Commemorating the Nakba

May 24th, 2009 | Posted in Palestine
    Montreal: Commemorating the Nakba

    Photo: Beersheba, Palestine pictured prior to 1948.

Every May, Israelis celebrate the founding of the state of Israel in 1948. For Palestinians, however, this anniversary is known as the Nakba or “catastrophe” in Arabic because it commemorates the illegal expulsion of the Palestinian people from their homeland by Zionist forces in 1948.

In establishing Israel, the Zionist colonizers dispossessed more than 750,000 Palestinians of their dwellings, farmlands, and orchards and forcibly exiled them from their neighbourhoods, villages, towns and cities. Despite Palestinian resistance to this colonial project, Israel was founded on May 14 1948 and a quarter of a million Palestinians who had fled their homes in search of safety were suddenly physically and legally alienated from their historical and ancestral lands since Israel refused to let the Palestinian refugees return to their homes. A further half million or so would become refugees during the war that followed the declaration of Israeli statehood.

Today, Palestinians continue to struggle for their liberation from colonial domination and call for the respect of their right to return to their homes in historical Palestine, a right affirmed by international law and in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 of December 1948.

Today we march in Montreal to share the memory of the Palestinian homes and villages in Palestine, and to show our solidarity with Palestinians’ goal of returning to their homes , as well as with their aspirations for self-determination and a just peace in the region.

Today we stand, especially, with the Palestinian people of Gaza. In December ’08 and January ‘09, the people of Gaza were subject to a massive, relentless bombardment by Israeli military forces over 22 days. The Israeli forces killed over 1400 Palestinians and injured over 4000. The devastation to Gazan homes and infrastructure was cataclysmic. One legacy of the Nakba is that the 1.5 million inhabitants of Gaza, most of whom are refugees and the descendants of refugees of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine, continue to face, on a daily basis, the deprivation of shelter, water, food and proper medical care.

For more information on the Nakba visit

In 2005, over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, including trade unions, NGOs, and women’s organisations, called for an international campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until Israel:

1) Recognizes the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes,

2) Ends the military occupation of the Palestinian territories,

3) Accords full equality to Palestinian citizens living within Israel. 

Many organisations have joined the movement for BDS – from the South African Confederation of Trade Unions to the Fédération autonome du collégial du Québec (FAC), to prominent artists such as musician Brian Eno and author Arundhati Roy. We urge Montrealers to remember the Nakba and to join the movement for BDS: in your choices as a consumer, in your trade union or community organization, and when you’re at the ballot box.

Tadamon! and the members of the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine.

1 Comment »

Keep the axcellent work !
This is to keep you aware that I’m coming to Toronto,York University,to participate in the Summer Course on Refugees and Forced Migration.I’m supposed to arrive on Thursday,June 4th ! I’m expected to make my presentation on Return during the Course .I’m bringing our House keys in Baisan,Palestine 1948 ! I AM A PALESTINIAN REFUGEE living in Jordan.I was born on May 14,1948, so may age is the same of the NAKBA ! I’m also bringing our lands registration Documents ( Awraq Attabo) and I’m also bringing our UNRWA Registration Card ( Kart El Moan) . I’m going to show all of these, during my presentation,Inshallah .
I’m very interested in contacting you while in Toronto, as I’m planning to stay for some days after the Course.
Looking forward to hearing from you,soon !
Allah Maako !
Ibrahim Al Tahtamouni
Mobile: +962 795 765 789

Comment by Ibrahim — June 2nd, 2009 @ 4:04 AM

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