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Nakba Day (2009)

May 15th, 2009

Remember Al-Nakba

Baqaa refugee camp (Photo: UNRWA)
In 1948 the state of Israel was founded upon a program of ethnically cleansing Palestinians.  Approximately 711,000 Palestinians were recognized by the UN as refugees and many more were "internally displaced."  To this day, Israel has denied these refugees and their descendants their internationally-recognized right of return. Palestinians call this event "al-Nakba," which means "the catastrophe."  As we work for justice in Israel/Palestine today, it is important for us to remember how so many of today's problems began and to draw strength from the steadfastness of Palestinians struggling for survival under conditions of dispossession, apartheid and occupation for so long.

At the US Campaign, we stand against the ongoing Nakba today and in support of Palestinian refugees’ right of return.  A central component of the ongoing Nakba in Palestinian society includes the destruction of homes and agricultural lands in the wake of expanding Israeli settlements.  Since 1967, at least 24,145 Palestinian homes and 1,405,658 trees have been demolished by the Israeli government.  Stand with us as we advocate against home demolitions by working to hold Caterpillar accountable for the destruction wrought by their machinery.

There are many ways to commemorate al-Nakba today.

Get involved with our Stop Caterkiller campaign.  Email Charles Powell of Caterpillar's Public Policy Committee and John Brazil of Caterpillar's Audit Committee demanding an end to Caterpillar sales to the Israeli military.  Click here to send an email.  Click here to learn more about taking action on June 10th, the day that Caterpillar shareholders will vote on a resolution critical of CAT sales to the Israeli military.  Read more about the case against Caterpillar by clicking here.

Remember al-Nakba with the US Campaign's Expressions of Nakba art exhibit.  Last year, the US Campaign coordinated an international arts competition to commemorate the 60th anniversary of al-Nakba.  The result can be viewed here, on the Expressions of Nakba website.  Own a piece of Expressions of Nakba, by purchasing a print of the competition's winning poster design, Parachutes Falling, by Ildiko Toth.  This poster features keys, an important symbol for Palestinians yearning to return home, and lists the names of all Palestinian villages that were depopulated and destroyed in 1948.  Click here to purchase Parachutes Falling for $20.

If you're in the Chicago area you can also
view Expressions of Nakba in person.
DePaul University
Munroe Hall-Room 115
2312 N. Clifton Ave
Chicago, IL
Friday, May 15th, 7-10pm

Purchase the US Campaign's commemorative Nakba pins - Key-Shaped Lapel Pin with butterfly clasp. "Nakba 60" on pin to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of al-Nakba ("catastrophe" in Arabic).  Now on sale for: one for $2.50, five for $10, twenty for $30, or fifty for $50. Click on the image to the left to purchase Nakba pins.

Keep the spirit of Nakba survivors aliveEducate your community about al-Nakba.  Use the following resources, which include fact sheets, maps showing Palestinian Diaspora, testimony from Nakba survivors and much more.  If you have additional resources on al-Nakba that you would like us to distribute, please email them to us by clicking here.

  • Click here to view the Palestinian Aid Society's Al-Nakba website.
  • Click here to visit the American Friends Service Committee's Nakba webpage.
  • Click here to visit the Al-Nakba Awareness Project.
  • Click here to view Jewish Voice for Peace's Nakba Fact Sheet (PDF).
  • Click here to view Badil's Nakba at 61 info packet.