Demonstrations Set For 75th Anniversary Of Palestinian Nakba

More Than 700,000 Palestinians Were Displaced And Dispossessed

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Preparations for the 75th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba are underway with protests and demonstrations planned in cities around the country. 

Nakba, Arabic for “catastrophe,” refers to the 1948 violent upheaval of nearly 700,000 Palestinian civilians from their homes and the destruction of more than 500 villages, resulting in permanent refugee camps that still stand to this day. As of 2019, more than 5 million Palestinians were registered as refugees with the United Nations, with nearly half live in the West Bank and Gaza, which have been illegally occupied since 1967.

The Nakba and subsequent transgressions continue to go generally undiscussed in western academic, political and media circles, even amongst socially-conscious audiences, and have become particularly overshadowed by recent events in Eastern Europe.

Last year saw Fredericksburg City Councilman John Gerlach introduce a resolution “Supporting the Ukrainian People” in just two weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February. In it, he stated that “lasting peace and prosperity require respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries and respect for human rights.” Wearing Ukrainian-colored pins, the Fredericksburg City Council passed that resolution, but has remained silent about similar transgressions elsewhere, including those in the occupied territories.

In his article “Palestine: 10 Lessons From Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” American Muslims for Palestine President Dr. Hatem Bazian attributes the selective silence to the “exceptions” long practiced by white, western audiences.

“The people of Ukraine are European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed while Palestinians are Arab and have a darker complexion. Lesson one, empathy and recognition of pain and suffering is color-coded and race still matters in 2022.”

He sees further inconsistencies in how the world treats its oldest refugee population, from international law to media coverage.

“Media coverage rightly focused on the victims of the Russian invasion and the human stories with people taking weapons to defend their families, homes, and cities. Palestine always faces the media coverage that amplifies, humanizes, and centers the narrative of the settler-colonial occupation, while erasing or often problematizing Palestinian narrative in the often deployed euphemism of death during “clashes”, Israel having the right to defend itself or responding to rocket firing.”

The American Muslims for Palestine, Palestinian Youth Movement and other activist groups will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nakba with rallies across the country, including Washington DC.

Learn more about the #Nakba75 demonstration at the Washington Monument this Sunday, May 14th at bit.ly/3NODsll.

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