May 15 marks the 73rd Anniversary of the ongoing Nakba – the dispossession and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their lands, the theft of their homes, and the encroachment of their basic rights since 1948. To this day, Israeli colonization remains an ongoing process, which has led to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians being forced into exile and the turning of Gaza into the world’s largest open-air prison. Palestinians in the region and across the world are resisting Zionist settler colonialism, and increased state violence. The Federation and our solidarity partners reaffirm our commitment to the Palestinian people’s struggle for justice, return, and liberation.
On May 2, families and residents of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan resisted the forced displacement from their homes in Jerusalem and rejected the latest attempts of ethnic-cleansing on Palestinian people by the settler-colonial state of Israel. In the past week, the brutality of the Israeli police and military and the complete impunity given to Zionists to carry out assaults on residents of Palestinian neighborhoods are on clear display for the world to see. The Zionist military has raided homes, arrested Palestinian youth defending their neighborhoods, and opened fire on worshipers in the Al-Aqsa mosque. Zionist settlers march through Jerusalem chanting ‘Death to Arabs’, publicly celebrating the fire in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, and continue to put up illegal encampments on the streets of Sheikh Jarrah.
To this day, the “Canadian” government and public institutions play an active role in perpetuating the military occupation and the destruction of Palestinian political and economic life. Colleges and Universities in Ontario continue to use public funds and students’ money to invest in weapons and arms manufacturers, and Israeli companies and banks that are complicit in these war crimes. Students once again call on our institutions to commit to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement by divesting from these companies and to condemn the ongoing occupation and colonization of Palestine. Our institutions continue to punish students and workers for protest, to barr employment opportunities for public criticism of the Israeli occupation to satisfy private donors and to surveil and police pro-Palestine liberation clubs and associations. They are complicit both through their financial investments and their ongoing suppression of dissent on campuses throughout the country, but students will not stay silent.
Residents and journalists within Palestinian neighborhoods are under an immense amount of state scrutiny and face a real threat to their lives as they share with the world their experiences and information on the brutality of the Zionist military and militias. We encourage all members of the Federation and their students’ unions to share information about the ongoing occupation in Palestine by using the resources outlined below and to join us in taking action by attending the Palestinian Youth Movement’s Ongoing Nakba, Ongoing Resistance Rally at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto on Saturday, March 15 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm or any other action happening where you are located.
Instagram – @mohammedelkurd, @abed.alkahlout, @muna.kurd15,
Media/Solidarity Organizations: Palestinian Youth Movement, Mondoweiss, BDS Movement
Canadian Federation of Students – Ontario