70 Years of Nakba Demands a Reckoning

Photo: Flickr Commons/Montecruz Foto

Photo: Flickr Commons/Montecruz Foto

Today, Palestinians mark 70 years since the start of the Nakba, the catastrophe that began with the forced expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in 1948. The Nakba continues through Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights, including the annexation of Palestinian land, destruction of Palestinian communities, restrictions on Palestinian movement, erasure of Palestinian history, and denial of Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes. Instead of holding Israel accountable for these atrocities, the U.S. government enables them.

It is clearer than ever that the widespread efforts in the U.S. to censor and suppress speech critical of Israeli policies are part of a strategy to shield Israel from accountability. While grassroots support in the U.S. for Palestinian freedom continues to grow on college campuses and in communities across the country, we at Palestine Legal have documented a corresponding increase in efforts to shut down activism supportive of Palestinian rights.

This is not a coincidence. Yesterday, the world watched in horror as the Trump administration celebrated the U.S. embassy’s move to Jerusalem while Israel gunned down Palestinians protesting for basic rights and dignity in Gaza.

Today, we at Palestine Legal recommit ourselves to defending the civil and constitutional rights of people in the U.S. who advocate for Palestinian freedom. We will continue our work to ensure that there can be a reckoning for Israeli atrocities, and that our elected officials get the message, loud and clear, that we will not accept complicity in and enabling of Israel’s crimes.