The General Delegation of the PLO to the US commemorates the 45th anniversary of the 1967 War with somber reflection. On this day, Palestinians all over the world recall the challenges this calamity imposed on us as well as the sacrifices we have given, and continue to give, in our long walk to freedom. It is also a day of reckoning for the international community that has allowed the last remaining colonial occupation in modern history, an insufferable transgression of basic human rights by any account, to
persist for so long.
On the 5th of June 1967, forty-five years to the date, Israeli troops invaded and occupied the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem and our nation became completely under Israel’s control. The term an-Naksah, “The Setback,” was used to describe what had befallen us after an-Nakba, The Catastrophe, only 19 years earlier. The difference in terms was out of a realization that a narrative of victim-hood divorced of a hopeful outlook would seal our fate to eternal subjugation and suffering. A setback meant that there was still room for change and redress. And indeed, our people did not relent. From refugees we became freedom fighters and the world witnessed chapter after chapter of creative ways of struggle which became synonymous with Palestinians. Fedaee, intifada, popular resistance and many other terms are just a few examples of how our people were resourceful in coming up with new ways of struggle in order to achieve our freedom.
Forty-five years later, we are still struggling to achieve our liberation and statehood using all means at our disposal. Unfortunately, the international community has not been up to par with our people’s resolve. We continue to wait for our day of liberation. We remain steadfast and resilient in building the institutions of our prospective state while incessantly engaging in international diplomacy to bring us closer to that day. We are hopeful that our efforts will bear fruit and that our struggle will not be in vain.
On this day, the General Delegation of the PLO to the US reaffirms its commitment to the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people for freedom and dignity and the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with all its neighbors. On this day, we salute our martyrs, our prisoners, and all our people and hope to commemorate this day next year in the independent State of Palestine.