يوم النكبة, or Nakba day, meaning "Day of the Catastrophe", is marked every year on May 15, commemorating the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, the land theft and the destruction and depopulation of hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages.
The creation of the state of Israel was promoted and popularized in the West with a wicked slogan, a myth, an utter lie: "A land without a people for a people without a land."
Let's take a look at that alleged "barren" land.
The 69th anniversary of the Nakba
On May 15, millions of Palestinians living in the Palestinian territories and abroad will mark the 69th anniversary of the Nakba.
Prior to the Nakba, Palestine was presented to the Western world as "a barren land without inhabitants"
But was it?
It was never uninhabited
"It pains our people greatly to witness the propagation of the myth that its homeland was a desert until it was made to bloom by the toil of foreign settlers, that it was a land without a people". - late PLO leader Yasser Arafat told the United Nations in 1974.
Take a look at Yaffa يافا (Jaffa)
After 1948, more falsehoods were created, claiming that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the result of old and deeply-rooted enmities between Arabs and Jews, and between Muslims and Jews.
The political tension over land and resources was misinterpreted by the West as an ancient ethnic and religious divide, undermining centuries of coexistence between Arabs and Jews that predate the foundation of the Zionist state, and dismissing the fact that Jewish communities flourished and still exist in Muslim majority countries.
Defending the right of existence and the right of return of the indigenous Palestinians was wrongly equated with antisemitism.
Checkpoints continue to suffocate Palestinians
Israel has maintained a military occupation of Palestinian territories since 1967. Very little being done about the segregation that Palestinians endure.
A 15 year old Apartheid wall
The illegal wall runs 280 miles long. It has been under construction for 15 years. 85 percent of the wall runs inside the occupied West Bank, corroding more land from the Palestinians, destroying more villages, uprooting centuries old trees, cutting off Palestinian farmers from their lands and crops, and allowing more illegal Israeli settlers to occupy more territory.
There are more than 200 Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The settler population there is estimated to be upwards of 588,000 according to B'Tselem.
In the United Nations Security Council resolution 446, adopted on 22 March 1979, the Security Council stresses that: "the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East"
Even though these settlements are considered illegal by international law, Israel allows the planning and construction of more settlements to this day.
Not to mention the siege of Gaza Strip
Since 1948, Gaza has been home to a majority refugee population that had to resettle in the narrow coastal enclave after Israel had declared its statehood and forced them out of their homes. Currently, the strip houses more than 1.8 million individuals.
For decades, Israel controlled Gaza. It had 16 illegal settlements set up there until their dismantling in 2005. Israel however still maintains and continues to intensify a crippling siege on Gaza till this day, making it otherwise known as the world's "largest open air prison."
What's more, Israel has often resorted to disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force against the Gaza strip. The Israeli military has launched three offensives over the past 6 years, which have resulted in thousands of civilian casualties.
The media coverage continues to be an utter disappointment
So to sum things up, here is why you can't find Palestine on a map
This is why it's called a Nakba.
Palestinians hold on to their keys
To this day, thousands of Palestinians still hold on to the keys of their houses in the occupied land. The locks that match the keys may no longer exist, the doors to their homes may have been turned to ashes, the walls torn down, the villages leveled ... but their keys are still there, old and rusty, useless it may seem to some, but nevertheless, older than the state of Israel.