The +972 Podcast heads to the destroyed village of Khubbeiza to hear what Nakba Day means to different people, including Palestinians internally displaced in Israel.
Every year for over two decades, thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel have marked Nakba Day by marching to the site of a different village that was depopulated and destroyed during the Nakba.
While the story of Palestinian refugees — 700,000 of whom were driven out or fled in 1948 — is relatively well known, we rarely speak of those who were internally displaced during the war. These families remained in what became Israel but were never allowed to return to their original homes.
This year, the Return March marking 71 years since the Nakba was held in one such village, Khubbeiza. +972 Magazine’s Henriette Chacar went to the march to hear from participants of various ages what it means to them.
Some shared childhood memories from 1948. Other participants emphasized the importance of preserving Palestinian identity and history in the face of growing Israeli oppression. Jewish allies who were there talked about showing solidarity, and recognizing the rights of Palestinians. All the stories people shared had one theme: ‘We are here and we haven’t forgotten.’
“Their Independence Day is our Nakba,” said Rasmieh Khalaileh. “There are hundreds of villages that were displaced, not by choice but by force, which they expelled and are now dispersed across the world. This is what encourages me to come, even if it’s only a symbolic gesture for the people who were expelled, who dream to come back to their land.”