The Nakba (catastrophe) is marked by Palestinians and their supporters every year on 15 May. This year, on the 74th anniversary of the declaration of Israel as a ‘jewish state’, to be achieved by the murder and unashamed robbery of so many Palestinians, the forced expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their country, and the bloody butchery of whole villages (such as Deir Yassin in 1948), the Nakba continues.
We mustn’t think that in the commemoration of that catastrophe for Palestine and its people that only the events of 1948 are remembered, That was the start, but the Nakba has been ongoing, and with every year that passes we witness ever greater tragedies brought down upon the heads of the long-suffering Palestinians by those who run the zionist entity on behalf of their imperialist US masters.
This year saw zionist military forces increasingly regularly invading the holy Al-Aqsa mosque to beat those in prayer, whether young or old. Meanwhile, the zionist ‘high’ court has given the thumbs up to the Israeli government to forcibly displace over 1,000 Palestinians from 12 villages in the Masafer Yatta area in the occupied West Bank.
On 11 May, in the run-up to Nakba day, the much-loved and respected Palestinian-American Shireen Abu Akleh, a veteran journalist at Al Jazeera’s Ramallah bureau, was murdered by zionist killers from the Israeli ‘Defence’ Force (IDF) while she was covering a very violent raid that its members were making on the refugee camp at Jenin.
For the zionists, this was the deliberate elimination of someone who had long been a thorn in their side, and they showed their customary lack of remorse for her killing. This was compounded by a total lack of ordinary human respect for the dead, when Israeli police tried to prevent mourners from attending the 50-year-old’s funeral and then attacked the crowd that was trying to bring her body out from the catholic hospital morgue where it was laying.
Friends, family and colleagues wanted to carry Shireen’s body on foot to the Greek orthodox church in east Jerusalem where her burial would take place, but the police prevented them with ruthless violence, beating not only the many mourners who were carrying Palestinian flags in her honour but even those bearing her coffin, which they took possession of and whisked away.
Checkpoints were set up to prevent people processing through the streets to attend the funeral ceremony, with police even going so far as to check whether mourners were christian or muslim, and to search their pockets for hidden flags in a desperate attempt to crush all expression of national identity and collective grief or rage.
Yet despite such barbarous acts; despite the seven-and-a-half decades of murder, imprisonment, legislative and armed harassment, property theft, racial apartheid and human/civil rights denial that Palestinians have endured under the brutal zionist regime, they have not given in or gone away. Quite the contrary. Every year, every new atrocity reaffirms their determination to win through to freedom.
History has shown that such determination cannot be overcome by firepower. A time will surely come when Nakba day will be a commemoration to remember only the trials of the past, in a country once again called Palestine, where people’s religion, or lack of it, will be a personal matter with no bearing on their legal, civil or human rights.
Until that day arrives, workers all over the world continue to stand with their Palestinian brothers and sisters, declaring their full support for the Palestinian liberation struggle, in whatever form it takes, and their rejection of the slow-motion genocide that is being attempted by the zionist thugs in the interest of their own petty privileges and in the service of the maximum profit and global domination of their imperialist masters.