ARPCF Applauds Peel District School Board for Recognizing Nakba Remembrance Day

View this statement in pdf format.2024-04-17-Peel

Montreal, April 16, 2024 — The Anti-Racism Program of the CJPME Foundation (ARPCF) expresses its profound appreciation to the Peel District School Board (PDSB) for including Nakba Remembrance Day in its 2023-24 Days of Significance calendar. This important recognition acknowledges the historical experiences of Palestinian students and their families, thus fostering a more inclusive and empathetic educational environment. By marking this day, the PBSB significantly enhances the understanding of Palestinian heritage and contributes to the broader fight against anti-Palestinian racism within Canadian educational settings.

"The decision to recognize Nakba Remembrance Day is a courageous step towards rectifying historical omissions and addressing the systemic biases that have marginalized Palestinian voices," said Jamila Ewais, researcher for the ARPCF. Nakba Remembrance Day, observed on May 15, commemorates the displacement of Palestinians during the creation of Israel in 1948. During this time, Zionist militias forcibly expelled over 700,000 Palestinians from their lands, confiscated refugees’ properties, and destroyed over 400 towns and villages to establish the state of Israel. Israel and Pro-Israel voices still deny the Nakba and the Palestinian refugees' right of return.

The ARPCF believes that recognizing Nakba Remembrance Day is a vital step towards creating a supportive educational atmosphere that respects and honors the diverse backgrounds of all students. Unfortunately, the ARPCF is aware that there is an ongoing campaign in opposition to the commemoration of Nakba Remembrance Day, which falsely claims that the day normalizes antisemitism and distorts historical facts. Even worse, the Ontario Minister of Education is attempting to interfere and order that the date be removed from the calendar. He claimed that such commemorations are divisive and inappropriate for inclusion in school calendars due to their political nature The ARPCF strongly condemns this opposition campaign and ministerial interference for aiming to erase and silence Palestinian narratives and history. The Arab Canadian Lawyers Association (ALCA) has defined Nakba denial as a form of anti-Palestinian racism (APR).

As the ARPCF continues to advocate for educational policies that ensure fairness and accurate representation for all marginalized communities, it is encouraged by the PDBS's example. The ARPCF recommends that the PDSB maintain Nakba Remembrance Day on their calendar, standing firm against these anti-Palestinian pressures. Finally, the ARPCF hopes to see more school boards across Canada implement similar measures that accurately reflect and respect the diverse histories of their students, thus promoting a truly inclusive educational environment.

About the ARPCF – The mandate of the Anti-Racism Program of the CJPME Foundation (ARPCF) is to create public awareness about racism in Canada. This mandate falls in line with the Foundation’s broader purpose of monitoring and combating manifestations of racism, xenophobia, and discrimination by increasing public awareness of such biases.

For more information, please contact Jamila Ewais, 514-389-8668
ARPCF, [email protected]

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  • Jamila Ewais
    published this page in Statements 2024-04-17 11:45:33 -0400