by Louisa Worrell
Basics Issue #9 (May 2008)
On May 17th, dozens of Palestinian flags flapped over the gathering at Queen’s Park, where about a 1000 people gathered at 1pm to listen to speakers from the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid and other allied organizations. People were gathering to commemorate the 60th anniversary of “Al Nakba”, which is Arabic for “the catastrophe”. In 1948, during Israel’s “war of independence” over 750, 000 Palestinians were expelled or fled from their homes, terrorized by Zionist militias to make way for what we now know as Israel.
This year marks what Israel calls its 60th anniversary. In Toronto, there have been many campaigns carried out by Zionist organizations and their allies to brand Israel as the only democratic country in the Middle East, while covering up all the violence that goes on in witin its borders.
May 17th was a counter to that branding, stating that Israel is an Apartheid state based on the differential set of laws that Palestinians and Israelis live under. This protest was supported by Jewish organizations, the Palestinian community, high school students, Arab and Muslim organizations, First Nations community representatives, and many other allied community organizations.
It was an example of the solidarity that can be achieved when people come together for a cause. For more information, people interested to learn more about Israeli apartheid and Palestinian resistance to it can visit www.caiaweb.org.
To commemorate Al Nakba, Palestinians painted the sky of Jerusalem black by flying 21,915 black balloons, one for each day of Israel’s existence.