ArtiFact #33: Norman Finkelstein Speaks With Palestinian Refugees On Nakba, Gaza, The First & Second Intifada, Oslo, & Their Memories Of War

ArtiFact: Books, Art, Culture

06-12-2022 • 2時間 34分

Although Israelis view the events of 1948 as liberation, to Palestinians, this was “Nakba”, or “disaster”. According to Israeli historian Benny Morris, the events of those first few years were tantamount to “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians, a fact that neither Israel nor the international community have been able to properly deal with. How to resettle hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees and their descendants? Was the original partition of Palestine equitable and just, and if not, what would a logical compensation package look like? Was Israel interested in a genuine peace process, or do the Oslo Accords, Camp David, Taba, and events surrounding the First and Second Intifada suggest that Israel, according to Norman Finkelstein, is frightened of a Palestinian “peace offensive”?

In this video, Norman Finkelstein, scholar of Palestine and the Holocaust, author of “Beyond Chutzpah”, “The Holocaust Industry”, “Gaza”, and “I’ll Burn That Bridge When I Get To It”, convenes a panel with Alex Sheremet and several Palestinian refugees. These are scholar Mouin Rabbani, activist Sana Kassem, B’Tselem researcher Musa Abu Hashhash, and activist Arwa Hashhash.

They discuss their families’ experience fleeing Israel’s war of independence, the destruction of Palestinian homes, the apartheid system of law, arrest, detention, harassment, and subsequent wars.

Norman Finkelstein, who is himself the son of Holocaust survivors, often tells the story of his parents’ shock at Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinian refugees. He credits them with his moral understanding of the world and his interest in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Norman Finkelstein’s website:

Mouin Rabbani’s work at Jadaliyya:

Sana Kassem’s Twitter:

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1:25 – introducing the panel and their recollections

10:41 – 1947-1948; the Israeli War of Independence; Palestine’s Nakba Day; how the Israeli Declaration of Independence tapped international law to create Israel; Musa shares his refugee experience after fleeing the last Palestinian village in 1949; Sana relates her family’s experience of fleeing war; Mouin describes his family’s escape from the last Palestinian village in Haifa; Arwa’s claim that the logic of oppression and occupation cannot last

36:04 – the 1967 War; Mouin describes Israel’s use of napalm; Sana describes painting her light bulbs blue to avoid Israeli airstrikes; Musa describes his family’s loss of property

47:40 – Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Sabra and Shatila massacres; Israel’s reputation begins to decline; Sana’s experiences in Beirut during the war; legal racism against Palestinians in Lebanon; Palestinian inability to inherit property; Mouin describes post-1947 Israeli laws dispossessing Palestinian property; the role of Jordan in the Palestinian refugee crisis, Jordanian claims over the West Bank

01:03:51 – the First and Second Intifadas; Arwa recalls her father’s arrests, inability to go to school, Second Intifada; Musa recounts Israeli harassment of him and his family, detention conditions; Musa shares his disappointment with the First Intifada; Mouin describes the closure of schools and universities as collective punishment against Palestinians; the use of identity cards to restrict movement; labor rights in Israel and Palestine; Musa on continued targeting and harassment of his family; Norman Finkelstein describes house demolitions for stone-throwing; debating hope in Palestine; Norman Finkelstein on Gaza’s March of Return as the Third Intifada; lack of support from West Bank, Fatah

02:06:14 – the Oslo Accords; why the Letters of Mutual Recognition were a red flag for negotiations; Norman Finkelstein recalls his reactions to Oslo; Noam Chomsky’s warning about the Oslo Accords; the Abraham Accords between Israel and the UAE; Morocco’s normalization agreement, Trump’s recognition of Morocco’s claims over Western Sahara and the Sahrawi people; the role of Arab states in Palestine; Mouin clarifies Arab-Palestinian relations; Sana on the role of money in the PLO

Tags: #NormanFinkelstein, #freepalestine, #gaza, #israelpalestine, #apartheid, #westbank