May 7th: On May 7th the American Jewish Committee held a celebration of the 60th anniversary of Israel’s founding, at the large and sumptuous Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. Outside, al-Nakba Coalition, a network of Middle East peace and justice organizations, held a protest and commemoration of 60 years of Nakba. We started by marching from Westlake Park, carrying banners and coffins with the names of Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948, and wearing masks. We arrived shortly at the concert hall, put down our coffins, and interacted with rush-hour passersby, police, and some celebrants. Some of our people wrote slogans and names of destroyed villages on the sidewalk around the entire building. There were around 100 of us, and there had been coverage of our work that day in both main Seattle newspapers.
May 10th: We also had an event on May 10th, titled “Celebrate Palestine: 60 years of Resistance.” This was a positive, pro-active cultural event to recognize and honor the steadfastness of the Palestinians in the face of a 60-year Israeli attempt to dislocate and exile the native population of Palestine. Palestinian refugees from 1948 and 1967 spoke, giving moving personal testimony about their life and their experiences. A youth folklore ensemble performed; information tables were present; traditional handicrafts were displayed, and Palestinian food was provided. The event was held at the Seattle Central Community College, organized by al-Nakba Coalition, and at least 100 people attended.
May 28th: The AJC hosted another event, a high-ticket reception and dinner, celebrating Israel in a fancy restaurant on the waterfront. Around 30 of us held a vigil outside, passing out leaflets, writing in chalk on the sidewalk, and reading appropriate poetry and other writings into a small p.a. system.
For more information about al-Nakba Coalition, see http://nakba60th-seattle.org/