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NAKBA REMEMBERED May 16, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Human Rights, Israel-Palestine, Peace.
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Palestinians have remembered Nakba, and the complicity of the Western Imperial Powers and the Jewish settlers in the dispossession from their land in 1948.

The occasion was reported by the ABC, quoting Agente France Press. Not surprisingly, the report highlights the violence of the victims, rather than the aggressors. The report noted:

Thousands of Palestinians have taken to the streets in the West Bank and Gaza to mark the day they call the Nakba, or catastrophe. It commemorates their loss of land and homes in 1948 in the war that accompanied Israel’s declaration of independence. More than 760,000 Palestinians fled or were driven out of their homes.

Demonstrators poured onto the streets in several towns and cities across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, chanting slogans against Israel. In East Jerusalem, protesters burned Israeli flags and hurled stones at Israeli troops manning security points.
Soldiers responded by firing tear gas and rubber bullets. Many protesters could be seen with blood on their faces as they waved black flags and roared angry slogans[like animals, especially lions perhaps meant to complementary].

There were also clashes in the West Bank towns of Hebron and Bethlehem. In the West bank city of Ramallah, where president Mahmud Abbas has his headquarters, sirens wailed and hundreds of people at a rally in the central Clock Square stood in silence for 64 seconds – one for each year of Israeli statehood. Cars flew black flags carrying a picture of a house key and the word “return” in English and Arabic to remember homes they left or were forced from which are now inside Israel.

Around 20 people were wounded in the protests.

Alison Deger at Mondoweiss reported on activities at Tel Aviv University, where some students claimed that the Jewish settlers had entered an unoccupied land, supported by photographic evidence, including:

Settlers in Tel Aviv, 1906.

.

Alison Deger comments:

Early photos of Tel Aviv’s pioneers on the sand dunes are a central feature of Zionist mythology. However, the site of Tel Aviv University tells another story as it was built over the ruins of a Palestinian village that was destroyed during Nakba, Sheikh Muwannis. The current faculty lounge is located in the home of the village’s mukhtar [head of the village] and it is the last original building still standing. About a decade ago a few faculty members and the Israeli organization Zochrot urged the university to place a plaque on the wall of the lounge, recognizing the history of Sheikh Muwannis. To date the administration has rebuffed their request.

Other students, without the support of the administration commemorated Nakba. The Student Union had earlier issued a statement in opposition to the commemoration.

Talila Lesher, Ha’aretz reports:

According to Noa Levy, a law student and organizer of the Nakba Day ceremony, “The idea of the ceremony is to be concrete recognition of the pain and loss that the government caused people in this land feel. It’s less about the political-national question, and more about recognizing the tragedy that happened here.”

“Every year different political bodies organize events focusing on the Nakba, in an attempt to make it the focal point of relations between Jews and Arabs in the area. What has never been done, and the time has come to do it, is to commemorate the Nakba in an alternative way, accessible to and created for the Israeli public – an event to remember the tragedy and great loss that befell the people who were here before ’48, many of which still live here,” continued Levy.

Levy also commented on the nature of the ceremony to be held. “It won’t deal with issues of blame, instead it will present the tragedy in as personal a way as possible,” said Levy

On the ceremony’s agenda is a reading of a poem by poet Mahmoud Darwish, a moment of silence, as well a reading of an alternative version of the “Yizkor” prayer traditionally read at events commemorating fallen soldiers.

Sonja Karkar created the following video for Australians for Palestine, May 2012:

Meanwhile, in what some have described as a political master stroke by ptime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, in the only democracy in the Middle East, the major remaining opposition party in the Knesset has agreed to join the government coalition. The rightward dynamics of Israeli  politics, would appear to due to the political influence emigrants, particularly from the former Soviet Union.

Equally the whole sorry business of invasion,colonization, and dispossession with long aftermath mistakes, misunderstanding and cruelty in Australia has reverberations in South Brisbane with the intervention of the Mayor.  This is currently a live story with the ABC reporting:
-

Police have arrested two protesters at an Aboriginal tent embassy at Musgrave Park in South Brisbane. The embassy has been in the park since March but the Brisbane City council wants the protesters to move to make way for the annual Greek festival held in the park. This morning dozens of protesters have stoked a large bonfire in the park and say they will stand firm.

Hundreds of police moved into the park just before dawn and surrounded the protesters. Police have also started dismantling tents in the precinct.

Negotiations are continuing between police and the tent embassy organisers.They are trying to find a compromise, which may involve reducing the number of tents and protesters at the site.

The Brisbane City Council says it did not have a problem with the movement until it started expanding and became a free campsite for anyone wanting to stay there.
The council says with the Paniyiri Greek Festival due to be held in the park this weekend, the embassy has to go. Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says he is not kicking them out altogether and has offered them a nearby section of the park.
. . .
“The last time a leader evicted Aboriginal people from Musgrave Park was Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen in 1984.”

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