by Ayman Ahmed
May 15 is commemorated by Palestinians and their supporters worldwide as the Nakba.
Roughly translated, it means “catastrophe” or “disaster”.
And catastrophe it has been for the Palestinians for 72 years.
It was on this date (May 15, 1948) that Palestinians were dispossessed of their land and in its place was implanted the Zionist State of Israel.
At least 750,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes in 1948.
The Palestinians’ expulsion from their homes and villages was carried out through armed attacks by Zionist zealots massacring hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children.
The most gruesome murders were perpetrated at Deir Yasin, a village in the West Bank where some 250 Palestinian civilians were butchered in cold blood to create an atmosphere of terror forcing the rest to flee.
The Palestinians were confronted by this catastrophe through an international conspiracy that began as early November 1917 in what came to be called the Balfour Declaration.
In typical colonial style, the British government promised a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine.
No Palestinian was consulted; it was not deemed necessary.
Then in November 1947 through a General Assembly resolution (# 181), 56% of Palestinian land was handed over to the Jewish people when they constituted at most 30% of the population in Palestine.
And that too because of illegal immigration into Palestine from 1917 to 1948.
In 1917, the Jewish population of Palestine was less than 6%.
Only 44% of Palestine was given to 70% of the Palestinian population.
Not surprisingly, the Palestinians and the rest of the Muslim world vehemently rejected this injustice.
The Jewish people had suffered grievously during the Second World War in Nazi Germany.
Instead of giving them a homeland in Europe or even America, the Palestinians were made to pay the price.
And the Palestinians continue to suffer to this day as the Arabian rulers have also betrayed them.
More Palestinian land has been forcibly expropriated by heavily-armed Zionist settlers.
And Donald Trump’s so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ designed to rob the Palestinians of the rest of their land as well.
Today, the West Bank is little more than a patchwork of Bantustans while the tiny sliver of Gaza Strip is home to more than 2 million Palestinians besieged from all sides, including the sea.
Conditions in Gaza are so appalling that even UN agencies have said it is virtually unlivable because of water pollution (90% of its water is undrinkable).
There is desperate shortage of food and medicines.
The Nakba is not just a past event, it is a daily occurrence for the Palestinians.
More than 5,000 Palestinians languish in Israeli prisons, among them women and children.
They face a further threat of the infectious disease, COVID-19 because of cramped and unsanitary conditions.
Despite these hardships, the Palestinians have not given up on their right of return to their homes.
And contrary to Zionist propaganda, the Palestinians and their supporters do not want to drive the Jews into the sea.
The Palestinians want to be treated as equal citizens under the law with all other inhabitants of the Holy Land.
Is that too much to ask?
Unfortunately, the Palestinians’ Nakba continues, so does the resistance against occupation and injustice.