The Israeli apartheid system is understandably criticized for its occupation of Palestinian territory conquered in the 1967 war. Yet single-minded focus on this occupation often obscures a far bigger crime central to the entire apartheid structure: the ethnic cleansing by Zionist forces in 1948 of more than 750,000 Palestinians to make way for the establishment of the “Jewish state.”
Today, at seven million, the surviving refugees of the 1948 Nakba, or “catastrophe,” and their descendants represent seventy percent of the Palestinian nation. Their right to return to their homeland in the 1948 territories is emblematic not only of the struggle for Palestinian rights, but of the rights of all indigenous peoples resisting colonial dispossession.
For this reason, the Palestinian Right of Return is one of the central demands of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) anti-apartheid campaign against Israel. “Equal rights for Palestinians,” declares BDS leader Omar Barghouti, “means, at minimum, ending Israel’s 1967 occupation and colonization, ending Israel’s system of racial discrimination and respecting the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their lands from which they were ethnically cleansed during the 1948 Nakba.”
“The essence of our struggle is the right of the return for the refugees (+70% of the Palestinian people). They demand their right to return to their homes and they do have the right to do so. If you think that it is not possible then you are really not in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.”
–Maath Musleh, Palestinian youth activist, blogger and journalist based in Jerusalem
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Speakers: Lamis Deek & Miko Peled
Lamis Deek is a long time member of Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, the Arab Muslim American Federation, the board of CAIR-New York, and the National Lawyers Guild. She is co-founder of the US Palestine Community Network.
Miko Peled is an Israeli writer and activist living in San Diego. His book “The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine” (Just World Books) was published earlier this year.
Join us on Tuesday, October 9th for an important discussion of this fundamental principle of Palestine solidarity.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/118754224941174/
Organized by: Al-Awda NY