May 15, Nakba Day, marked the anniversary of the dispossession and forced displacement of the Palestinian people. Dhikra al-nakba, literally “memory of the catastrophe,” commemorates not only the destruction of a society and loss of home, but also the continuous struggle that Palestinians have since waged for the recognition of their rights.
The current bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli military, which has targeted residential buildings and left scores of Palestinians dead and many more without homes, and the thinly veiled project of ethnic cleansing and land grabbing in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, are not exceptional but rather exemplary of the Israeli settler colonialist state and its apartheid policies. This intensification of the ongoing violence in occupied Palestine underscores the need for vocal and visible international solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Many protests and other acts of solidarity are being planned worldwide in the coming days; you can find partial lists here and here; checking social media of local Palestinian advocacy organizations should provide the most up-to-date information. Tuesday, May 18 has been named a day of action in solidarity with the Palestinian uprising and general strike.
Medical Aid for Palestinians has made an emergency appeal for donations to help provide critical support for hospitals and emergency services in Gaza and the West Bank.
Mohammed El-Kurd (@m7mdkurd) has been tweeting extensively from Sheikh Jarrah. He also wrote an article in February for Mada Masr which provides some history of the neighborhood and details the state’s dispossession of Palestinian families there.
The online journal Jadaliyya recently hosted the discussion “Holding Palestinian Ground: Lessons from Gaza to Sheikh Jarrah” featuring Palestinian activists and scholars from around the world. They have also compiled a list of resources for anyone seeking to deepen their understanding of the history and politics of occupied Palestine.
Decolonize Palestine is another excellent educational resource.