The Palestinian Nakba at 58 – the Nakba Continues...
For Immediate Release
No. (E/10/06) 29 April 2006
Every year in May, Palestinians commemorate their forced displacement and dispossession (al-Nakba, the catastrophe) resulting from the establishment of the state of Israel 58 years ago and demand implementation of refugees' right to return to their homes and properties in accordance with international law and UN General Assembly Resolution 194. The 2006 memorials will also address the “ongoing Nakba”, i.e continued forced displacement of Palestinians caused by land confiscation and de facto annexation, in particular as a result of Israel's Wall in the occupied West Bank, including eastern Jerusalem.
2006 memorial events also serve to launch a two-year long global campaign of awareness-raising and activation towards the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba in May 2008.
The Dimensions of the Palestinian Nakba
Until 1948 most Palestinian Arabs lived in Palestine. By 2005, half of the Palestinian people (4.8 million) were living in areas outside the borders of historical Palestine. The transformation in demography occurred largely through displacement/expulsion during periods of armed conflict and subsequent denationalization of Palestinian refugees.
Until 1948 Palestinian Arabs owned most of the land in Palestine. By 2005, Palestinians owned or controled only 12 percent of the land in former Palestine (Israel and the OPT). The transformation in the control and ownership of land occurred largely through mass expropriation of Palestinian owned property, which is now held by Israel as the inalienable property of the Jewish people in Israel and outside.
Less than one percent of the Palestinian refugee population has been permitted to return. Even fewer have had access to housing and property restitution. Today, Palestinian refugees (6.8 million persons) are one of the largest and longest-standing refugee populations in the world.
(Source: BADIL Survey of Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons 2004-2005)
2006 Nakba Memorial, Calendar of Events (preliminary)
TEL AVIV - On the eve of Israel's Independence Day (according to the Hebrew calendar), Zochrot invites to an out-door screening of Nakba testimonies, lecture and film excerpts by Dr. Ariela Azoulay: “Independence: Rule is Always Foreign.”
08:00 pm at the Zochrot Office
61 Ibn Givrol St., Tel Aviv (entrance from Mane St.)
MISKA VILLAGE (1948 depopulated) – a visit to the village will be organized by Zochrot and the Committee of Miska refugees. After the visit, participants will join the Annual Return March to Um al-Zeinat (see below);
Departure: Bus 194 from Ramleh, Lod/Lydda and Tel Aviv from the central train station (Arlozorov) at 10:45;
Contact: 050-6314229 (Eitan Bronstein, Zochrot); 052-3359358 (Ismat Shbita, Miska Committee).
UM AL-ZEINAT (1948 depopulated) - Annual return march to the 1948 depopulated Palestinian village of Um al-Zeinat (Mt. Karmel, Haifa), organized on Israel's Indepence Day by the Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Internally Displaced in Israel (ADRID);
Meeting place: 03:00 pm at the entrance to the village;
4 May (until 11 May)
WEST JERUSALEM – Start of series of screenings of pictures, films and testimonies of the Palestinian Nakba in Jerusalem neighborhoods and villages coordinated by New Profile:
4 May – LIFTA: City Square in front of the Jerusalem central bus station;
8 May – BAQAA: in Emeq Refaim Street, next to the Templers' cementar;
10 May – TALBIYEH: next to the Jerusalem Theatre;
11 May – EIN KARIM: next to the well, Ein Karim.
Contact: Neta Rotem, New Profile 054-7719839. (http://www.newprofile.org)
6 May (until 12 May)
WEST BANK - Start of a series of live-studio debates, “The Palestinian Nakba at 58” organized by BADIL in cooperation with the MA'AN TV network in Tulkarem (6 May), Nablus (8 May), Kalandia/Ramallah (10 May), Hebron (12 May).
SHU'FAT REFUGEE CAMP – LIFTA - March of Return to Lifta (Jerusalem) organized by the Union of Youth Activity Centers (UYAC), BADIL and Zochrot. Marchers will depart from the Kalandia and Shu'aft refugee camps. They will be joined on their way by Jewish Israeli marchers from Zochrot, New Profile, Bat Shalom, and others. The closing ceremony in Lifta, a 1948 depopulated Jerusalem village, will include testimonies of the Nakba and of the current struggle for the preservation of the Lifta, music, as well as arts activities for children, and participants will help to clean the garbage dumped among the village ruins.
Meeting places and contacts:
· Shu'fat camp (UYAC, Wajih Atallah, tel. 0599-255584);
· West Jerusalem, 10:00 a.m. (the exact place of the meeting will be published on the Zochrot website: www.zochrot.org Tel.: 03-6953155 (Zochrot office), 050-631 4229 (Eytan Bronstein).
VANCOUVER, CANADA - March for Palestine: Support the Palestinian Right of Return organized by Al-Awda Vancouver and the Palestinian Arab Women's Association (PAWA);
When: 13 May, noon; Meeting place: Vancouver Art Gallery/Robinson Square
NEW YORK – Nakba Commemoration March organized by Al-Awda new York.
When: Sunday, 14 May, noon.
Meeting place: Bay Ridge, Brooklyn; 5th Avenue between 67th and 66th Street.
NETHERLANDS - “Lifta, a case for international planning and architecture”; public meeting on Reconstruction of Memory organized by FAST in De Balie, Amsterdam, with guest from Palestine and worldwide;
JERUSALEM - 21:30 Jerusalem Cinemateque, Screening of the film 'Mafatih' by Salim Dahu, followed by discussion with the director and a Palestinian refugee; organized by Bat Shalom.
Contact: Hulud Badawi : 052-3966281 (www.batshalom.org)
Cenral 2006 Nakba Memorial Rally organized by the National Committee for the Commemoration of the 58th Anniversary of the Nakba, Palestine;
Where: Ramallah, Al-Manara Square, 01:30 p.m.
(Announcements of additional events will follow, for more information about other events please see: http://www.badil.org/upcoming-events.htm).