The Nakba Continues, Resistance is Steadfast

Dear Catalyst community,

Yesterday, Israel killed at least 55 Palestinians as they attempted to cross from Gaza into Israel in defiance of Israel’s economic blockade of Gaza and the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. More than 2400 were wounded.

Today Palestinians everywhere commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nakba – the “catastrophe” of the expulsion of the majority of Palestinians from their homes in order to create the state of Israel.

The Nakba is not only a moment in time, but an ongoing uprooting that attempts to erase the very existence of Palestinians who have lived under continuous occupation for more than two generations.

“It must be clear that there is no room in the country for both people…the only solution is a Land of Israel … without Arabs. There is no room here for compromise…there is no way but to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries…not one village to be left, not one tribe.”
–Yosef Weitz, director of the Jewish National Fund’s land department and founder of the Transfer Committee, 1944.

When asked what would happen to the Palestinians who remained after the Nakba, Menachem Begin, one of its architects, replied: “The old will die, and the young will forget.”

But the young have never forgotten. In spite of a suffocating siege – checkpoints, expanding settlements, unlivable conditions, massive imprisonment, and almost daily killings, Palestinians have never stopped resisting. Close to 100 have died since the beginning of The Great Return March, yet thousands continue to defy live fire to demand the right to return.

The occupation would not last a day without US military and political support of Israel, and those of us who are committed to building a world without racism and war need to challenge U.S. complicity and stand in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

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I Come From There
by Mahmoud DarwishI come from there and I have memories
Born as mortals are, I have a mother
And a house with many windows,
I have brothers, friends,
And a prison cell with a cold window.
Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gulls,
I have my own view,
And an extra blade of grass.
Mine is the moon at the far edge of the words,
And the bounty of birds,
And the immortal olive tree.
I walked this land before the swords
Turned its living body into a laden table.
I come from there. I render the sky unto her mother
When the sky weeps for her mother.
And I weep to make myself known
To a returning cloud.
I learnt all the words worthy of the court of blood
So that I could break the rule.
I learnt all the words and broke them up
To make a single word: Homeland.

‘I loved the sense of unity we all felt when both young men and women helped each other during the march protest,’ said Taghreed al-Barawi, seen in the photo [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]

Towards a free Palestine,
Donna Willmott
on behalf of Catalyst Project