Ballarat Trades Hall marks Nakba, calls for justice for Palestine

Ballarat unionists raise the Palestine flag on May 9. Photo: supplied

Unionists at Ballarat Trades Hall Council (BTHC) marked 75 years since the Nakba with a solidarity photo on May 9.

The following statement was read out, and will be included in the BTHC minutes.

Palestine’s flag will be flown at Trades Hall on May 15.

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75th anniversary of the Nakba

75 years: May 15 commiserations are taking place all over the world and throughout Australia.

Thank you to the Ballarat Trades Hall for flying the Palestine flag on such an occasion.

At the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network conference these words were spoken:

They threaten me.

They threw me out of my house.

They won’t let me return.

It is appropriate that May 15, this year, falls after international journalist day, when we think about the increased killing, jailing and disappearance of journalists.

UNESCO has documented 21 journalists killed in Israel, since 2002.

On May 11, 2022, Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces. No-one has been held to account and, with Israel not allowing their soldiers to be questioned, it is hard not to conclude that it was a summary execution.

It is also appropriate that May 15 falls before international refugee week when we consider ongoing crises of displaced and stateless persons in the world: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees figures in 2023 put the number at 117.2 million.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency put the figure at 1.5 million Palestine refugees living in 58 recognised refugee camps.

They threaten me.

They threw me out of my house.

They won’t let me return.

Recently the word “apartheid” has been used by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, with a growing number of voices joining in, to explain the state of Israel.

As early as May 7, we are reminded of senseless brutality with Israel bulldozing a European-built Palestine primary school.

South African apartheid was dismantled in 1994.

Hopefully enlightened peoples will end these terrible crimes on humanity, and justice and peace will follow a just path like South Africa’s and Timor Leste, with truth telling giving some level of healing.

Seventy five years is too long for the Palestine people.

Let us remember the villages wiped from the pap and the people who have died on this, the 75 anniversary, of the Nakba.