Podcast Ep 6: Great March of Return is “last stage” of the Nakba

On episode 6 of The Electronic Intifada Podcast, co-hosts Nora Barrows-Friedman and Asa Winstanley are joined by EI contributor Hamza Abu Eltarabesh in Gaza.

Abu Eltarabesh talks about the recent devastating attacks on Gaza by Israeli occupation forces and the ongoing struggle for the Palestinian right of return after 71 years of expulsion.

Since March 2018, Palestinians have been protesting every week as part of the Great March of Return. Abu Eltarabesh has extensively reported on the demonstrations.

The protests “were launched as a way to draw attention to the plight of Palestinians living under a draconian siege that has left Gaza on the brink of a humanitarian disaster,” Abu Eltarabesh writes.

“They are also a reassertion of the Palestinian right of return to the lands and homes from which Palestinians were dispossessed in 1948. Two-thirds of Gaza’s population of approximately two million people are refugees,” he adds.

“In many ways, the Great March of Return is the last stage of the Nakba, which is the stage where we actually return to our lands,” Abu Eltarabesh tells The Electronic Intifada Podcast.

“And our activities are no longer symbolic … but something that materializes into actual action, actual confrontation, actually trying to return after the Nakba.”

The Nakba is the name for the flight and expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians at the hands of Zionist militias before, during and after Israel was established in 1948.

Abu Eltarabesh discusses his work as a reporter and the dangers he and his colleagues face when working in the field.

Since the Great March of Return began, two journalists have been killed and nearly 50 have been wounded with live ammunition, according to the Palestinian rights group Al-Haq.

When he started covering the protests, Abu Eltarabesh says that he wore a vest marked “PRESS” – but quickly realized that it would be safer if he took off the vest and tried to blend in with the crowd, since the Israeli army was deliberately targeting so many journalists.

Following the interview with Abu Eltarabesh, we feature excerpts from a recent speech by Columbia University professor, historian and author Joseph Massad who argues that the Zionist movement and the Israeli state have always been implacably hostile to democracy and universal rights.

Articles we discuss

Special thanks to Tamara Nassar for translation

Music: “Ala Khair” by Revolution Makers

Image: Palestinian protesters in Gaza gather to demand the right to return to their homeland on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, 14 May 2018. (Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Production assistance by Sharif Zakout

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Nora Barrows-Friedman

Nora Barrows-Friedman's picture

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014).