Israelis mark their Independence Day with joyous celebrations across the whole of Israel. Contrastingly, a number of Palestinians and anti-Israel activists mark it as Nakba Day, the day of the Disaster – the term they use for the foundation of the State of Israel.
It appears that anti-Israel groups in the UK, often do more to mark the day, than actual Palestinians. Indeed, for many years a large anti-Israel march organised by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign took place to mark the day. In the past, this event attracted a large number of people, but over the last few years numbers attending have dropped significantly, meaning that the PSC has been forced to stop holding the march. ,
This does not mean that PSC has stopped using what they call Nakba Day to try and demonise Israel. This is shown by the fact that in 2016, the PSC organised a number of events over a week to coincide with Nakba Day. As part of the activities they planned, they invited Manal Tamimi on a speaking tour across the UK and arranged a planned speech to Parliament on May 11 2016. However, this invite attracted a lot of negative attention given Tamimi’s views.
Manal Tamini is a speaker with a history of supporting terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, who has also tried to spread the outrageous lie that Israel was behind the creation of ISIS and the September 11 terror attacks. You can get a flavour for the sort of tweets she posts from one in October 2014 where she tweeted “A new #intefada #Jerusalem, a strong clashes taking a place now at the old city and Zionist IOF losing control, I hope all of them gonna die.” A number of her other tweets support terrorist attacks against Israel can be found in a Harry’s Place article here.
Not content with supporting terrorist attacks against Israel, Tamimi has also spent a lot of time on Twitter, expressing her antisemitism. She has written a number of antisemitic tweets, including a tweet which repreated the blood libel against Jews.
It is unsurprising that the Home Office did not take too kindly to her views, and to stop the spread of hate across the UK denied her visa application. The PSC were rather muted in their response, with no effort put into trying to overturn the ban. Perhaps this was because, they did not feel it would bring good publicity if people found out they invited a racist who supported terrorism to the UK.
Despite the setback, the PSC did not give up on Nakba day. To mark Nakba day a week of activities were held, including protests outside shops owned by Israelis, a couple of mock checkpoints and the screening of a number of films to anti-Israel groups around the country. Additionally, a day conference in London was also held. However, compared to previous years the activities were certainly less noticeable with less people attending, suggesting the popularity of marking the day is waning.
If like me you want a peaceful solution where Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace, Nakba day is not the way of going about this. It entrenches Palestinians grievances about Israel’s existence, thereby strengthening the voice of violent terrorists, rather than moderates who want a peaceful solution. This makes it harder to bring about a two state solution, where Israel’s right to exist is ensured and the Palestinians dream of a state is achieved.