A few hundred people marched Tuesday on the ruins of the village of Miska, which is next to Tira, in commemoration of the Nakba, "the disaster of the establishment of the State of Israel," according to them.
Among the marchers were children and teens, some of them carrying Palestinian flags, and others carrying Turkish flags. Chairman of the Council of the Uprooted, Attorney Wakim Wakim said, "Denying the Nakba is akin to denying the Holocaust."
'Israel's day of joy and independence is our day of disaster' (Photo: Zoom Out Productions)
Nakba Day is marked by Arabs living in Israel over their uprooting from 531 villages throughout the country and the fact that 300,000 internally displaced persons are living within Israel and another four million live around the world.
Every year, a different village uprooted in 1948 is chosen. This year, the Arabs marked Nakba Day on the ruins of the village Miska. The village was home to some 1,000 residents when the State was established. Most of them now live in nearby Tira.
"People live just a few hundred meters away from the home they were uprooted from, and the pain has not eased up to this day," said Chairman of the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, Mohammad Zeidan.
March in Miska with picture of key to house no longer there (Photo: AFP)
According to Zeidan, the Arabs living in Israel will not be able to establish proper relations with the country until their refugee brothers return to their homes.
"Instead of legislating discriminatory laws in the country, racist laws against Arabs, who are living in their homeland, laws need to be passed to allow the refugees to return to their homes," said Zeidan. "I say, if there is a will to solve the problem, there is a way. The State must understand that its day of joy and independence is our day of disaster."
Zeidan noted that the number of people taking part in the Nakba Day march increases from year to year, and expressed his appreciation that children and teens were participating. "All the racist laws against the Arab public in Israel just strengthen and unify it," he said.
Wakim said, "We will not forgive the crimes that occurred in '48. We insist on our right to bring all the refugees back home."
Prof. Clair Oren from the Zochrot organization also spoke, "We don't need to be afraid of the Right of Return, and we don't need to deny the Nakba. Recognizing the rights of the Palestinian people will only aid reconciliation between the two peoples."
In a conversation with Ynet, MK Talab El-Sana called on the government of Israel to take responsibility for the Nakba as a foundation for reconciliation on a civilian and national level.
"The uprooted villages are testimony to the crimes of Zionism, which included war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the uprooting of dozens of towns, the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians just two years after WWII and tens of years before the Goldstone Report. No law will prevent us from marking Nakba Day and reminding the State of Israel of its responsibility for these crimes," said MK El-Sana.