As salaamu alaykum —
On this Faith & Action Friday, my heart is heavy as we approach Nakba Day.
The Nakba, or “catastrophe” in Arabic, is what Palestinians call the violent displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their land. May 15 marks 75 years of loss.
But the Nakba isn’t just a past tragedy. It’s happening now, as millions of Palestinians live under apartheid amid constant attacks on their freedom, safety, and dignity. This very week, over 20 Palestinians were killed by Israel’s bombing of Gaza.1
The Nakba continues.
We grieve the weight of 75 years of ongoing Nakba and will never give up on our quest for Palestinian freedom.
This year, as the UN commemorates Nakba Day for the first time,2 and new members of Congress join the call for the US to recognize it as well,3 we must all do our part to center Palestinian narratives and struggles. This week, we want to share five things with you:
Action #1: Protest and Take Action: #Nakba75
Attend a protest or event, including art exhibits and community gatherings organized by Palestinian-led groups — their page has actions you can take, resources, and even posters you can print to take to the streets. Find an action near you and RSVP at uscpr.org/nakba-75.
Part of the Nakba is the ongoing dehumanization of Palestinians living under occupation. One everyday example: PayPal openly discriminates against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Israelis living in illegal settlements have access to this global banking platform — but Palestinians do not. That’s why we’re so proud to share this:
On May 24th, PayPal shareholders at their Annual General Meeting will be called to vote on a resolution to ensure Palestinians, so often shut out of basic banking tools under apartheid, will finally be granted access to PayPal.4
This is only possible because of your support of the MPower campaign and the work of our partners at Ekō and 7amleh. As we approach the big day, let’s remind PayPal that we’re watching. It’s past time that tech corporations like PayPal stop their collusion with Israel’s discrimination against Palestinians. Tell PayPal to stop discriminating against Palestinians.
Action #3: Demand No Tech for Apartheid
This month also marks two years since Google and Amazon signed the $1.2 billion Project Nimbus contract with the Israeli government and military — a contract that helps power the ongoing Nakba.
Israel’s apartheid system began with the Nakba—it’s a root cause of the injustices Palestinians face today. By doing business with the Israeli government, Google and Amazon are enabling and powering the expansion and entrenchment of that same apartheid system and expanding illegal settlements that force Palestinians off their lands.
Tech workers, students, and community members have been organizing to demand Amazon and Google be on the right side of history and stop doing business with Israeli apartheid.
Amazon and Google’s shareholder meetings are taking place in just a few weeks, and it’s an immense opportunity to challenge them on the human rights violations in their contracts. Email Amazon CEO Andy Jassy and Google CEO Sundar Pichai to demand they cut the contract and stop powering the ongoing Nakba.
Set in the early days of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, the film Farha depicts the upheaval of Palestinian society from a 14-year-old girl’s perspective — and the historical reality of the Nakba. Maybe that’s why “the film — and the attention it is now getting on a major platform like Netflix — has angered Israeli officials, who have denounced [it] and even threatened consequences for its airing.”5
Action #5: One Important Read
From renowned Palestinian-American historian Rashid Khalidi, an important read on just what Nakba Day means to so many people:
“Perhaps, 75 years after the Nakba, we are seeing the beginning of the end of pernicious illusions about Israel, and the beginning of an understanding of the cruel realities of Palestine in the US,…Maybe this understanding will one day help Palestinians and Israelis to find true peace, so that it will not take another 75 years before they can live with supremacy and absolute power for none, and equal rights and justice for all.”
“Israel Is Throwing a 75th Birthday Party. Palestinians Have Little to Celebrate,” Rashid Khalidi, The Nation, APRIL 26, 2023
“By the passage of time!
Surely humanity is in grave loss,
except those who have faith, do good, and urge each other to the truth, and urge each other to perseverance. Quran 103:1-3”
Wishing you a restful, restorative, and meaningful weekend.
Linda and the MPower Change team
P.S. Want to support our work towards justice for all people and against white supremacy and Islamophobia? Sign up here to become a recurring MPower Change donor today.
1.”Israel’s Gaza offensive kills 21 Palestinians, prompting rocket fire at Tel Aviv,” Middle East Eye, May 10, 2023.
2. “Will a UN resolution to commemorate the expulsion of Palestinians from their lands change the narrative?” The Conversation, May 4, 2023.
3. “Rep. Rashida Tlaib Asks Congress to Condemn “Israel’s Ongoing Nakba” Against Palestine,” The Intercept, May 10, 2023.
4. “Provision of services in conflict zones at PayPal Holdings, Inc,” Principles for Responsible Investment.
5. “Netflix’s ‘Farha’ and the Palestinian Right to Process Pain Through Art,” The Intercept, Dec. 3, 2022.