July 24, 2024

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J-Street Staffer Unsure Whether To Wish Coworkers Happy Nakba Day (PreOccupied Territory)

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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Washington, May 3 – An aide to a senior executive at an organization that bills itself as pro-Israel and pro-peace expressed relief today that Israel Independence Day was over, as he could not handle the awkwardness in not knowing whether to greet his colleagues yesterday with a “Happy Nakba Day” wish, or what.

Nye Eave, 22, encountered numerous mentions of something called the Nakba yesterday as Israel marked its sixty-ninth Independence Day, and assumed the term referred to some positive event, given the nature of Independence Days to highlight the successes and milestones the country has attained since achieving sovereignty. Since J-Street is pro-Israel, he reasoned, the organization must take a positive attitude toward the Jewish State on the anniversary of the state’s founding. However, he recalled, none of the people employing the term Nakba conveyed any sense of satisfaction or pride, causing Eave to wonder what he was missing. Ultimately, he related, he did not utter any such greeting.

“It left me with a feeling of unease, I guess is what you’d call it,” explained the recent Georgetown University graduate. “We at J-Street love Israel. We never tire of saying that. It drives everything we do, right? So Israel’s Independence Day must be a big deal for such a pro-Israel organization. People kept mentioning this Nakba thing in such solemn terms, I thought they were just still in the whole Memorial Day for fallen soldiers from the day before. But it was everyone, everywhere. It confused me, I admit.”

Eave waited yesterday for a statement by the organizational leadership consistent with what one might expect from a pro-Israel group, namely expressions of support for the people of Israel, and appreciation of the achievements Israel as a society has made in sixty-nine years in culture, the sciences, education, and industry, not to mention thriving economically despite the continual need to fight off existential foes. “I must have missed the e-mail that went around,” he surmised. “Maybe it’s because I’m just an intern and I’m not on all the distribution lists, I guess, even though I get all the other ones. Maybe it was the one we all got from Mr. Ben-Ami about remembering the Nakba? I don’t know. It had totally the wrong tone about it for a celebratory message.”

Eave hopes to forge strong professional ties during his internship, and to establish a reputation as a person dedicated to the organization’s mission. “My calendar says Jerusalem Reunification Day is coming up in a few weeks, so I’ll bet they’ve got something appropriate planned to celebrate fifty years of the Jewish capital returning to Jewish sovereignty for the first time in almost two thousand years,” he gushed. “Should I bring in a poster of that iconic photo with the three paratroopers looking at the just-liberated Western Wall, or is that overkill?”

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