ADC Commemorates 76 Years of Nakba

Washington, DC | | May 15, 2024 – Today we commemorate 76 years of Nakba – The Catastrophe. This day is a solemn reminder of the expulsion and dispossession of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homeland at the hands of Zionist militias and settler military forces. Decades of killing, ethnic cleansing and dehumanization.

Decades of generational compounded trauma and grief. Decades of injustice marked by massacres named after the towns and villages where they occurred; proof of the systematic plan to rid Palestine of its indigenous inhabitants: the Palestinian people. From Deir Yassin, to Tantura, to Kufur Qassem, to Lydd, to Qibya, to the current horrific genocide taking place in Gaza, this continuum of annihilation must end now! There are volumes of personal narratives passed down from parents and grandparents, many armed with the keys to their homes, grainy photos of lives stolen and heroic narratives of unfathomable brutality and injustice.

For 76 years, the assault has been as brutal on Palestinian life and history as it has been on the land itself. Olive groves cut down and water aquifers contaminated. Over 500 Palestinian villages permanently erased from maps are now covered with forests of invasive, non-native trees. The village of Al-Tira has been erased by Carmel National Park, and 6 Palestinian villages lay under Birya forest. The village of Sarkas became a garbage dump for a Zionist settlement. Where once stood the Palestinian village of Tantura, and on top of a mass grave of over 200 Palestinian, now is a parking lot for Israel’s Dor Beach.

What can never be erased are stories of Palestinian life from the river to the sea that predates the Zionist entity. On the banks of the Jordan River Palestinians had picnics, enjoying the fruit of their citrus and date trees.To the hills of Ramallah, called by the promise of the cool breeze, many went during the summer heat, where children played in the sturdy branches of mature fig trees. Shepherds roamed the Naqab’s heat, knowing each dune and hardy plant. To Gaza they went for vacations and honeymoons, surrounded by centuries of buried and unearthed rich history. Stories and memories created will forever remain in the golden sand of Yafa, the bride of the sea.

The Palestinian people continue to embrace life and persist. Their stories are a tribute to humanity and the universal quest for freedom and justice. Both the personal narratives and the keys to their homes will continue to be passed down; these are the foundations for the future of liberation for the coming generations.

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