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'Nakba never ended, it continues as we see livestreamed in Gaza today'

By: Syed Zafar Mehdi

16 May 2024 - 16:04

In an interview with the Press TV website on the eve of the Nakba anniversary, Dina Elmuti, a first-generation Palestinian-American living in Chicago, who has extensively worked with Palestine-focused rights and advocacy groups, said the Nakba, which translates to "catastrophe", "never ended."

More than 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homeland between 1947 and 1949, thousands of others were massacred and over 500 Palestinian villages and towns were completely wiped out by the occupying Zionist entity in what came to be known as ‘Nakba’.

“We have got to stare intergenerational trauma, the legacy of Zionism, theft, dispossession, and genocide right in the face,” said Elmuti, whose grandparents lived and survived the Nakba.
“The Nakba is not past. It remains continuous, as we see livestreamed today in Gaza. Zionists have been attempting to erase Palestinians from consciousness, and the face of the earth, from day one.”
Since October 7 last year, when the Israeli regime launched its indiscriminate bombings on the besieged Gaza Strip, more than 35,000 Palestinians, most of them children and women, have been killed and more than 2 million have been displaced and rendered homeless.

Many observers and human rights campaigners have likened it to another Nakba, or catastrophe.

Elmuti, who has a master’s degree in public health social work and has worked with NGOs serving children in Palestine and refugee and immigrant communities in the US, said her grandmother was a survivor of the Deir Yassin Massacre.

On April 9, 1948, more than a hundred Palestinian residents of the occupied village of Deir Yassin were murdered by members of the Zionist terrorist group Irgun and Stern Gang. The massacre was led by Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, who later became prime minister of the Israeli regime.

The massacre marked a watershed moment and paved the way for the birth of the illegitimate entity.

“She (her grandmother) was 8 years old at the time of the massacre. Her story of survival, much like other survivors of the 1948 Nakba, taught me that the mere existence of the Palestinian people has always been a threat that Zionists sought to eradicate,” Elmuti told the Press TV website.

“So, whether in 1948 or today, when your very existence is deemed a weapon, you will always be seen as a threat.”

Elmuti, who has previously worked with the Defense for Children International (Palestine), said the world has reduced Palestinians to a “dehumanized sea of amorphous otherness” and “views their extermination from the wordless, faceless, thoughtless viewpoint of undifferentiated brown bodies”, who are “easily interchangeable and easily eradicated for simply resisting their own annihilation.”

She said the events unfolding in the Gaza Strip today are “merely genocide accelerated, and livestreamed” as Zionists have “always been explicitly clear in their genocidal incitement and unadulterated hatred towards Palestinians.”

“From Israel’s very inception, Zionists had one goal in mind: genocide. A genocide that was consistently denied by the larger percentage of the world, and ignored by the rest. Today, the world is simply seeing the genocide of Palestinians accelerated and livestreamed in Gaza,” Elmuti told the Press TV website.

“The level of destruction and depravity are much more sophisticated and accelerated, but it is a continuation of the slow-motion genocide that Palestinians have experienced from day one. The ongoing occupation of the West Bank and the suffocating siege on Gaza are intentionally and explicitly genocidal.”

Israeli genocidal war against Palestinians in Gaza has been politically and militarily supported by many Western countries, including the US, making them directly complicit in the Israeli war crimes.

Elmuti said the United States is not merely complicit in the Gaza genocide but is “guilty of committing genocide against the Palestinian people, along with its military base, Israel.”

“America continues to unequivocally support and supply the weapons that continue to create one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes of the twenty-first century,” she stated.

On the growing student movement in the US in solidarity with the people of Palestine and against the Israeli-American genocide in Gaza, she said the students cannot stay silent in the face of this "inconceivable suffering and human savagery.”

“They have chosen to stand up, speak up, and risk their own comfort and privilege to tell the world the truth while the forces of denial continue to erase, silence, and label the truth as fiction,” she told the Press TV website, referring to university students in the US and other countries.

“They choose to raise their voices and speak up for all the voices that have been silenced. They choose to be a testament not only to the dignity of Palestinians but to the human dignity of everyone who could have done so much more but instead chose to do less.”

The student-led movement in the US, she added, will be “an eternal reminder of the Zionist rage that corroded into blind, dehumanizing power, bent on annihilating Palestinians and anyone who stood in solidarity with them.”

“Although the attacks and smears on them can be frightening, these intimidation tactics remain an implicit tribute to the power of solidarity. They remind us to look within ourselves and find a small portion of the courage and commitment that the victims of Israel's genocidal violence muster every single day,” Elmuti asserted.

Elmuti said she has worked with Palestinian children who experienced severe physical and psychological torture and trauma at the hands of Israeli occupation Forces in the occupied West Bank.

“These children were detained from their beds and homes in the middle of the night, shackled, blindfolded, and taken to Israeli prisons where they were subjected to torture in the form of physical and psychological violence,” she said, speaking about the Palestinian children.

“They were humiliated, stripped of their clothes, deprived of sleep, their limbs were tied up and shackled to metal chairs, and they were subjected to verbal abuse and threats to them and their families. Many are held in solitary confinement and subjected to torture in order to obtain confessions by coercion.”

Story Code: 635515

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