millions is launched today in the governorates of the homeland.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 14, 1998.

Wafa. “A torchlit march to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the Nakba in Ramallah.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2014.

Wafa. “Fatah: the right of return exists as long as Palestinian remain in Palestine.” al-   Hayat    al-Jadida, May 15, 2012.

Wafa. “In order for our people and the world not to forget the Palestinian Nakba.” Al-Quds,             May 14, 1998.

Wafa. “Today, the 64th anniversary of the Nakba.” al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, 2012.

Wahib, Abu. “The Nakba continues.” Kul al-Arab Online, April 18, 2013. Accessed July 11,      2017. http://www.alarab.com/Article/528196;

Yunis, Abdul Rahman. “Refugee Ali Qaraqe: They informed us that the Zionist gangs would only be [there for] a short visit.” Al-Quds Online, May 17, 2016. Accessed April 19, 2017. http://www.alquds.com/articles/1463473940780151200.

Yunis, Abdul Rahman.  “The refugee Abu Surour: Our relationship with the Jews before the Nakba was based on brotherhood and respect.” Al-Quds Online, May 17, 2016. Accessed April 19, 2017. http://www.alquds.com/articles/1463473940780151200/.

Yunis, Abdul Rahman. “The refugee Mrs. al-Lahham: If we had known we would become refugees, we would not have left our villages.” Al-Quds Online, May 18, 2016. Accessed

April 19, 2017. http://www.alquds.com/articles/146355753444634 /0200/.

 

 

 

About Grace Wermenbol

Grace Wermenbol is a PhD candidate in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oxford, where she has also held teaching and research positions. She specializes in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the post-Oslo era.

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