Seventy-two years ago, the majority of the people of Palestine were expelled from their homes by terror, force and massacre. Thousands of children, women and men were executed in cold blood and 530 villages were destroyed so that the racist settler state of “Israel” could be created on their land. Today that state, which declared its so-called “independence” on May 15, 1948, directly occupies 85 percent of the land of Palestine and part of Syria.
For Palestinians, 1948 was the start of Al-Nakba, the catastrophe of exile and occupation that continues to this day. Palestinians on the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem live under a daily reign of terror from Israeli troops and settlers, who murder and kidnap them and destroy their crops and animals in an effort to drive them from their land. In the Gaza Strip, nearly 2 million Palestinians live under a constant state of siege, locked inside a giant open-air prison where water is not fit to drink, electricity runs a few hours a day, and people die from lack of medicine.
The very existence of “Israel” has been a 72-year-long war against the people of Palestine and the neighboring countries of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. For 72 years, this war has been subsidized by the United States, which provides an endless flow of arms and dollars to the Zionist fortress in Palestine. On May 22, while millions of workers in the U.S. worried about their next meal, the U.S. Senate Foreign Aid Committee approved a $38-billion aid package to Israel. On May 12, Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, visited Jerusalem to support Israel’s plan to annex large areas of the occupied West Bank.
For the corporate stooges in Washington, the racist state of Israel is part of the U.S. warfare state, a tool in their bloody struggle to maintain the position of U.S. banks and corporations in the world economy. In 2017, aboard the USS George Bush, moored in Palestinian waters, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “A few miles from here, there is another aircraft carrier for our common civilization — it’s called the State of Israel.”
For the people of Palestine, however, the land between the river and the sea remains their homeland. In 72 years, they have never stopped fighting for the right to live in peace and freedom in every corner of their land. Their victory in this just struggle would alter the global balance of forces in favor of the workers and oppressed people of the world.
Palestinians and their allies around the world marked May 15-22 as a week of struggle for freedom and the right to return to their land. Millions around the world also marked May 22, the last Friday of Ramadan, as the International Day of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), a global day of solidarity with Palestine.
As part of this week, several powerful webinars were held. They can be viewed at the links below:
72 Years of Nakba, Marching Toward Return: Al-Awda Virtual Rally
Liberate Palestine from the River to the Sea, with Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat
Talk by Mohammed Khatib of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoners Solidarity Network
Al-Quds Day Global Online Rally
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