Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My speech at Nakba day vigil - 14 May 2006

Hi Everybody

First of all I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land.

Thanks for coming today to mark the 58th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba. As you probably all know, Nakba means in Arabic “catastrophe”, and 58 years ago it was catastrophe, at least for Palestinians.

750, 000 Palestinians overnight found themselves refugees in other countries, or inside their own. Hundreds of villages and towns were destroyed and erased from the map. Most importantly a very bloody conflict started, which cost tens of thousands of innocent lives, and lasted for more than half century, and is still going on.

We, in the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine, decided to hold a vigil outside the British consulate, because we are holding the British politicians historically, legally and morally responsible for the Nakba and the subsequent suffering in the area because of it. The British Empire was the one which created and allowed this Nakba to happen. The British politicians in London gave the land that they do not own to the people that do not belong to.

The Nakba did not only affect the 750,000 Palestinian refugees. It affected the lives of their children, and grandchildren who were born and raised up as refugees till today.

Also, and subsequent to it, there were several bloody conflicts in 1967, 1973, 1978, 1982, 1989, 2000… which resulted in more refugees, deaths, invalids and orphans.

At the moment, and subsequent to the Nakba and the insistence of Israel to remain Jewish, to use any means to be the most powerful in the region and to keep the occupation, even if this means refusing to implement UN resolutions or recognize International law and suppressing the fundamental human rights of Palestinians.

Israel at the moment is acting as above-the-law state that can do whatever it wishes. Yesterday’s shooting on the peace activists, one of them Australian, is a very good example where Israel is disregarding any consequences of violation of human rights and international laws.

These acts were well covered because 2 of the injured were Western citizens. The same acts are committed daily by Israeli soldiers, and even on more deadly scale, under the eyes and ears of international community and even with no mentioning in the media.

Instead of holding Israel responsible for its acts, the Palestinian people were punished for exercising their democratic choices. US and EU, instead of demanding from Israel to implement UN resolutions, withdraw from the occupied territories, stop the killings of innocents, stop the destruction of homes and allowing the return of the refugees and their compensation for the years of sufferings and their losses, instead of all this, they are infact starving the Palestinian population under occupation, creating humanitarian crises and encouraging Israel to continue with its violations and abuses.

We should all keep the campaign to demand from Israel to abide by international law and the UN resolutions, including the dismantling of the Apartheid Wall and the end of occupation.

Thanks again for coming here and keep up the good work. The Palestinian people need your help.

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