What is Happening in Palestine? Nakba – 70th Anniversary of the Palestinian Catastrophe

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Monday May 14 2018

Every Friday since March 30th, the media have been reporting on what is happening at the wall between Gaza and Israel: the deaths, the injured, the human rights violations, and each and every one of us is asking “Why?”



To truly understand the events in recent weeks, we need to go back to the origins and review the facts. What really happened in Palestine in 1948? Here is what history tells us:

NAKBA began the day after November 29, 1947, when the United Nations divided Palestine into two parts, one to create a country for the Jewish people (56% of historic Palestine) and another (44%) to create a country for the Palestinians. Throughout 1948, the Jewish Army Militia, using a plan dating back to at least 1936, forced out of their homes the Palestinians living on their territory. More than 750,000 Palestinians were thrown onto the streets and became refugees, and 531 villages or city neighbourhoods were completely destroyed. The same militia also began acquiring by force of arms the lands that the United Nations had set aside to create a country for the Palestinians, to the point where, in just one year, Palestinians were left with only 22% of historic Palestine. The creation of the State of Israel was proclaimed on May 15, 1948.

On December 11, 1948, the United Nations adopted resolution 194 recognizing Israel, provided Palestinians could return home or be fairly compensated. This “right of return” was confirmed more than 110 times by the United Nations, but was always rejected by Israel.




This is the context in which we must look at the events happening in Gaza – a situation exacerbated by Donald Trump’s decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The “Great March of Return,” as it is now called, is to protest 70 years of occupation and colonization of Palestine by the State of Israel, as well as 70 years of resistance by the Palestinian people. Palestinians are simply asking for the respect of the resolutions adopted by the United Nations, i.e. the right to return.



That is why, as workers and citizens, we cannot remain indifferent. That is why CUPW supports the international campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the State of Israel until it respects international law and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including withdrawing from the occupied territories, ending the blockade on Gaza, destroying the Wall, recognizing that all citizens are equal and allowing refugees to return.


In Solidarity,

Dave Bleakney
2nd National Vice-President