… et de son point de vue, elle a raison: les mots sont importants, comme le dit Pierre Tévanian. Ban Ki Moon aurait en effet, dans un communiqué officiel, utilisé ce terme, qui désigne la dépossession palestinienne qu’a immanquablement et nécessairement créé l’établissement d’un Etat juif en Palestine, le 15 mai 1948. La réaction du département de Tzipi Livni a été immédiate, via sa mission auprès de l’ONU à New York:
The Israeli mission to the United Nations is seeking clarifications after an official communique released by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s bureau made specific reference to the word « nakba, » according to a report broadcast on Israel Radio early Friday morning.
The report said the UN chief telephoned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to express his solidarity with the Palestinians on the day they mark the « nakba, » the Arabic word meaning « catastrophe » that is used in reference to the founding of the state of Israel.
Danny Carmon, Israel’s deputy ambassador to the UN, told Israel Radio that the term « ‘nakba’ is a tool of Arab propaganda used to undermine the legitimacy of the establishment of the State of Israel, and it must not be part of the lexicon of the UN. »
Ne croyez pas qu’il s’agit d’un coup de tête, au contraire: Tzipi Livni a fréquemment répété que l’utilisation du mot « nakba » par les Arabes était un acte de guerre. Par exemple, voici ce qu’elle a dit lors d’une déclaration à la Knesset le 3 décembre 2007:
On the day that the State of Israel was established, May 14, 1948, our Independence Day, the day that you, my Arab colleagues, call the « Nakba » – the disaster, Israel proclaimed in its Declaration of Independence: « We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help… » Our hands are still outstretched in peace to the entire Arab and Muslim world without exception. (…)
I believe that the solution of two nation states serves the interests of both sides. Not every celebration of ours is cause for sorrow on the other side, and vice versa. I say to my Palestinian colleagues: Do not bemoan the establishment of the State of Israel; establish your own state, rejoice in its establishment and we will rejoice with you, since for us the establishment of the Palestinian state is not our Nakba, or disaster – provided that upon its establishment the word « Nakba » be deleted from the Arabic lexicon in referring to Israel.
Et elle l’avait déjà dit lors de la conférence d’Annapolis, citant au passage le Maroc:
On the day that the State of Israel was established, May 14, 1948, our Independence Day, the day that you, my Arab colleagues, call the “Nakba” – the disaster, Israel proclaimed in its Declaration of Independence: « We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help…”
Our hands are still outstretched in peace to the entire Arab and Muslim world without exception, including the Palestinians, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Morocco and Indonesia.
I am proud at where Israel is today. I am sorry that the Arab world rejected the principle of partition in the past, and I hope and pray that today there is an understanding that instead of fighting, the right thing to do is to build a shared future in two separate states: one – the State of Israel, which was established as a Jewish state, a national home for the Jewish people; and the other – Palestine – which will be established to give a full and complete solution to Palestinians wherever they may be. Those who are in Gaza and the West Bank, and those in the refugee camps in other Arab countries with temporary status, waiting for a sense of belonging to a national state – the same feeling of wholeness that the establishment of the State of Israel gave to the Jewish refugees who were forced to leave Arab countries and Europe and became partners in building Israel.
I believe that the solution of two nation states serves the interests of both sides. Not every celebration of ours is cause for sorrow on the other side, and vice versa. I say to my Palestinian colleagues: Do not bemoan the establishment of the State of Israel; establish your own state, rejoice in its establishment and we will rejoice with you, since for us the establishment of the Palestinian state is not our Nakba, or disaster – provided that upon its establishment the word “Nakba” be deleted from the Arabic lexicon in referring to Israel.
Encore une fois, du point de vue sioniste, Tzipi Livni a raison: le contrôle du vocabulaire légitime – Yedioth Aharonoth titre son article « Israel demands UN strike ‘Nakba’ from its lexicon » – donne également un contrôle idéologique sur le contenu des idées légitimes; après avoir réussi à supprimer l’analogie officielle entre sionisme et racisme, après avoir réussi à transformer la résistance en terrorisme et rendu quasiment illégitime l’utilisation du terme antisioniste (se décrire antisioniste aujourd’hui est un peu comme invoquer le cinquième amendement à la Constitution étatsunienne lors de la chasse aux sorcières anti-communiste des années 40 & 50 – c’est formellement légal, mais c’est en même une présomption quasi-irréfragable de subversion idéologique illégitime – le communisme alors, l’antisémitisme aujourd’hui – qui expose l’impétrant à des sanctions judiciaires, médiatiques ou professionnelles), Israël s’attache non plus seulement à défendre son idéologie d’Etat, le sionisme, mais à déligitimer la revendication nationale palestinienne. Voilà les Arabes en général et les Palestiniens en particulier sommés de renoncer à affirmer l’existence d’une nation palestinienne ayant des droits, droits intrinséquement et inévitablement niés et bafoués par la création d’un Etat juif en Palestine. Voilà donc les Arabes et les Palestiniens sommés d’utiliser la seule terminologie sioniste, et de se soumettre ainsi, corps et âme, au sionisme, en tant qu’idéologie et réalité politique.
On aura rarement vu une entreprise aussi totalitaire dans le domaine des relations internationales, qui n’est pas sans rappeler la fameuse lettre du GIA à Chirac en 1995 lui demandant de se convertir à l’islam. Israël ne se contente pas d’une reconnaissance explicite (Maroc, Tunisie, Mauritanie, Jordanie, Egypte) ou implicite (Liban, Syrie, Arabe séoudite, Algérie) en tant qu’Etat, il lui faut en outre l’allégeance idéologique: il ne suffit plus de reconnaître Israël en tant qu’Etat, il faut désormais également adhérer à son idéologie.
D’où la surréaliste polémique sur le droit d’Israël à exister, dont la reconnaissance est réclamée par Israël et ses fidèles alliés occidentaux. En droit international public, en effet, aucun Etat n’a le droit d’exister – ils existent ou n’existent pas, et c’est là une constatation de fait (y a-t-il contrôle d’un territoire peuplé par une autorité politique) mêlée à des considérations politiques (cette autorité peut-elle être considérée comme légitime), mais de droit intrinsèque à exister, point. Des pays ont reconnu la République démocratique allemande ou Taïwan, d’autres non, mais personne n’a reconnu le droit de la RDA ou de Taïwan à exister. L’existence d’un Etat est un état de fait, avec – certes – des aspects politiques, et des conséquences juridiques.
Mais le but d’Israël va plus loin: il ne leur suffit pas de coloniser la Palestine, d’expulser les Palestiniens, de discriminer les Palestiniens restés sur place et de neutraliser la solidarité internationale avec le peuple palestinien. Non, il leur faut en plus empêcher l’idée même d’une critique du sionisme – en assimilant et faisant assimiler l’antisionisme à l’antisémitisme, et maintenant en interdisant le terme de nakba. L’expulsion et la dépossession physique des Palestiniens doit désormais se doubler d’une expulsion et d’une dépossession symbolique: il faut effacer la notion même qu’ils aient été expulsés et dépossédés.
Comme l’écrit Joseph Massad:
One of the most difficult things to grasp in the modern history of Palestine and the Palestinians is the meaning of the Nakba. Is the Nakba to be seen as a discrete event that took place and ended in 1948, or is it something else? What are the political stakes in reifying the Nakba as a past event, in commemorating it annually, in bowing before its awesome symbolism? What are the effects of making the Nakba a finite historical episode that one bemoans but must ultimately accept as a fact of history?
I will suggest to you that there is much at stake in all of this, in rendering the Nakba an event of the past, a fact on the ground that one cannot but accept, admit, and finally transcend; indeed that in order to move forward, one must leave the Nakba behind. Some have even suggested that if Israel acknowledges and apologises for the Nakba, the Palestinians would forgive and forget, and the effects of the Nakba would be relegated to historical commemorations, not unlike the one we are having this year.
In my view, the Nakba is none of these things, and the attempt to make this year the 60th anniversary of the Nakba’s life and death is a grave error. The Nakba is in fact much older than 60 years and it is still with us, pulsating with life and coursing through history by piling up more calamities upon the Palestinian people. I hold that the Nakba is a historical epoch that is 127 years old and is ongoing. The year 1881 is the date when Jewish colonisation of Palestine started and, as everyone knows, it has never ended. Much as the world would like to present Palestinians as living in a post-Nakba period, I insist that we live thoroughly in Nakba times. What we are doing this year is not an act of commemorating but an act of witnessing the ongoing Nakba that continues to destroy Palestine and the Palestinians. I submit, therefore, that this year is not the 60th anniversary of the Nakba at all, but rather one more year of enduring its brutality; that the history of the Nakba has never been a history of the past but decidedly a history of the present.
Il continue, et va droit au but, dévoilant l’objectif israëlien d’oblitération non seulement de la Palestine, mais de la mémoire de la Palestine:
Since the beginning, the Palestinian people have resisted the racist and colonial logic of the Nakba, through fighting off the colonists in the 1880s and 1890s, in the 1910s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and on to the present. If Palestinian resistance failed to prevent the massive expulsion of half the Palestinian people and of the outright theft of their entire country, it has succeeded in overthrowing Zionist official memory. Indeed, memory has always been a key component of Palestinian resistance. When Palestinians insist on naming their country, their cities, and their villages with their original names, they are not only resisting the vulgar names that Zionism has bestowed on the land, they are also insisting on a geographic memory that Israel has all but succeeded to erase physically. Zionist cruelty has been such that Israel insisted for 50 years after its creation in denying that the Palestinians even exist as a people, or as a name; that the very name « Palestinians » should not even be uttered. For Zionists, the very name « Palestinian » functions as some magical incantation that could obliterate them at the existential level. They are not necessarily wrong in their impression, for the name Palestinian is itself the strongest form of resistance against their official memory. The name « Palestinian » has also been generative of continuities in Palestinian culture and life, in Palestinian identity and nationality, things that Israel had hoped it obliterated completely and whose survival will always threaten its mnemonic operation of inventing a fictional memory of non-Palestine, of non- Palestinians.
Palestinian counter-memory is in direct confrontation with the Nakba’s achievement of obliterating Palestine as a geographic designation and an affront to the Nakba’s ongoing efforts to obliterate the Palestinians as a national group with a pre-Nakba history. The survival of the Palestinians after the Nakba started, and despite its assiduous efforts to efface them, has made the Nakba a less than successful Zionist victory. It is in this context that Israel’s insistence on calling Palestinian citizens in Israel « Israeli Arabs » is designed to silence their Palestinian-ness. Zionism’s insistence that Palestinian refugees be settled and given the nationality of their host countries is aimed also to erase their name.
Sa conclusion est lumineuse:
But in resisting the Nakba, the Palestinians have struck at the heart of the Zionist project that insists that the Nakba be seen as a past event. In resisting Israel, Palestinians have forced the world to witness the Nakba as present action; one that, contrary to Zionist wisdom, is indeed reversible. This is precisely what galls Israel and the Zionist movement. Israel’s inability to complete its mission of thoroughly colonising Palestine, of expelling all Palestinians, of « gathering » all Jews in the world in its colony, keeps it uneasy and keeps its project always in the present continuous.
While Israel has used this situation to project itself as a victim of its own victims who refuse to grant it legitimacy to victimise them, Israel understands not only in its unconscious but also consciously that its project will remain reversible. The cruelty it has shown and continues to show to the Palestinian people is directly proportional to its belief in their ability to overthrow its achievements and reverse its colonial project. The problem for Israel is not in believing and knowing that there is not one single place in its colonial settlement that did not have a former Arab population, but in its realisation that there is no place today in its imaginary « Jewish State » that does not still have an Arab population who claims it.
That the Nakba remains unfinished is precisely because Palestinians refuse to let it transform them into mankubin. What we are witnessing at this year’s commemorations, then, is not only one more year of the Nakba but also one more year of resisting it. Those who counsel the Palestinians to accept the Nakba know that to accept the Nakba is to allow it to continue unfettered. Palestinians know better. The only way to end the Nakba, Palestinians insist, is to continue to resist it.