Al-Jazeera Net correspondents
Washington – In front of the Washington Monument (Washington Obelisk), about halfway between the Congressional Building and the Lincoln Monument, hundreds of Palestinians, Arabs and Americans gathered to commemorate the Palestinian Nakba in 1948.
The demonstration was organized by Muslim Americans for Palestine, the Palestinian Youth Movement, and the Palestinian Christian Union for Peace, in addition to other organizations.
The organizers distributed various introductory materials to highlight the extent of the suffering of the Palestinian people due to the Israeli policies that are supported and blessed by successive US administrations.
The Palestinian Youth Movement distributed a newspaper to inform the Americans about the Nakba and its repercussions, and the pledges of Palestinian youth to work to liberate their country from the Israeli occupation.
Al-Jazeera Net spoke to many of the participating youth, most of whom came from states neighboring the capital, Washington. Dozens of Arab students at Washington DC universities also joined the march, who were keen to participate, accompanied by their classmates from American students.
The demonstration began with the singing of the Palestinian national anthem, and a number of senior leaders of the Palestinian community gave short speeches at the demonstration, which focused on exposing the racist policies of the Israeli government, and criticizing the provision of financial, military and US diplomatic support to Israel.
It was remarkable that there were representatives of a religious Jewish movement that believed that the establishment of the State of Israel on Palestinian lands 75 years ago was contrary to the teachings of the Torah.
Al-Jazeera Net spoke to Enron Lieberman, one of the Jewish participants, who said, "We do not believe in Israel's right to establish a state in Palestine; this is contrary to the teachings of God."
Lieberman added, "We live in Brooklyn, New York, and we are often harassed by pro-Israel Jewish groups, but we do not leave an opportunity without traveling anywhere in the United States to express our rejection of the establishment of the State of Israel and condemn its policies."
Investing in youth
Al-Jazeera Net spoke to Dr. Osama Abu Rashid, one of the organizers of the demonstration, and one of the most important Palestinian-American figures opposing the continued American support for the occupation state.
Speaking to Al-Jazeera Net, Abu Rashid, who currently heads the "American Muslims for Palestine" organization, said that this demonstration reflects the remembrance of all Palestinians, from different age groups and religious and social backgrounds, of the Nakba of the Palestinian people in 1948.
He added, "There is a significant change in public opinion's attitudes towards the Palestinian cause. A Gallup poll showed that 49% of the Democratic Party's followers expressed their support and solidarity with the Palestinians, compared to 38% for Israel."
He stressed the need to "exploit every opportunity that we have, to try to translate progress in American public opinion towards Palestinian rights into a change in official American policies and positions on the issue."
Abu Rashid added that Palestine is winning the battle of public opinion among young people born in the Millennial Y generation (people born between 1981 and 1996) or belonging to the Z generation (those born after 1997), who represent a huge percentage of university students and They are not yet 40 years old, adding, "Therefore, we must work hard to communicate with them and introduce them to everything new related to Palestinian rights."