Nakba is an Arabic word which means disaster, and that is what those who participated in the protests consider the founding of the State of Israel on May 15, 1948. The focus on 1948 is significant. For those who claim the Middle East conflict is about borders or Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the prominence given Nakba commemorations ought to be an embarrassment. It highlights that the goal of the Palestinians isn’t an independent state alongside Israel. Their goal is to eradicate Israel and replace it with yet another Arab majority country.
The Nakba narrative draws no distinction between the pre- and post-1967 borders. The Jewish presence within the internationally recognized borders of the State of Israel is treated as just as illegitimate as that of the settlers in the territories. This is not a minor point, because for the Palestinians, the desire for the descendants of the 1948 refugees to “return” to Israel is tantamount to demanding the dismantling of the Jewish state.
The war that created the refugees was one started by Arabs whose goal was not to share the land but to prevent Jewish sovereignty on any part of it. That they and their descendants still regret this reversal of fortune may be understandable, but it is not a point on which they have any right to demand the world’s sympathy. (Jonathan S. Tobin – Commentary)