For 63 years, The Palestinian people resiliently commemorate the Palestinian Nakba on May 15, remembering their displacement, dispossession, calling for their inalienable rights to self-determination, national independence, and the right to return to their homes of origin.
For 63 years, the Nakba goes on and the commemoration becomes stronger as more residency rights (over 140, 000) are revoked, more land confiscated, more homes demolished and more discriminatory measures follow the original plan of a land without a people.
May 15, 2011 was a turning historical point in the lives of the Palestinians under occupation, in historic Palestine/Israel and surrounding Middle East countries, where all Palestinians, old survivors of 1948 holding the deeds and the keys to their homes and third generation refugees challenged the Israeli myth that the Old Palestinians would die and the younger ones would forget their plight. The seven million Palestinians all over the world and many supporters took a new stand. Armed with Palestinians flags and the persistent demand for the right of return, organized non-violent resistance all over the OPT including Jerusalem and Gaza, inside Israel including Tel Aviv and other cities, Refugees from Lebanon and Syria dared to cross the frontiers and prove their renewed determination not to accept defeat anymore.
Resolution 194 that had given them that right in 1948 is still buried in the annals of the UN dusty files. Encouraged by the Arab Spring and the non-violent revolts that brought down dictatorial regimes, and filled with the hope of the most recent united Palestinian reconciliation, young people expressed their ardent desire to live. The occasion was marked by painting exhibits, peaceful marches, marathons and races, and where the Israeli soldiers tried to disrupt the joyous celebrations by shooting and arresting people.
Israel that has already passed the first reading of a law at the Knesset forbidding the commemoration of al-Nakba, put it to the test this week and had failed completely.
On Friday, May 13, Milad Ayyash , a 17 year old young man from Jerusalem had his life taken by Israeli bullets. In Gaza, Nahed life came to an end while 52 people in Beit Hannoun were teargassed and dozens have been hospitalized. The dreams of 15 Palestinians have been shattered by the violent arbitrary killing of the Israeli army, who, last week celebrated the 63 year old establishment of their state. Is there a monopoly on rights? Hundreds have been wounded and maimed, tens arrested including Palestinian American citizens and other internationals objecting to the new settlement in Walaja near Bethlehem.
For a country that claims it is working for peace, Israel lifted the veil of lies by savagely shooting at the refugees who reached Ras Maroon from Lebanon and Majdal Shams. The bodies of the young martyrs were carried back to the refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria, the only mock homes that these kids had known, away from their homeland.
Now is the time to ACT
Kairos Palestine appeals to:
- The Palestinian people and leadership to ensure the national reconciliation and unity as a matter of urgency, and to support and activate popular resistance in all forms permitted under international law.
- The UN and the international community not only to condemn the brutal killings of those killed in non-violent rightful marches demanding their inalienable rights but courageously implement the 63 year old resolution of the right of return.
- The USA administration and President Obama, as you dared raise a reprimanding voice against the violent measures imposed by some Arab leaders against demonstrators, we urge you to condemn Israel that should not be above reproach or condemnation.
- The Arab World and the Arab league to truthfully prioritize the independence of the Palestinian State and to support all efforts of a genuine democratic state.
- The Church leaders and all Assemblies including the WCC-International Peace Convocation meeting in Jamaica to follow up on rectifying the injustice in our land that they bravely named as evil and sin so that it will end and we can start seeing glimmers of a long-awaited peace in this troubled region that deserves peace.
- All peace-loving people to build and expand the civil society-led movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and exert stronger pressure on states to implement sanctions and adopt decisions and resolutions which support the global BDS Campaign.
16th, May 2011