Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, August 2008, page 49
Billboard and Black Balloons
THE COALITION for Justice and Accountability, a member group of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, put together a Nakba commemoration on June 1, 2008, only yards away from “Israel@60: A Capital Celebration” on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Partygoers celebrating Israel’s birthday were surprised to see a giant 10 x 22 foot mobile billboard commemorating the Nakba circling the event. The mobile billboard, produced by the U.S. Campaign, features a work by Palestinian artist Nidal El Khairy entitled “60 Years of Nakba.”
Participants, including Nakba survivor Dr. Taher Dajani, passed out Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, magazines and other educational flyers to passersby. One young woman grabbed a flyer from her friend, used it to slap Dr. Dajani’s face, and threw his literature on the ground. Her shocked friend picked up the flyer and said, “But I want to read this.”
After watching a Dr. Seuss play, “Star-Belly Sneetches,” about racism and apartheid, participants released black balloons over the Mall, one to commemorate each village Israel has destroyed.
—Delinda C. Hanley