On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the State Department and defended the United States’ decision not to veto the vote at the United Nations Security Council on Friday which condemned Israel’s occupation in the Middle East. In the scathing speech rebuking Israel, Kerry called the Jewish nation’s settlements “a threat to peace” and warned the Jewish nation that because of them, the two-state solution is “now in jeopardy.” While laying out his arguments again Israel, Secretary Kerry used the term “Nakba” which Pro-Israelis say is used by the Palestinians to show their remorse for not defeating the Jewish people.
While talking about Israel’s beginnings, Secretary Kerry said the Jewish state struggled to survive, but that the Palestinian people also struggled and suffered tremendously.
“Palestinians also suffered terribly in that 1948 war,” Kerry said, “including many who had lived for generations in a land that had long been their home too. When Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2018, the Palestinians will mark a very different anniversary;” before referring to the term.
“Seventy years since what they call the ‘Nakba,’ or catastrophe,” Kerry said. “Next year will also mark 50 years since the end of the Six-Day War, when Israel again fought for its survival. And Palestinians will again mark just the opposite: 50 years of military occupation.”
Nakba falls on the same day as Israeli Independence Day, because the Palestinians refer to “Nakba” as the “catastrophic” day in which Israel settled in their territory. Nakba became the official term used to refer to the displacement of Palestinians in the region during the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948.
Israelis see the Palestinian people’s commemoration of Nakba Day as a day to mourn the Arabs’ failure to destroy Israel. Pro-Palestinian demonstrators protest on Nakba Day to retake the land from the Israeli’s.
Kerry’s use of the term “Nakba” garnered some attention on social media: