George Deek, Israel’s ambassador to Azerbaijan, took to Twitter to counter an anti-Israel campaign launched on social media and to clarify what Nakba Day was about.
On Nakba Day, marked on May 15, Arabs mourn the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib on Friday tweeted that “Palestinians around the world commemorate the Nakba, Arabic for ‘catastrophe’ recognizing the ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestine.”
She claimed that some “530 Palestinian neighborhoods were uprooted and destroyed and about 750,000 Palestinians became refugees.”
Responding to Tlaib, Deek, the first-ever Christian Arab ambassador appointed by the Jewish State, noted that “like other Palestinian families, mine suffered from the tragic consequences of the war in ‘48.” His grandfather fled to Lebanon during the War of Independence, but then returned to Israel.
However, he underscored that “the humanitarian disaster isn’t what the Nakba Day commemorates.” Nakba Day was not set on days in which humanitarian tragedies allegedly occurred, like on April 9, when the Dir Yassin incident happened.
“The Nakba day was set on May 15, a day after Israel’s independence. Hence- it isn’t about the expulsion or exile, but the creation of Israel. Those who mark the Nakba day are saddened less by the humanitarian tragedy of Palestinians, and more by the revival of the Jewish state,” he said.
2/ The Nakba day was set on May 15, a day after Israel’s independence. Hence- it isn’t about the expulsion or exile, but the creation of Israel. Those who mark the Nakba day are saddened less by the humanitarian tragedy of Palestinians, and more by the revival of the Jewish state
— George Deek (@GeorgeDeek) May 16, 2020
Nakba Day, usually a day of violent incidents and protests, passed without any significant incidents and was marked primarily in the digital realm.
Several anti-Israel organizations launched the #KeyToJustice campaign on Twitter in which they called on people from around the world to pose with a key and call for the return of all refugees to Israel.
The key symbolizes the ones ostensibly kept by the refugees to their homes in “occupied Palestine.”
Pro-Israel activities launched the #KeyToPeace counter-campaign, in which organizations and opinion shapers in the US, the Netherlands, Australia, Israel, and the UK and shared statuses and pictures in support of Israel and peace.
“Instead of the typical violence and hatred towards Israel on “Nakba Day” let’s try something more constructive towards reaching peace and harmony between Israelis and Palestinians #NakbaDay #KeyToJustice,” the Maccabee Task Force tweeted.
The Ireland Israel Alliance stated that “the key to peace is ending all forms of violence including throwing rocks. 21-year-old Israeli Amit Ben-Yigal died when a large rock was thrown off a rooftop and struck him on the head this week. May his memory be a blessing. #KeyToJustice #KeyToPeace”