Palestinians remember the Nakbah, June 15, 2007

On June 8, in San Francisco, about 200 members of the Palestinian and Arab communities and their supporters honored the 59th year of continuous resistance to the occupation of Palestine at a public meeting.

Many audience members had family and friends who directly experienced the U.S.-backed establishment of Israel in 1948. The event organizers, Justice In Palestine Culture Project, stated that, “The Nakbah is the Arabic word for ‘catastrophe.’ It marks the creation of the ‘State of Israel’ in Palestine in 1948, where the Zionists expelled over 750,000 Palestinians, massacred thousands more, and destroyed hundreds of villages. Today, nearly 5 million Palestinians are struggling to return and many more are fighting for equality and justice. After nearly six decades of dispossession, we make sure that our struggle continues and the Nakbah will never be forgotten.”

Their ongoing struggle was shown in a current video of yet another Palestinian olive orchard being hacked down by the Israeli military, toting chainsaws and guns. The video also documented the total clearing of the land with backhoes and bulldozers, and a small home belonging to a Palestinian family being boarded up. The family, shown gathered in outrage, was beaten and driven away at gunpoint.

An extensive new photo exhibit of both historical and recent photos was displayed on the walls in the meeting room, among signs and banners hung up by some of the cosponsoring groups. Speaking to the crowd, Eyad Kishawi, one of the event’s organizers, expressed the general sentiment there, when he emphasized “asserting our right to return ... as Indigenous Arab Peoples.”

—Report and photo by Joan Marquardt

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