By Ibrahim Ibraigheth
Country Director, ActionAid Palestine
I am writing with a heart full of sadness and anger in these dark days. All my life, I’ve been witness to the shrinking of my homeland Palestine, watching as the hopes and aspirations of my people – for independence, for freedom – are crushed time after time.
I am writing while deeply troubled about recent developments in Palestine, while dozens of peaceful protesters and civilians are attacked and killed in Gaza; while U.S. President Donald Trump, instead of condemning and exacting accountability, has rewarded Israel by deciding to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, thereby formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This, in blatant disregard of all international resolutions and treaties and overturning 70 years of international consensus.
To add insult to injury, Trump has chosen today Nakba Day – when Palestinians encounter the painful collective memory of when most of us were expelled from our land – for the establishment of the Israeli state for the formal opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Again, a day of catastrophe for the Palestinian people.
Seventy years have passed since the Nakba befell us. We live with the legacy directing our lives as if it happened yesterday, with no just solution on the horizon. To this day, there are still over 7 million Palestinian refugees waiting for the day when they can return to their homeland, feel it, breathe its air and drink its water.
The Nakba would have never happened without international support for the creation of the state of Israel and without the recognition of the United Nations. We demand that those responsible must take responsibility and end the suffering of Palestinians. The so-called “free world” should live up to the standards they themselves cherish and support the Palestinian people’s struggle towards ending the Israeli occupation.
With the Israeli Army’s deadly attack on peaceful protestors in Gaza, and American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by moving their embassy, the US and Israel are sounding the drums of war.
Palestinians will nevertheless not stop demanding their rights, including the right to resist occupation. We will continue to work towards shifting the power balance and maintain the struggle towards putting an end to this injustice.
Daily life for Palestinians involves constantly contending with the stark reality that justice, peace and freedom are not a given in today’s world. To gain and to preserve it, we as individuals and as a collective must stay vigilant, strong and brave, whatever new provocations are contrived.
We must all stand against the killing of people in Palestine. We must all work together to find an answer to the Palestinian question and towards Palestinians’ right to self-determination.
We are Palestinians and we are grounded in Palestine. Nothing and no one can uproot us from our ancestral land. The support we receive from around the world gives us strength through dark days and we want everybody to know that we are thankful for that support.
We will keep going and resisting. The occupation of Palestine will fall, the way that the Berlin wall fell, and the apartheid system fell.
There is no excuse for those who knew the truth and abandoned it.