Following yesterday’s report in the Fairfax press about Israel’s attempt to make it illegal for Palestinians to remember their Nakba, these letters were published today. First, the Sydney Morning Herald:
January 26, 1938, was the sesquicentenary of the arrival of the First Fleet. It was also the date of “a day of mourning and protest” organised by Aboriginal Australians with the aim of obtaining citizenship for Aboriginal people. In 1988, the counter to official bicentenary celebrations was “Invasion Day”, which evolved into Survival Day, a celebration of the survival of the Aboriginal people and culture.
Yet Israel’s deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, says: “Any other country in the world would not stand by while its celebrations of independence are turned into a memorial service” (“Arab fury over push to ban mourning day“, May 27).
He is wrong. Wrong in fact and morally wrong to try to deny freedom of speech to the Palestinians who are the original owners of the land in which he lives.
Jennifer Killen Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine, Dulwich Hill
And the Age:
Your report (“Bid to ban mourning of Israeli national day“, 27/5) contains a mistake. It is not Israel’s victory in the 1948 war that the Palestinians call al-Nakba, the catastrophe.
The Palestinian catastrophe started before the war, when the Jewish underground terrorist groups launched their final military drive. They put Plan Dalet into force on April 1, 1948, with two objectives: to establish a Jewish state beyond the boundaries defined by the UN and to establish a state devoid, as much as possible, of its indigenous Palestinian population by expelling it, in order to turn the non-Jewish majority in Palestine into a minority and the new European Jewish minority into a majority.
Through war and terror, the Jewish terrorist groups dispossessed between 850,000 and 950,000 Palestinians of their homeland, occupied 78 per cent of Palestine (including 85 per cent of Jerusalem) and destroyed 418 Palestinian towns and villages, and denied the rights of refugees to return to their homeland. This is what the Palestinians call al-Nakba, the catastrophe.
Ali Kazak, Manuka, ACT