On May 14th, Israel celebrates the formation of the Israeli state.  On May 15th is Nakba day, the day that commemorates the mass expulsion and exodus of 700,000 Palestinian Arabs from Israel in 1948.  

This year, the Israeli government has added to a long list of actions that suppress dissent by demanding that any organization that receives funding from the state must uphold “loyalty in culture.” This means that if anyone in the organization criticizes the state, or the government, or commemorates Nakba Day as a day of mourning, their funding could be revoked.  Meanwhile another bill that is supported by Netanyahu, would allow for duly elected members of the Knesset to be suspended by a supermajority of members. These and other examples condemning Israel’s anti-democratic behaviour are from an articel by a very unexpected source, a recent op-ed by Seymour D. Reich, a former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations who has been been president of the American Zionist Movement, B’nai Brith International, and other organization. The article is a comprehensive condemnation of the attack 

In Canada, events commemorating the Nakba are being held in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Kitchener, London and Ontario demanding continued adherence to the “right of return”.  Independent Jewish Voices, Canada is circulating a petition that Justin Trudeau also recognize Nakba Day in his statement to commemorate Israel’s formation.   The BDS movement is circulating a petition to the United Nations condemning the Israeli government’s assaults on the BDS movement.  

Let`s stand up on Nakba Day and support the rights of Palestinians and support the recognition of the right to return.


Maya Bhullar

Maya Bhullar has over 15 years of professional experience in such diverse areas as migration, labour, urban planning and community mobilization. She has a particular interest in grassroots engagement,...