Home NewsMiddle East 76th Nakba Anniversary: Palestinians Remember 1948 Catastrophe and Ongoing Struggle

76th Nakba Anniversary: Palestinians Remember 1948 Catastrophe and Ongoing Struggle

by Thaabit Kamaar
Image Source: Middle East Eye

Cape Town – Today marks the 76th anniversary of the Nakba, a sad day in history for Palestinians worldwide as they remember the catastrophe of 1948.

During this time, approximately 700,000 Palestinians fled, were driven out, and displaced from their homes and lands. This mass displacement forced Palestinians into a life of exile.

They have been prevented from ever returning to their homes and lands, resulting in a refugee population of about six million people living in camps scattered in neighbouring countries and the occupied West Bank.

Moeshfieka Botha, an activist deeply involved in advocating for the Palestinian cause, reflected on the gravity of the Nakba and the importance of commemorating this day in light of the genocide, destruction, and displacement in the Gaza Strip.

She emphasised that acknowledging the Nakba annually is crucial for educating people on the true history of Palestine and the injustices that have been and continue to be carried out against the Palestinian people.

According to Botha, what we face now is a propaganda machine involving global leaders, TV personalities, radio hosts, and social media influencers who misconstrue the Palestinian narrative, making it seem as if the current events in Gaza began in October 2023. In reality, for nearly eight decades, the Palestinian people have endured occupation, incarceration, oppression, and persecution.

“Now more than ever, we have to acknowledge, and we have to take people back [to the history of the Palestinian] … The commemoration this year is a continuation of that story and a continuation of the actual events that have been taking place. [The Nakba] has been the life and the existence of the people of Palestine. [So that we can go with facts] into the faces of those who continue with the narrative that says this all started on the 7th of October 2023.”

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We are roughly eight months into Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Gaza Strip. During this period, we have witnessed entire neighbourhoods reduced to rubble, Israeli citizens blocking and destroying aid trucks, forced starvation, entire families killed, and children burned, dismembered, and malnourished.

However, there has also been an unprecedented global outcry for justice and a ceasefire. Solidarity with the Palestinian people has risen worldwide.

Additionally, there have been boycotts of Israeli products and companies associated with the Israeli regime. Multiple world leaders have criticised, condemned, and even cut diplomatic ties with Israel.

Despite these efforts, Israel’s genocidal rhetoric, intent, and actions continue unabated, even though they have been ordered to stop by The Hague.

This persistent violence, horror, and brutality, along with the disregard for human life, can lead to feelings of helplessness and war fatigue among those advocating for Palestine. They may feel as if their efforts are having no effect.

Botha acknowledged that this is a normal feeling, as she also experiences it. However, she urges us to embrace the courage shown by Palestinians, as they still need us to be their voices, carry their narratives, and not allow propaganda to minimise their struggle and cause.

“The hopelessness we are experiencing now, I hope it does not turn into an apology. I sometimes find that creeping in and I would like us to not do that. I am not going to apologise to anybody for my humanity. I am not going to apologise to anybody for standing up against genocide, whether it be in Palestine, Congo, Sudan or anywhere. I find this is what people are getting into on social media, and I would like to caution us against that.”

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