Palestinian activist and writer Mohammed El Kurd addressed the United Nations on the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” on Monday.
The day also marks the 74th anniversary of the controversial partition plan by the United Nations which designated Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian territories.
Starting his address with a sarcastic jibe at the UN El Kurd remarked, “thank you for the groundbreaking speeches, I’m sure the occupation authorities are very concerned right now,” implying that the UN resolutions have not led to anything until now.
El Kurd shared his first experience of Israeli apartheid and narrated “When I was 11, I came home from school and saw my furniture scattered across the street in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighbourhood in occupied Palestine. The street overflowed with soldiers, police, and settlers. My neighbours were screaming and protesting, some of them hospitalized.”
He added that settlers had invaded his home and taken half of it and while doing so stated that it was theirs by divine decree “as if God is a real estate agent.”
He added that now, a decade later, the settlers are coming back to finish what they started. This fate of dispossession looms over much of the neighbourhood of Mohammed El Kurd. He said that their lives are consumed by the anxiety of living under the brink of homelessness.
After narrating a brief history of Israeli occupation and how it impacted the life of his family, he explained how putting faith in the Israeli judicial system is a dead-end and remarked, “saying that there’s an asymmetry and injustice in the Israeli judicial system, is a gross understatement, what we have on our hands is a colonialist ideologically driven system built by and for colonizers, working exactly as it was intended to.”
Sharing what Palestinians go through on a daily basis, he said that at a certain point in every Palestinian’s life, they realize that the ‘Nakba’ is far from over. The ‘Nakba’ which translates into disaster or catastrophe is known as the destruction of Palestinian society and homeland in 1948 and stands for the permanent displacement of a majority of the Palestinian people.
El Kurd concluded his address by saying that he knows that the occupation will end. “Like all injustices, it will end. It must. All empires fall,” he stated.
Mohammed El Kurd has been listed in Time Magazine’s most influential top 100 people list along with his twin sister, Muna El Kurd.