Today, the Palestinian people scattered across the globe mark Land Day, commemorating the events of 33 years ago, when Israeli security forces shot and killed six young Palestinian citizens of Israel and injured many. These brave youth were among the thousands protesting Israel`s expropriation of Palestinian land to build new Jewish colonies and expand existing Jewish cities. Today, Land Day symbolizes Palestinian resistance to Israel`s ongoing land expropriation, apartheid, colonization and occupation. It marks as well the first Global Day of Action for Palestinian rights and for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), launched at the world Social Forum 2009 in Brazil.
Israel`s racist policies of confiscating Palestinian land and forcibly displacing Palestinians have gained in intensity since the original Land Day. The policies of incremental ethnic cleansing that Israel calls "Judaization" are proceeding apace in Palestine`s historic cities, including Jerusalem, Jaffa, Acre, Lydda and Ramla, with daily home demolitions and forced evictions. Israel`s aggressive land grab continues with the construction and expansion of the Apartheid Wall and colonies on occupied Palestinian land. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians face imminent displacement as their villages are slated to be erased from the map in their entirety.
Moreover, the fundamental injustices that gave rise to the original Palestinian Civil Society BDS Call in 2005 are more acute than ever today. Israel continues to deny Palestinian refugees, who were ethnically cleansed during the 1948 Nakba and ever since, their UN-sanctioned right to return to their homes of origin; it continues its institutionalized racial discrimination against the Palestinian citizens of Israel; and its military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip is intensifying in repression and cruelty.
Land Day this year takes on further significance in light of Israel`s atrocious war of aggression against the hermetically besieged Palestinian people in the occupied Gaza Strip. The more than 1,400 deaths, 5,000 injuries, and 14,000 homes damaged or destroyed are only the latest manifestation of the contempt with which Palestinian life is regarded by Israel. The silence of powerful world governments in the face of the massacre was yet another astounding failure of the "international community" to uphold international law and to hold Israel to account for persistently and gravely violating the most basic of internati