76th anniversary of nakba 

By Senator Jordon Steele-John, spokesperson for Foreign Affairs 


Nakba is the Arabic word for ‘catastrophe’. 

Nakba Day is observed by Palestinians across the world and May 15th 2024, marked the 76th anniversary of the Nakba.

The Nakba was the violent displacement, dispossession and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people at the hands of the State of Israel, which was established on 15 May 1948.

More than 100 massacres were committed, killing at least 15,000 and expelling upwards of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes between 1947 and 1949. 

76 years on, Palestinians continue to fight for their right to return to their homelands which have been forcefully occupied by the State of Israel.

This year, Nakba Day was deeply solemn. The day of reflection set against the backdrop of the ongoing genocide in Gaza. A genocide where tens of thousands of Palestinians have died and millions more are being deliberately starved, dehydrated and exposed to disease as a direct result of choices and actions made by the State of Israel.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, and his war cabinet have crossed every red line imaginable. 

It has been disappointing that the Australian Government has failed to take stronger action to stop the bloodshed and devastation. The war cabinet does not care for the weak words of the government, meanwhile, Labor continues to provide millions of dollars in weapon components to the state of Israel to continue its destruction. 

I am proud to be part of our Greens movement, and I am proud to be in solidarity with the Palestinian community as we commemorate Nakba, and every day until there is an end to the occupation. 

We will continue to be in solidarity until Palestinians can live in freedom, and achieve self-determination and until their human rights are respected.

It is time that the Prime Minister and the foreign minister took real, meaningful action. 

Every week the parliament has been in session since October 7th 2023 your Australian Greens team has been calling on the government to do more. You can watch my latest speech in the Senate here, where we call for the Labor government to:  

  • Call for a permanent and immediate ceasefire
  • Expel Israel's Ambassador to Australia
  • Put sanctions on Prime Minister Netanyahu, his war cabinet and other government members
  • End military trade with the State of Israel
  • End military cooperation with the IDF
  • Cancel defence contracts with Elbit systems
  • Join South Africa’s case in the International Court of Justice

Australia cannot proclaim a commitment to upholding an international rules-based order only when it suits us. War crimes must be called out wherever they occur and whoever the perpetrators are.