Sunday, 15 May 2016

Marking 68th anniversary of the Nakba :- Day of catastrophe.

Today marks the 68th anniversary of the occupation of Palestine, so on this day as Palestinian people enter the 68th  year of dispossession and exile, Palestinians, friends of Palestine and supporters of justice and liberation , commemorate the Nakba ( day of catastrrophe) and call for the right of return for Palestinian refugees and freedom for Palestine.
68 years after the Nakba in which over 800,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes and land and the state of Israel created on their land. Palestinians continue to struggle for their right tto return, for freedom from occupation and for justice.
Today also marks 68 years of land theft and bloodshed. It saw 531 villages being cleared , with massacres that led to 16,000 Palestinians being killed at the hands of Zionist para-military groups like Haganah, that later formed the core of the Israeli Defense Force, Ergun and the Stern Gang. Systematically removing the Palestinians from their land in an ethnic cleansing that continues to this day.
I will continue to side with the Palestinian who dares to dream of the day of return, when they can open up the locked doors of their stolen homes, are welcomed home, recognised  and encouraged by a world that acknowledges the injustice that has been inflicted upon them.
Today we will see the Palestinian people renew  their demands for return, to their cities, villages and lands that they were forced to leave in 1948. Many Palestinians still carry keys to the homes they or their ancestors were displaced from,all those years ago, a  continuing haunting memory of their existence.
For the past 68 years  Palestinians have resisted the Israeli Government's continued efforts to erase the memories of trauma and resistance that began with the Nakba and will remain rooted to their land. Beyond their suffering and Israels blockade of the West Bank and the open air prison we know as Gaza it does not stop their dream for their right to return and for having Jerusalem as their capital. 
Today we remember and recount the unique personal stories of those who lived through the Nakba  and acknowledge that today over 4 million registered Palestinians worldwide, the majority of them still living within 60 miles of the border of Israel and the West Bank and Gaza strip where their original homes are located. Israel refuses to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or to pay them compensation as required by UN resolution 194  of 1948. Over 1.7 million Palestinians now live under occupation in the West Bank  imprisoned by an Israeli wall, and the over  2 million currently living under military siege in Gaza, denied a series of fundamental rights, that include the freedom to move, access to clean water, food, medicine and electricity.
Their catastrophe ongoing. But their will remains  unbroken, we stand with them today in solidarity,until they are allowed to move freely again in Palestine, until they are given back the dignity and respect and basic rights  that they deserve as human beings, hoping that this cycle of injustice can be ended,  it is not just about remembering , a day of mourning , it is acknowledging the Palestinians right to return,  maybe one day, one day the continued catastrophe will end.
Viva Palestina.

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