68th Anniversary of Al-Nakba
Palestinian People Fight for the
Right of Return
March of Return, Negev, May 12, 2016.
May 15, 2016 commemorates the 68th anniversary of Al-Nakba. It marks the beginning of the forcible expulsion and exile from their land of 750,000 Palestinians by Zionist militias. In the immediate aftermath, approximately 4,244,776 acres of land were stolen and annexed into the Zionist state which had declared its existence four days previously. By 1949 this state occupied 78 per cent of Palestinian land. Between 1948 and 1950 more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages were systematically destroyed or repopulated. Today, more than half of the 11.5 million-strong Palestinian people are refugees from the Nakba and subsequent forced displacement and genocide.
On May 15 the Palestinian people joined by the people of all countries solemnly commemorate the terror and suffering which continues to be inflicted and affirm their right of return. Their resistance will never cease until the right of the Palestinian people to their homeland and their right to be is secured. The more than 7 million Palestinian refugees stand as one with the people living under Zionist occupation inside and outside Israel in pledging that they will return to build a nation which no longer experiences the humiliation, racism, genocide and constant punishment endured during 68 years of occupation and state terrorism. The peoples of the world must affirm with renewed vigour that there is no more pressing injustice to be rectified than the Zionist occupation of Palestine and all the heinous crimes perpetrated under its existence.
The right of return is well-founded in international law. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination affirms this right with the emphasis that it cannot be denied on the basis of “race, color, or national or ethnic origin.” The Fourth Geneva Convention states that persons evacuated by an Occupying Power during warfare must be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities cease. The International Convention on Civil and Political Rights states, “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.” UN General Assembly Resolution 194 adopted on December 11, 1948 declares that the Palestinian 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.” Resolution 194 has been reaffirmed by the UN General Assembly more than 110 times since its first adoption. UN General Assembly Resolution 3236 adopted in 1974 affirms “the inalienable right of Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return.”
Sixty-eight years later, the Zionist occupation of Palestine and continued exile of millions of Palestinians remain illegitimate. Without any legitimacy, the oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people relies on U.S. imperialism and its dictum of Might Makes Right, as well as other countries that are part of the imperialist system of states including Canada. To this end the right of the Palestinian people to return and march ahead with their nation-building project is anathema to the U.S. imperialists who require the Zionist state to maintain its occupation in order to carry out subversion against the peoples of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and the whole of West Asia and Northern Africa.
The Palestinian people and Palestinian youth the world over are eager to return to their homeland. They are eager to return to the place from which their parents and grandparents were brutally expelled and build a bright future for themselves. Palestinians are burning to see their country free from a ruthless occupation which continues to take so many lives with impunity. They are fighting every day to make it a reality. The Palestinian people today reject all the old equations which insist that they must conciliate with the occupation and give up their right to be. On Nakba Day 2016, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) salutes the Palestinian people for their steadfastness and continued sacrifice and calls on the Canadian people to step up the work to ensure that the brutal rule over the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank is ended and the right of return affirmed.
1. “Al-Nakba” means “catastrophe,” “disaster” or “cataclysm.” In Arabic: النكبة
(With files from CPC(M-L) archives; Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition. Photos/Graphics: Activestills, C. Latuff, B. Korotzer.)