Egyptian activists mark the 62 Nakba Day

Nearly one hundred Egyptian activists protested Saturday to mark the 62nd Nakba Day in downtown Cairo, voicing criticism to their country’s foreign policy.

Armed with flags and posters in support of Palestine, activists from the Nasserist Karama party, the Revolutionary Socialists, the leftist Tagammu party and the pro-change Kefaya movement, mounted the stairs of the Lawyers’ Syndicate to mark the “day of catastrophe”, or “Nakba” on May 15, the day in 1948 when Israel declared statehood after which some 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled in the war that ensued.

“Resistance is the solution to the Zionist invaders” and “Palestine is an Arabic state and (Egyptian President Hosni) Mubarak has traded the (Palestinian) cause,” chanted the activists while burning Israeli flags.

Prominent MP Hamdeen Sabahi called for annulling the 1978 Camp David Peace Accord between Egypt and Israel.

“We participated to confirm that the people are pro-resistance and against Camp David,” said Sabahi, who is also the president of the unlicensed pan-Arabist Karama party.

Activists, dressed in black with the Palestinian checkered scarves, hailed armed resistance against Israel, dismissing equating it with terrorism.

“We are pro-resistance in all its forms (armed or unarmed) in the face of an enemy that owns weapons of mass destruction,” said Yehia Nayer of the Egyptian Committee for Combating Colonialism and Zionism.

Leftist Revolutionary Socialists group–who organized the protest–, issued a statement recounting the consequences of the formation of Israel in 1948 on more than 77 percent of the land of Palestine.

Demonstrators, who were cordoned off by heavy security forces, called also for reforming Egypt’s domestic political structures.

“I am an Egyptian who wants to back any movement that aims at changing the Egyptian regime,” said Shahira Abdel Wahhab, who identified herself as a housewife with four children.

Other activists said that Egypt’s internal affairs and the Palestinian cause are inseparable.

“Like Palestine, we are also invaded economically, culturally and politically,” said Salma Shukrallah, an activist from Kulona Mokawama (We Are All Resistance), an Egyptian anti-Zionism group.

Kulona Mokawama denounced the construction of an underground steel wall along side Egypt’s borders with the Gaza Strip which began last year. The Wall “aims at inhibiting the tunnels that are used for trafficking food and resistance tools from Egypt into Gaza,” the group said in a statement.

“The street movement should be expanded to integrate pan Arab demands along calling for democratic reform,” said Sabahi, who has expressed his willing to run for the 2011 presidential elections.

Outside the heavily besieged small protest at the Lawyers’ Syndicate, Cairene pedestrians did not seem occupied with remembering the Nakba Day.

“We have other Nakbas,” said Mahmoud Gaber, a taxi driver. “We are not willing to remember 1948, not even 1973,” added Gaber, referring to Egypt’s war with Israel.

“When you see a man searching the garbage for food, you think this is the real disaster,” he explained.

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