Saturday, 14 May 2011

Nakba: An Ongoing Struggle and Determination to Establish Justice

Thursday, 12 May 2011 11:16 Bassam  

The day of the Nakba, Arabic for “catastrophe”, is referred to by historians as  the 1948 Israel-Arab war that saw the erection of a new state and the collapse of another. More than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homeland as Zionist forces depopulated more than 450 towns and villages, most of which were then demolished. 

For Palestinians, the day of the Nakba is an ongoing struggle and suffering. Home demolition, land confiscation, siege, separation wall, check points, and discrimination are all examples of what Palestinians in their homeland endure on a regular basis.  Palestinians in refugee camps continue to suffer unimaginable harsh living conditions. Palestinians living across the Arab world are targeted with extreme restrictions to work, education and other civil services. Palestinians across the western world are intimidated by strong pro-Israeli lobbies and threatened by anti-Semitism laws in spite of their legitimate cause.
The day of the Nakba marks the day Palestinians lost the right to their homeland and that of their fathers, but never the loss of their identity. Ben Gurion wrote in his diary in July 1948, after Israel was created that "We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinian refugees] never do return... The old will die and the young will forget".  Contrary to Ben Gurion’s thoughts, the Palestinian refugees’ will and desire to return to their homeland will never vanish, and for many generations to come. The day of the Nakba marks the beginning of a quest for Palestinians to re-establish justice and obtain their rights. Let us not commemorate the day of Nakba, let us end it. 
You might ask what is it that we have as Palestinians that will allow us to change the status quo. The answer is simple: Justice is on our side. Our love to Palestine is beyond any personal gain or faction association. The day of Nakba is what unites Palestinians around their rights. In order for us to see change in the current situation, each one of us shall take action within their personal ability and domain. Over the past 63 years, Palestinians have called upon others to help them and to give them back their rights. It is time to take it upon ourselves to claim our rights as Palestinians. Each one of us has a role to play, as it is no longer acceptable for us to sit back and watch the news as it unfolds. 
A lot of positive developments are happening in the Middle East as we speak, and we should carry that momentum forward as we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 
Aside from the protests and waving flags, Palestinian Canadians will need to focus their energy on grass-root initiatives that would shift the Canadian public opinion and allow for their pleas to be taken more seriously. Palestinian Canadians have a lot to explain to fellow Canadians regarding what happened and what help we are asking for. 
What do you ask of our fellow Canadians? Send your opinion to

No comments: