Commemoration of Palestine Land Day and the Great Return March

Originally circulated 3/30/18

It has been 42 years since this day in 1976 when 6 Palestinians were martyred by the Zionist entity during a nationwide protest against the Zionist government’s recurrent expropriation of Palestinian land, what is now recognized by Palestinians as Land Day. On this anniversary, today Palestinians in Gaza began a 46-day tent city protest at the border between the Palestinian lands colonized by the Zionist entity in 1948 and Gaza to bring attention to the right of return. However, the colonial Zionist government responded to the first week of popular protest with immense and indiscriminate brutal force against unarmed Palestinians. While we as the Palestinian Youth Movement recognize the legitimacy of our people’s resistance to colonization in all of its forms, such a response reveals that the issue for our colonizers is not tactics, but any form of resistance or insistence on our rightful claim to our own land and sovereignty. As Fatima Nasser, 65, claimed according to an article in The Guardian, “To die with dignity is better than living a life full of humiliation. We will return to our land, we will return to our homeland,” she said. “Israel kills us anyway, whether it’s by shooting or blockade.”       

As of this writing, there have been 15 confirmed Palestinian deaths at the hand of the Zionist Occupation Forces. Even as we mourn our martyrs, we remain steadfast in the support of our people in Gaza and the Great March of Return. We call on all of our youth in exile to express their support through actions of their own and by speaking truth to power through as many mediums as possible.

Most importantly, we recognize that 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the nakba, which means our people have endured 70 years of colonization, dispossession, and deprivation at the hands of a brutal settler regime. But it also means something else: 70 years of resistance. It means that, for 70 years, Zionist forces have tried--and failed--to eliminate us. Even as all of Palestine presently remains colonized and occupied, the persistence of our spirit in struggle will surely drive the total decolonization of our homeland forward. For what our people in Gaza have shown the rest of us and the world today is that, no matter how severe our dispossession, the Zionist entity will never be able to erase their/our presence, the rightfulness of our claim, and the inevitability of our return. On this Land Day, we affirm: our land and people will be free!

Bil ro7! Bil dam! Nafdeek ya Falasteen!