Nakba Day a time of pain and resistance

May 15, 2024

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) today marks Nakba Day, the 76th anniversary of ‘The Catastrophe’, by acknowledging the steadfastness and strength of the  Palestinian people struggling for their rights and self-determination.

The pain of this anniversary is amplified this year by Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza. And so APAN also today demands that the Australian Government acts to end Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinian people from their homeland, in particular through this genocide in Gaza.

Just as Australia was built upon the myth of terra nullius, so too was the state of Israel born of the myth that the land of Palestine was ‘a land without people for a people without land.’

This myth laid the foundation for Zionist militias and the new Israeli army to violently expel three quarters of all Palestinians from their homes and homelands in 1948, in order to establish a Jewish majority in Palestine.

The Nakba saw between 750,000 and one million Palestinians driven from their homes and land, many of them forced to do so when Zionist militias and the Israeli army massacred Palestinians. These depopulated villages and towns were destroyed ensuring Palestinains could not return to their homes. 

In the 76 years since, Israel has continued to violently dispossess Palestinians of their land as part of its settler-colonial project. This process has evolved into what the world’s leading human rights organisations have all determined to be apartheid. 

Since 7 October 2023, alone, Israel has killed 35,034 of Palestinians and injured 78,755, displaced more than 1.7 million people, and has destroyed 370,000 housing units in Gaza. The UN estimates it will take until 2040 to restore all the housing that Israel has destroyed in its brutal assault on the territory.

Meanwhile, in the West Bank in 2023, approximately 4000 Palestinians have been displaced from their homes due to policies and violence implemented by the Israeli authorities and Israeli settlers. 

Since 7 October 2023 alone, the Israeli Occupying Forces have killed 500 Palestinians and injured around 4,900 others in the occupied West Bank.

Despite Israel’s criminal efforts to uproot Palestinians from their land, terrorise them into submission, and eradicate their heritage and identities, Palestinians remain steadfast in their resistance.

Civil society and the vast majority of the international community have joined the Palestinian people in their struggle, taking to the streets all over the world to demand justice and freedom from the river to the sea.

The tide of history is turning. If Australia is committed to international law and human rights, without bias, without favour, it must act to end Israel’s genocide in Gaza, to hold Israel accountable for its crimes and to see self-determination for the Palestinian people.

Apartheid was wrong in South Africa, it is wrong in Palestine. 

Free Palestine.