Every year Palestinians commemorate the Nakba (“the catastrophe”): the expulsion and dispossession of hundreds of thousands Palestinians from their homes and land in 1948. In 1948 more than 60 percent of the total Palestinian population was expelled. More than 530 Palestinian villages were depopulated and completely destroyed. To date, Israel has prevented the return of approximately six million Palestinian refugees, who have either been expelled or displaced. Approximately 250,000 internally displaced Palestinian second-class citizens of Israel are prevented from returning to their homes and villages.
Philip Weiss reports on a Nakba remembrance in New York- Led by a rabbi, Jews and Palestinian-Americans mark Nakba in Passover-derived ceremony– that shows the Zionists are losing their power even as the extremists take hold in Israel.
Thousands of Palestinians have marked the 61st anniversary of the “Nakba” or “catastrophe,” in which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced following the creation of Israel. Demonstrators marched through cities across the West Bank on Thursday, holding Palestinian flags and images of Arab villages razed by Israeli forces in 1948. The ceremonies took place a day early because the May 15 anniversary of the Nakba falls this year on a Friday, a day off in the mostly Muslim Palestinian territories.
In Ramallah, demonstrators waved banners reading, “The right of return is sacred,” and “Return, Jerusalem And Self-Determination: Our Struggle Will Continue” as they gathered at the tomb of Yasser Arafat, the late Palestinian leader. The commemoration followed an announcement by Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, that he intends to ban Israeli Arabs from marking the anniversary of the Nakba.