What is Nakba for the Month of May?

What is Nakba for the Month of May?

2 min. read | By Multiple

The Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) is the destruction of Palestinian society and homeland and the permanent dispossession of a majority of the Palestinians living in historic Palestine, beginning in the late 1940s. The term subsumes the events of the late 1940s, as well as the subsequent and ongoing persecution, displacement, and military occupation of the Palestinians.

Palestinians Forced to Flee after Israel Occupation
Palestinians Forced to Flee after Israel Occupation | © Kiri Vadivelu

In 2023, it will be 75 years since the initial acts of dispossession and violence faced by the Palestinian people. Today, Palestinians in Israel live as second-class citizens, those in East Jerusalem and the West Bank live a daily nightmare of occupation, colonization and apartheid, and the Palestinians in Gaza live under a devastating blockade and occupation. There are many tragic elements to the Nakba, including the fact that 78% of Mandatory Palestine was incorporated into the state of Israel, with the remaining 22% currently suffering under Israeli military occupation. During the Nakba, 700,000 Palestinians also became refugees, had to flee to neighbouring areas, and were never given the opportunity to return. The Nakba also embodies the fact that Israel depopulated and destroyed over 500 Palestinian villages.

The Nakba is core symbol of Palestinian identity. The Nakba has been commemorated in books, songs and poems. Celebrated Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish described the Nakba as "an extended present that promises to continue in the future."

In 1998, PLO leader and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat proposed that Palestinians should observe “Nakba Day” on May 15 – the day after Israel’s independence day. Nevertheless, given that the Nakba is ongoing, some people feel that it is unwise to put the emphasis too strongly on a single day of the year.

Nakba 75 Action is offered as a public action resource to individuals and groups around the globe to encourage commemoration of the Nakba’s 75th anniversary with powerful and respectful events. It is important that our perspective and work not be limited to one day – Nakba Day/May 15 – but to use the entire year to educate and act in solidarity with Palestine.

Retrieved from CJPME Press

For more information, please contact
Municipal Socialist Alliance
Call: 647-986-1917
[email protected]


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