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(en) US, Minneapolis Al Nakba Day Recognition

Date Sat, 19 May 2007 12:04:02 +0300


On Tuesday, May 15, 2007 in front of the Minneapolis Central Library at 12:00pm, members of JFAETTO (Jews For An End To The Occupation) joined the international commemoration of Al Nakba Day, or "Day of Catastrophe". Just as in other cities in around the world.--Boston, San Francisco, Philidelphia, and Tel Aviv, we mapped out a grid and outline of the state of Israel and Occupied Territories and asked passersby to help us put the names of the 531 Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948 back on the map. ---
After one hour of setting up the event, we were stopped by library security officers for "Defacing Library Property" with sidewalk chalk and electrical tape. Not letting this--or the cold wind--deter us, we moved our event across the street and recreated the map. Over a span of 4 hours, we spoke to many people and placed 100 Palestinian villages on the map. Many people who we asked to help us, did. Some people stopped to argue politics, but most who stopped showed interest and appreciation for a creative way to share important information. A group of high school students stayed for 15 minutes to ask questions and put villages on the map. We were happily surprised by the support from Minneapolis bus drivers who asked questions en route, and yelled variations of, "Keep up the fight!" as they passed. Even after we packed up our things and left, the maps, messages, and names of villages remained, baring witness to the haunting reality of Al Nakba for hundreds more to observe.

International Nakba Day is commemorated annually on May 15th in recognition of the totality of the destruction of Palestinian life in the area that became the state of Israel in 1948 – Palestinian localities, culture, and people. During the 1948 War that led to the creation of the state of Israel, 531 Palestinian villages were destroyed and nearly 800,000 people were expelled. They and their descendents have grown to become the largest and longest-standing refugee population in the world.

If you're interested in learning more about JFAETTO, email jfaetto (at) lists (dot) riseup (dot) net.
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