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New Yorkers rally for Al Nakba Day

By staff

New York protest marks Al Nakba.

New York, NY – At least 900 people gathered in Times Square, May 19, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nakba. The rally was called for by NY4Palestine, a coalition of organizations that stand for the liberation of historic Palestine.

This was the second rally held in New York by NY4Palestine members. The first was held earlier this week on the 14th in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Nerdeen Kiswani, an organizer with Within Our Lifetime – United for Palestine, emceed the event from the back of a pickup truck on Broadway and 42nd Street. Her powerful voice rang through, “As one of the organizers of this rally, we have four specific demands [for] when people ask us why we’re out in the streets screaming for Palestine and what we hope to accomplish. Our first demand is the right of return and demanding an end to the 70 years of the ongoing Nakba, and the unconditional right of return to their homeland for Palestinians. Our second demand is proclaiming that Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. We condemn moving the embassy moving to Al-Quds and we condemn wherever the U.S. Embassy would be, because all Palestine is Palestinian land – from the river to the sea! We support the right of all Palestinians resisting the illegal siege by Israel during the great return march. And our final demand, from the belly of the beast, from one of the most powerful countries on Earth, if not the most, that continues to fund Israel and makes it possible to continue murder Palestinians, the United States of America. We demand an end to all U.S. military aid to Israel.”

The rally continued with several speeches, including one by Jake Holtzman, from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression NY. Holtzman spoke on the connection of political repression and those organizing for liberation of Palestine.

A rabbi from Neturei Karta gave a powerful speech regarding the solidarity between Jews and the people of Palestine. He said, “How can you call Israel Judaism? Our law forbids murder and stealing, and therefore forbids occupation! Our Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel are currently protesting the occupation and murder of our Palestinian brothers and sisters, and they are getting tortured for doing so! This is not Judaism and we shall continue until all Palestine is free!”

The rally ended with a march to the Israeli Consulate, where Kiswani gave a rousing cry to action to all to continue organizing.

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