Two hundred left-wing activists and Israeli Arabs marched on Sunday from the Jerusalem Theater square to the Nature Museum on Emek Refaim Street in the capital marking 60 years since “Nakba Day", or “catastrophe” of Israel's inception in 1948.
During the procession, protestors stood near houses they claimed once belonged to Palestinians, telling the proclaimed history of each house.
Amongst the protestors was an elderly Palestinian woman accompanied by her family members who shared her experiences from pre-1967 Jerusalem.
Four right-wing extremists, including Baruch Marzel arrived on the scene calling, “Israel is ours, we will cause you a lifelong ‘Nakba’”. Police removed two right-wing activists.
The marchers did not carry signs, but they wore special shirts with English and Arabic writing saying, “Nakba survivors” and “This is our home”. The organizers also distributed maps indicating houses that were once under Palestinian ownership.
Eitan Bronstein, founder of the “Zochrot” organization was asked about the change in public stance regarding the term “Nakba”.
“I agree that there is more openness in Israeli society to a certain degree, but I would say that while there is more discussion on the subject, most people don’t know anything about it,” he said.
Bronstein said he believed the Palestinians "understand that they also need to come to the centers of Jewish cities and express their connection to these places.”
One of the Arab marchers said “my family had to escape their home due to the (independence) war, many of my relatives were killed and today the house is occupied by Israelis. We still have the house key, we have the documents proving this is our house.
"It is hard on my family; each time they visit they visit the house they feel a deep sadness,” he said.