In the Network: Media Co-op Dominion   Locals: HalifaxMontrealTorontoVancouver

No More Nakba!

Support Palestinians’ Right of Return

by freexero Original Peoples, →Canadian Foreign Policy

No More Nakba!

Also posted by freexero:

 On May 15, many Israelis will celebrate the 62th anniversary of Israel’s 1948 “War of Independence”. Palestinians and people of conscience worldwide remember May 15 as Al-Nakba (“the Catastrophe” in Arabic) – recognising the violent expulsion in 1948  of over 800,000 Palestinian refugees from their homes (75% of the population), and the destruction of 418 Palestinian villages. Annual Nakba commemorations are important events in Israel, where 20% of the citizens are Palestinian who suffer under the “ongoing Nakba” of apartheid-style policies including: land confiscation, discriminatory development planning, segregation and underfunding of Palestinian communities, home demolitions and forced evictions.

But now even that solemn rememberance is being targeted by the openly racist policies of the goverment of Israel. The Knesset’s Law Committee recently approved a proposed law (“Nakba bill”) that, if passed, would impose economic sanctions on the organizers of Nakba commemorations in Israel (the intial draft included criminal sanctions as well). In effect, the bill requires that Palestinian citizens of Israel deny their history and identity, and accept their current status as second-class citizens in a “Jewish state”.
In the Gaza Strip, where refugees make up over 70% of the population, a brutal siege by Israel and its allies, including Canada, has prevented the shipment of fuel, medical supplies, food aid and reconstruction supplies- worsening the extremely harsh conditions caused by Israel’s criminal 23-day assault last year that killed more than 1000 Palestinian civilians. A comprehensive report to the UN by Judge Goldstone concluded that Israel’s attack was “designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population.”
There are now more than 6 million Palestinian refugees whose right of return to their homes is denied by the state of Israel. While Palestinians living in Israel are subject to systemic discrimination, the people of Gaza and the West Bank continue to live under an illegal military occupation. The illegal occupation has been marked by targeted assassinations, arbitrary imprisonment and torture, military incursions and curfews that confine entire populations to their homes, a vast network of over 500 checkpoints and roadblocks within the West Bank,  annexation of Palestinian-owned land, demolitions of Palestinian homes, and a systematic policy of  economic strangulation. At the same time, the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land continues, with over 400,000 Israeli settlers now residing on occupied Palestinian land.
UN General Assembly Resolution 194 states that “the [Palestinian] refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property.” This resolution has been affirmed by the UN over 130 times since its introduction in 1948 with universal consensus except for Israel and the U.S.
“an international consensus was built [against apartheid], which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”
– Nelson Mandela
Catch the news as it breaks: follow the VMC on Twitter.
Join the Vancouver Media Co-op today. Click here to learn about the benefits of membership.

The site for the Vancouver local of The Media Co-op has been archived and will no longer be updated. Please visit the main Media Co-op website to learn more about the organization.