No to the Wall!
No to the New Expulsion!
Fifty-six years have passed since the Nakba, the catastrophe of the Palestinian people that led to the expulsion of almost one million Palestinians and the destruction of more than 400 Palestinian villages.
Fifty-six years since the Nakba, fifty-six years of uprooting and Occupation, yet in the Palestinian memory Palestine will always remain Palestine. The past years and recent days have proven to those convinced that our cause will die that they are mistaken–the older our struggle becomes the more it is alive in the Palestinian consciousness. The return of refugees is our right, the state of Palestine and our identity is our right and neither of them can be negotiated or compromised. All this stands, despite our harsh reality, and despite the voices of those calling for projects that seek to erase our collective memories and release the criminals from the responsibility of their crimes, both past and present.
Since the first Zionist conference, Zionism has worked relentlessly to achieve its dream of establishing a “Jewish state in all of Palestine” through massacres, land confiscation, and expulsion.
In 1948, the Israelis established their state on the ruins of the homeland of one million Palestinians who were expelled or massacred, their villages destroyed and lands confiscated. However, the Zionist dream was not satisfied. In 1967, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were further expelled, and Israel began its policies of dispossession against those Palestinians who remained on their lands, using house demolitions, land and water resources confiscation, settlement building, economic suffocation and massacres. Hand in hand with this were agreements signed at the expense of the Palestinian people. From Camp David to Oslo, Israel used these agreements to strengthen its stranglehold on the West Bank and Gaza, intensifying settlement construction and expansion and creating facts on the ground. Added to this are the incursions into Palestinian towns and camps, the constant shelling, along with closures and assassinations, all of which are taking place daily. All of these are systematic strategies by the Israelis to achieve their dream, and have the Palestinians submit to the Israeli Occupation of all of Palestine, and turn it into a reality. Israel seeks to solidify this reality in a final stage of land grabs and expulsion: what began with the Nakba in 1948, continued in the 1967 War, is being carried out the same today with the construction of the Apartheid Wall.
The Apartheid Wall, the “first phase” of which has already been completed in the North, with the second phase under construction now, commemorates the Nakba with all that it embodies. Destruction of lands and villages, expulsions, the suffocation of refugee camps like Aida Camp in Bethlehem, the refugees living in Northwest Jerusalem, in west Ramallah and Rafah camps. All of these people are reliving the Nakba, and where they were witnesses to the old expulsions, are once again living through the latest Exodus.
It is no coincidence that the current “peace proposals” are rooted in compromising the Right of Return and releasing Zionism from its responsibility for the Nakba. A complete dissolution of the Palestinian cause comes at the same time that Israel is building the Apartheid Wall, making it easier for the Occupation to eradicate Palestinian rights, leaving it up to the Occupation’s “generosity” to give Palestinians what it wants and take all that it desires. And what Israel wants is to take over all of Palestine, but for now, will place Palestinians in ghettos until they “decide” to leave for themselves.
This is the racist Zionism and these are its goals. However, the Palestinian message to the entire world is that only Palestinians have the right to decide their own fate and they have rights which can never be compromised.
All those Palestinian who fought and are still fighting for freedom will not live in walled ghettos or enclaves, whether encircled by barbed wire or by concrete. The Palestinian people have not struggled for fifty-six years for Palestine to be shut into ghettos where its people are imprisoned, while Israeli colonizers have complete freedom on Palestinian lands.
Palestinians will not let the Wall destroy their olive trees and their villages, erasing their existence and their history.
Neither Israelis nor anyone else will ever have the right to tell us to choose whether we wish to live in prisons or as refugees. We will not be a displaced people waiting for the charity of international organizations to be delivered to us in our prisons. The end of the Occupation will never be a mere wish that becomes irrelevant amidst the reality created by the Israelis.
After he was elected, the current Israeli prime minister declared that he will make Palestinians come to him on their knees, begging for negotiations; but we say no, no peace and no negotiations with a Wall besieging us… no negotiations with a Wall that aims at obliterating our rights and turning them into mere “dreams”, as claimed by the Israeli Labour party chairman, Shimon Peres.
Stop the Apartheid Wall!