The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice. (A Testament of Hope)

Palestine Updates 43
Opinion

Images of freedom (Credit: Desert Peace)

The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice. (A Testament of Hope)

The Nakba is anything but over. If what happened in 1948 was an act of ethnic cleansing, what continues by way of the occupation today is as bad, and worsening with each passing day. Faed Mustafa, Palestinian ambassador to Turkey had this to say on the Nakba: “There is no difference between the Israeli mentality today and the one it had in 1948, when it brutalized the Palestinian people…They [Zionist forces] slaughtered Palestinian villagers en masse in 1948,” he added. “Now they want to exterminate the Palestinians by destroying their homes one by one.” 

The Nakba is commemorated each year by some six million Palestinian refugees scattered across the globe. It gives impetus to the ongoing struggle and has succeeded to the international community to join the call to Israel to recognize its evil occupation and withdraw Israel is deaf to the call for justice that echoes from around the world. Palestinians hold on to the conviction that history will catch up with Israel. Israel will have to account for all the treachery murders it has committed.

In utter conceit, Israel is now trying to criminalize the commemoration of the Nakba; they want to wipe it out of memory. They think: “The old will die and the young will forget.” They know not what Palestinians feel. Palestinian grandchildren will not forget and refuse to give up their rights or their land.” The Nakba will end for certain for nothing that is altogether immoral and lawless can survive the test of times.

Palestinian poet Late Mahmoud Darwish expressed hope as only he could articulate it:
It is possible…

It is possible at least sometimes…
It is possible especially now
To ride a horse
Inside a prison cell
And run away…

It is possible for prison walls
To disappear.
For the cell to become a distant land
Without  frontiers

History has no example of the powerful parting with power voluntarily. They do so when pressured and pushed to a corner. Nakba 2017 must serve as a cue for the international community to join Palestinians in intensifying the resistance through every peaceful means possible.

Ranjan Solomon
Editor


Resisting the Ongoing Nakba –
Iron walls cannot suppress or overshadow our emancipation

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) calls on people of conscience the world over to further intensify BDS campaigns to end academic, cultural, sports, military and economic links of complicity with Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid. This is the most effective means of standing with the Palestinian people in pursuing our inherent and UN-stipulated rights, and nonviolently resisting the ongoing,intensifying Nakba.

 

The Israeli regime today is ruthlessly pursuing the one constant strategy of its settler-colonial project —the simultaneous pillage and colonization of as much Palestinian land as possible and the gradual ethnic cleansing of as many Palestinians as practical without evoking international sanctions.

Following in the footsteps of all previous Israeli governments, the current far-right government, the most openly racist in Israel’s history, is heeding the words of the Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky who wrote in 1923:

Every native population in the world resists colonists as long as it has the slightest hope of being able to rid itself of the danger of being colonized. […] Zionist colonization must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population.

The fact the none of the 26 Oscar nominees offered a free, $55,000-valued trip by the Israeli government accepted the propaganda gift and that six out of eleven National Football League players turned down a similar Israeli junket gives us hope.

In this context, the Palestinian-led, global BDS movement with its impressive growth and unquestionable impact is today an indispensable component of our popular resistance and the most promising form of international solidarity with our struggle for rights.
Full article can be found here
Remembering the Nakba – What Happened?

Sixty-nine years ago, the state of Israel was born following the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians by Israeli forces. On 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the executive head of the World Zionist Organization, declared the establishment of the State of Israel. Israelis mark the event as their “Independence Day”. Ever since, 15 May is remembered internationally as Nakba Day.

Nakba Day commemorates the forced displacement of more than half the Palestinian population; 750,000 Palestinians were driven out of their homes and into refugee camps. The catastrophe later became the longest running refugee crises in the modern era. In addition to the many hundreds of thousands of Palestinians that were forced into exile, over 600 Palestinian villages and towns were razed to the ground, in an effort to ensure Palestinians never returned to their homes. Nearly a million Palestinians had been displaced. Some were subjected to misery under a military rule in the new State of Israel. They were prevented from returning to their homes, even when military rule was lifted 20 years later, and continued to face extreme discrimination.The vast majority were forced into Gaza, the West Bank and the neighbouring Arab countries. The UN mobilized humanitarian relief for the Palestinian refugees, setting up United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the process. It passed Resolution 194 which called on Israel to permit Palestinians to return to their homes and to compensate the hundreds of thousands of refugees for their losses. Israel has failed to do either.

Seventy years on from the Nakba, Palestinians seem to move from one cycle of oppression to another. They remain stateless and the vast majorities continue to suffer under a brutal Israeli occupation. Nakba Day commemorates the forced displacement of more than half the Palestinian population; 750,000 Palestinians were driven out of their homes and into refugee camps. The catastrophe later became the longest running refugee crises in the modern era.

Read more in Middle East Monitor

International protection to stop ongoing Nakba is long overdue   – Statement by the Global Palestinian Refugee and IDP Network –

On this the 69th commemoration of the Nakba and the 100th commemoration of the Balfour Declaration, the Palestinian people face the most challenging political environment to date.

 

It is imperative to reassess and revise the current approaches to the Palestinian Question: the humanitarian aid and politically based approaches adopted by the international community based on the massive imbalance of power and void of any human rights foundations, resulting in what is known as the ‘peace process’ and the Oslo Accords, have failed to achieve justice and peace. Instead, these approaches have more deeply entrenched the Ongoing Nakba and facilitate Israel’s colonial domination and apartheid policies. These abysmal circumstances have resulted in the continued denial of the collective and individual rights of the Palestinian people, as dictated by UNGA resolution 194 of 1948 and UNSC resolution 237 of 1967, for the return of the Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons to their places of origin and Palestinian self-determination.

The resounding silence and lack of practical action by the international community in response to the Palestinian prisoners’ demands for dignified treatment; including access to health care, education, lawyers, families’ visits and tools of communication which constitute the most basic human rights is profound.

Read full statement from Badil Resource centre for Palestinian Residency and refugee rights

Israel suppresses Nakba day rallies in Bethlehem and Ramallah

Israeli forces cracked down on Palestinians commemorating the 69th anniversary of the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” on 15th May with several Palestinians sustaining gunshot injuries and suffering from severe tear gas inhalation during marches in Bethlehem and Ramallah. At least three people were hospitalized for after Israeli forces violently suppressed a Nakba march in the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem around midday Monday, with one march participant describing the use of force as one of “the worst (tear) gas experiences” they had witnessed in the city in five years.

 

Witnesses told Ma’an the Israeli forces were deliberately launching tear gas canisters directly at demonstrators on the main street in northern Bethlehem where the march culminated, and continued to shoot tear gas at those attempting the escape, causing numerous people to suffer from tear gas suffocation.

Maaan News carries a full report

Facing the Nakba

Facing the Nakba draws from the pioneering work of the Israeli organization Zochrot (“Remembering” in Hebrew), which published a study guide in 2008 called “How do you say Nakba in Hebrew?” to promote acknowledgment and accountability within Israel for the ongoing injustices of the Nakba. Facing the Nakba also maintains close partnerships with Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights and the Participatory Action Research Center (PARCEO) to further develop our materials and broaden our reach.

 

In the U.S., while most people learn about Israel as a “safe haven” for Jews, they seldom hear about the Palestinian experience of dispossession and expulsion in and prior to 1948. When U.S. Jews do talk about Palestine, the conversation often focuses on the post-1967 occupation, without acknowledging the occupation that began with the founding of the state of Israel.
Acknowledgment of the Nakba can deepen discussions of the history of Palestine, Israel, and the occupation. Thesilence about the Nakba in U.S. Jewish communities and institutions has enabled a massive ignoring of history and sidelining of Palestinian voices.

 

As journalist Gideon Levy wrote in Ha’aretz: “Peace is not going to be prevented because the Palestinians are insisting on the right of return. It will be prevented mainly because Israel is not prepared to internalize the historical starting point: A people without a country came to a country with a people, and that people experienced a terrible tragedy that continues to this day.”

Source:

Relive the lives of Nakba refugees – A video

Between 750,000 and one million Palestinians were forced out their homes in the years leading up to 1948, fleeing the unrest caused by Zionist militias that had come to Mandate Palestine to set up a Jewish state.The Nakba, or Catastrophe, created what has now become the world’s longest lasting refugee crisis with camps being set up in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria to home expelled Palestinians. Though they were due to be temporary structures, the camps became permanent and still stand today. As families expand, the camps have become overpopulated.
Here MEMO gives you the opportunity to walk along a Palestinian refugee’s journey through the Nakba to the modern day.

View video