15 May 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the Nakba, the grave catastrophe of 1948 in which Zionist militant forces invaded and destroyed more than 500 Palestinian villages through massacre and intimidation, causing not less than 700,000 Palestinians to become refugees. It is an account of human tragedy: the destruction of families, a civilization, culture and identity.
The Palestinian people are not only Muslims; the internally displaced population and that which has been displaced subsequent to the illegal formation of Israel is composed of a multi-religious and in some sense multi-racial population. It is a problem impacting all of humanity, not merely Jews and Muslims.
On this day, our hearts go out to all the Palestinians and we stand in solidarity with them in mourning the Nakba of 1948; we support their resistance of the Israeli occupation of historic Palestine; we strongly codemn the 1967 territorial expansion which continues to facilitate the expansion of the Zionist colonial agenda until today.
We are extremely appalled at the distortions and lies that the pro-Israel lobby has disseminated through global media as a result of Palestinian resolve resulting from these acts. This has led to widespread stereotyping of Muslims, Islamophobia and ignorance in the world community concerning the truth of the conflict.
It is almost impossible to speak about the Nakba without speaking about taking responsibility and repairing the historical injustice that was committed against the Palestinian people. Such repair must emphasize first and foremost the recognition of the rights of Palestinians to return.
We stand in solidarity with all Palestinians in their struggle for freedom and self-determination and strongly reiterate the following:
- Our demand that Israel cease its siege of Gaza and lift its blockade to allow for the free flow of people, food, humanitarian aid and energy to the Palestinians in Gaza. According to the 4th Geneva Convention, collective punishment is a crime;
- Our further demand of the cessation and action-reaction syndrome that intensifies with each new incident, and the blatant excessive, extra-territorial incursions by Israel;
- Our denunciation of all illegitimate Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine and demand immediate demolition of the apartheid wall. Both settlements and the wall violate the rights of Palestinians through illegal land confiscation, home demolitions, and restrictions of movement;
- Our opposition towards prejudice, including racism and anti-Semitism, in all its forms, and insistence that the Israeli government’s policies toward the Palestinian people manifest both racism and state terrorism;
- Our strong urge to all nations, particularly the United States and its Western allies to give due regard to the interests of all parties to the dispute in the Middle East, and especially encourage those who would be peacemakers to be impartial in their approach, and not show favor nor fail to condemn either party for the breach of any agreements; and
- Our demand that Israel recognize all Palestinians’ Right of Return, as guaranteed in the United Nations’ General Assembly Resolution 194. The refugees are mentioned in Article 11, which resolved: “… that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”
AZRIL MOHD AMIN
Vice President (International)
Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.