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Handful picket in CT on Nakba Day

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For Palestinians around the world this day, Al-Nakba, marks the date that their entire world was turned upside down. May 15th every year commemorates the Nakba, which is Arabic for ‘catastrophe’. On this day 67 years ago, Israel began its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people where approximately 400 villages were destroyed and countless innocent lives lost. This all happened a day after the state of Israel was declared.

On this day 67 years ago, 800 000 Palestinians, Christians and Muslims alike, were displaced and or killed in a campaign meant to wipe out an entire nation.

Today in Cape Town a demonstration was held outside Parliament. Those in attendance were there to show solidarity to the Palestinian people.

This demonstration indicates that people in Cape Town are aware of the Palestinian crisis and they stood there to commemorate the Nakba and create further awareness about the never ending suffering faced by the people of Palestine.

Reverend June Major who was present at the demonstration believes that Palestinians should have the right to return to their homeland.

“As a human being and as a priest, I cannot be quiet in the face of injustice, oppression and genocide, children are being killed,” Reverend Major explained.

Reverend Major added that as a South African, she cannot experience complete and total freedom till Palestine is free as well.

Those South Africans that have experienced the harshness of apartheid are able to identify somewhat with the Palestinian occupation.

Also present at the demonstration was Thakira Desai, a member of the National Coalition for Palestine. Desai stated that increased sanctions against Israel will be a key factor in ending the occupation of Palestine. She also noted that the youth of South Africa need to become more involved in the Palestinian issue.

“We have to keep firm in demonstrating and we need to make youth relate to the struggle, the youth need to understand that South African people stand with this cause,” Desai went further.

Eric Cottle from the Palestinian Solidarity Committee noted that at school level children should be taught about the Palestinian struggle as well as about the various other struggles that occurred across the African continent such as the Rwandan genocide.

“The community must not only come out when there is a war on Gaza, if you want to show support then you must do it consistently,” Cottle explained when commenting on the number of people present at the demonstration.

“The Palestinian issue is not a question of religion, it is a colonial question and it is an issue of occupation,” Cottle added.

He concluded that even though most people might not be able to be present at every single march and demonstration that is being held, South African citizens can show their support by boycotting various organisations that import products produced on occupied land. VOC (Umarah Hartley)


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