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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 42 October 14, 2023

For a Lasting Peace, End the Nakba Now - Statement from Progressive International

Saturday 14 October 2023



As a renewed and intensified cycle of violence unleashes atrocities on innocents, members of the Council of the Progressive International call for progressive forces to march in their millions for Palestinian liberation.
A catastrophe is unfolding over Gaza. Following the 7 October operation from inside the Gaza Strip, Israel’s Defence Minister has ordered its “complete siege” from the outside. “There will be no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals, and we will act accordingly.”

According to Knesset member Ariel Kallner from the ruling Likud Party, the intensification of the 16-year siege has “only one goal: Nakba” — the Arabic word for the 1948 ‘catastrophe’ that saw Zionist militias force 750,000 Palestinians from their homes. “A Nakba that will overshadow the Nakba of 1948.”

But the Nakba of ‘48 never ended. Rather, for the past 75 years, the Palestinian people have suffered a continuous process of violent dispossession. Since 1948, Palestinians have lost more than 85% of their land. On what remains, the Israeli state has poisoned soil, contaminated water, constructed walls, instituted checkpoints, and conducted lethal invasions.

In the first nine months of 2023 alone, Israeli forces killed more Palestinians in the West Bank than in any year since the UN began recording fatalities in 2005.

Against this system of apartheid, the Palestinian resistance has been continuous, too. From the Great Revolt of 1936 through the Unity Intifada of 2021, the Palestinian people have pursued their UN-recognized right to struggle for national liberation.

In 2018, when Palestinians in Gaza organized the Great March of Return — walking unarmed toward the military fences that cage them — over 8,000 civilians were shot, and at least 220 killed, by Israeli armed forces.

Western powers have long stoked this violence to their profit. In the early 20th century, they fueled the Zionist movement as an instrument of colonial control in West Asia. Since then, they have funded and armed the Israeli regime as an outpost of empire.

Now, following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration of “war” on 7 October, the US has dispatched the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier strike group to the Mediterranean to provide “rapid” support to the Israel Defense Forces.

These weapons are destined for crimes against humanity. Two million people live in Gaza, half of them children. With Netanyahu’s promise to turn Gaza "into rubble,” this population will be punished collectively to death, starvation, and dispossession.

These crimes promise not to end the cycle of violence, but rather to sustain it. “Since oppression is the root cause of violence, to end all violence — the initial and ongoing violence of the oppressor and the reactive resistance of the oppressed — we must act to end oppression,” writes the Palestinian BDS National Committee.

That is why we, the undersigned, call on the world’s progressive forces to march in their millions for Palestinian liberation. The only way to forge a lasting peace is to end the Nakba once and for all.


Yara Hawari Palestine
Renata Avila Guatemala
Walden Bello Philippines
Gacheke Gachihi Kenya
Scott Ludlam Australia
Ammar Ali Jan Pakistan
Ismat Shahjahan Pakistan
Aya Chebbi Tunisia
Clarissa Mendoza Philippines
Baba Aye Nigeria
Kohei Saito Japan
Hasina Khan India
Nazma Akter Bangladesh
Yanis Varoufakis Greece
Jodi Dean United States
Łukasz Kozak Poland
Vashna Jagarnath South Africa
Pierre Sané Senegal
Vijay Prashad India
Abirami Jotheeswaran India
Nicolas Richards Argentina
Stephen Ruvuga Tanzania
Milena Ochoa Larrota Colombia
Antônio Lisboa Brazil
Monica Valente Brazil
Alexey Sakhnin Russia

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