Boston commemorates 71 years of ethnic cleansing in Palestine

On Sunday May 19 nearly 70 people gathered at Downtown Crossing in Boston to draw attention to the ongoing Nakba (Catastrophe) in Palestine.

The centerpiece of their Stand Out was a 20-poster exhibit created by the Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine that illustrates the expulsion of nearly 800,000 Palestinians when the State of Israel was created in 1948 and the dispossession, military rule, repression, mass incarceration and denial of freedom of movement that have blighted Palestinian lives since then.

Several panels drew attention to Palestinian resistance, seen in images of the First Intifada, Land Day protests and the 14-month-long Great March of Return in the open-air prison that is the Gaza Strip.

What the ongoing Nakba means today to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip – where more than 70 percent of the residents are refugees – was described in a message sent to us by Mariam who works with a women’s group in Gaza City. She writes:

“I wonder, shall we return to our Palestine?

“71 years ago, Palestinian people have been subjected to a real catastrophe by the Zionist Israeli occupation, where more than 750,000 Palestinians have been forcibly displaced and deported from their own lands…The majority of Palestinians have become refugees and displaced persons; as a result of war crimes committed by the Israeli occupation that have violated International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, morality and customs….

“It is on May 15 that we Palestinians commemorate the Nakba and recall memories of such atrocities and displacement…The Nakba is unforgettable in our minds, no matter how the Israeli occupation tries to develop its policy, whether by means of international peace agreements that are useless, or by collective punishment against Palestinians and finally by the ‘Deal of the Century’ proposal…

“It is the Nakba that expelled a nation from their land that has been occupied by people from around the world who have claimed their right to live on this land where they have never been before …

“It is the Nakba where after 71 years, Palestinians are still struggling for freedom, independence and to establish a state, even on 22% of Palestine’s land on what remains of the 1967 borders…

“The Palestinian people dream of living in security and peace on their land. Dream to return to their land, the land of their ancestors. Dream that the world will respect UN resolutions and obligate Israel to implement them…

“We will continue resisting until freedom.

“Still I wonder, Shall we return to our Palestine?”

Nancy Murray