Al-Nakba: The ongoing catastrophe of the Palestinian people

The execution of Shireen Abu Akleh is one of the many ways the Israeli authorities seek to silence those that expose the apartheid regime

May 15 marks Al-Nakba – “Day of Catastrophe” – for millions of Palestinians who continue to bear the brunt of Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid. The forced expulsion of over 750,000 Palestinians 74 years ago has persisted unabated through various direct and indirect means and methods. The continuous expansion of illegal settlements, ongoing siege of Gaza and daily violence unleashed on Palestinians sharpens the experience of the Nakba as “an extended present that promises to continue in the future”.

The execution of Shireen Abu Akleh, which is the latest case of dehumanising violence, is one of the many ways the Israeli authorities seek to silence those that expose the Israeli apartheid regime.  This too is a continuation of the policies of social erasure commenced with the Nakba. 

The Israeli apartheid regime, amid global condemnation of Shireen Abu Akleh’s murder, saw fit to approve a further 4,000(!) new settler homes in the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. This level of impunity makes it impossible to imagine a revival of the ‘Peace Process’. Israel appears intent to continue its creeping annexation of Palestinian territory using extreme forms of violence to subdue the population. 

While the US and its allies offer hollow words of condemnation, their ongoing political, economical, diplomatic and military support remains unconditional. So much so that the German government has now banned civil society protests intended to commemorate Al-Nakba as an extension of its crackdown on Palestinian rights in the name of countering anti-Semitism.

Our Call


In 2021, the DiEM25 defined its position on Palestine-Israel, which, interalia, calls for:

  • An immediate end of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza
  • An immediate termination of Israel’s apartheid policies and institutions both within its pre-1967 borders and elsewhere
  • The immediate implementation of the right of Palestinian refugees to return (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194)
  • The immediate recognition by the EU of the State of Palestine, so that Israelis and Palestinian negotiators enjoy legal parity in International Law
  • The immediate embargo on arms sales, technology transfers and maintenance to/from Israel
  • The immediate dissolution of all military alliances and treaties of EU member-states with Israel
  • The immediate cessation of all trade with Israeli settler communities in the Occupied Territories
  • An immediate de-nuclearisation of all states and entities in the Middle East

Progressive humanists, faced with this situation, must fight for an end of the apartheid policies practiced with ruthless efficiency by the Israeli state, for a cessation of fighting, and for a democratic entity in which both Jews and Palestinians can live free of fear and coercion.

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