On this Nakba Day, we commemorate the 76th anniversary of the catastrophic events that befell the Palestinian people during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The term “Nakba,” meaning “Catastrophe” in Arabic, encapsulates the profound loss, suffering, and injustice endured by Palestinians as a result of mass displacement, ethnic cleansing, and violence perpetrated against them. It is a day to remember the over 700,000 Palestinians forcibly expelled from their homes, the destruction of over 530 Palestinian villages, and the loss of historic territory, all of which laid the foundation for the ongoing humanitarian crisis and protracted refugee situation we witness today. The displacement and dispossession inflicted upon the Palestinian people persist, with nearly 6 million Palestine refugees scattered across Gaza, the West Bank, and neighboring countries, denied their right to return to their homes and lands. In the 76 years since the Nakba, Palestinians have endured successive waves of violence, displacement, and oppression. The Israeli occupation, ruled illegal under international law, perpetuates a system of apartheid, denying Palestinians their basic human rights and freedoms, while illegal settlements continue to expand, fragmenting Palestinian territories and hindering the prospects for a viable Palestinian state.

As we reflect on the significance of Nakba Day, the Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC) stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their quest for justice, dignity, and self-determination. We denounce all forms of violence, discrimination, and injustice perpetrated against Palestinians and reiterate our commitment to advocating for their rights on the international stage.

On the occasion of Nakba, CMPAC urges the Canadian government to do the following:

  • Officially recognize Nakba and acknowledge Palestinian rights to self determination and right of return.
  • Take concrete steps and necessary diplomacy to officially recognize Palestinian statehood.
  • Demand accountability for Israel’s human rights violations, war crimes and genocide committed against Palestinians.
  • Increase humanitarian aid and support for Palestinians and contribute to the rebuilding of Gaza.
  • Integrate a definition of anti-Palestinian racism into its Anti-Racism Strategy to ensure equitable treatment of Palestinians in the fight against all forms of racism.
  • Protect the rights of Canadians and students to all forms of peaceful protests for Palestine including university encampments across Canada. 

In addition to commemorating Nakba Day, CMPAC announces its intention to make a comprehensive submission in support of the Nakba bill put forth by NDP Member of Parliament Matthew Green. This legislation presents a crucial opportunity to address the historical injustices endured by the Palestinian people and reaffirm Canada’s commitment to upholding human rights and international law.