A WEEK OF AWARENESS OF PALESTINIAN DISPLACEMENT AND EVICTION AND REFUGEES’ RIGHT OF RETURN
On 15 May, Palestinians commemorate their forced displacement and dispossession resulting from the establishment of the state of Israel. Commemorations of this year’s 57th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) aim to draw attention to the need to halt Israel’s ongoing expropriation of Palestinian land and the necessity to recognize and implement Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes and properties in accordance with international law and UN General Assembly Resolution 194.
In Palestine, this year’s memorial is coordinated by the Committee for the Commemoration of the 57th Anniversary of the Nakba, a body composed of representatives of Palestinian refugee community organizations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, members of the global Palestine Right of Return Coalition, as well as Palestinian unions, political groups, national institutions, NGOs and the PLO Department for Refugee Affairs. Until mid-May, numerous events will be organized by local organizations in West Bank and Gaza Strip to be followed by a national memorial ceremony in Ramallah on 15 May.
The annual Return March of internally displaced Palestinians in Israel will be held on Israel ‘s Independence Day, 12 May. Jewish-Israeli initiatives, among them Zochrot, who have taken on the difficult task of bringing the Palestinian Nakba to the attention of the Israeli public will join the march of internally displaced Palestinians to the 1948 depopulated villages of Hawsha an dal-Kasayer (Haifa).
In Lebanon, the public is invited to a photo exhibition, “Memory of the Nakba-Memory of Exile” ,organized by the Aidun Group (Palestine Right of Return Coalition) and the Palestinian Cultural Club of the Beirut Arab University. The exhibition held under the patronage of former Prime Minister Dr. Salim Al Hoss and supported by the Norwegian People’s Aid will be open for the public between 13-16 May at the Ministry of Tourism, Hamra, Beirut.
In Canada , the Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians will hold an information session about the Palestinian Nakba at Carleton University (Bell Theater), Ottawa , in the evening of 14 May. The event will include a lecture and discussion with Dr. Isamil Zayid and a screening of the film ” Palestine is Still the Issue”, by John Pilger.
Zochrot Nakba Learning Center, Tel Aviv: A series of events aimed at ‘discussing what is excluded from Israeli national memory’ and raising awareness of the human cost and consequences of the Palestinian Nakba among Jewish-Israeli society will be organized from 10-17 May by Zochrot in conjunction with Beit Nashim Feministi, al-Rabita Jaffa, filmmakers and Palestinian eyewitnesses of the events in 1948.
BADIL: A special Nakba memorial issue of BADIL’s Arabic languagae magazine Haq al-Awda (The Right of Return) will be released on 14 May and distributed as a supplement to local press in Palestine. Electronic copies will be published on the BADIL website.