Israel removed a memorial statue in the city of Acre this week dedicated to Palestinian intellectual and writer Ghassan Kanafani.
The statue was set up in a cemetery by Palestinians in the northern Israeli city to honor the iconic intellectual and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) member.
The local Waqf (Endowment) in Acre was contacted shortly after the memorial was erected and pressured to remove it immediately by Israel’s Interior Ministry.
Israeli authorities forced the city of Acre to remove a memorial to Palestinian playwright and novelist Ghassan Kanafani, who was born in Acre and forced to leave his city during the 1948 Nakba. https://t.co/8JdmE1Kqyo pic.twitter.com/xxGeLWGNE9
— The IMEU (@theIMEU) December 22, 2018
Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, a member of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, said earlier this week that “we will not allow memorials in honor of terrorists in Israel”.
A relative of Kanafani said the memorial would be moved to a garden of another relative in Acre.
Ahmad Odeh, a Palestinian member of Acre’s city council, said Kanafani was a “symbol for the entire Palestinian people” and denounced the Israeli decision.
— Araby.org Community (@ArabyOrg) December 21, 2018
Despite being a civilian who did not bear arms, Kanafani, born in Acre in 1936, was assassinated in Beirut in 1972 by a car bomb believed to have been orchestrated by Israeli Mossad agents.
Kanafani’s obituary in Lebanon famously said:
“He was a commando who never fired a gun, whose weapon was a ball-point pen, and his arena the newspaper pages.”
Kanafani was a victim of Israel’s terrorism, assassinated in Beirut on 8/7/72; his literature will always be remembered as masterpieces describing our Nakba and exile; the Zionists who removed the memorial will only be remembered as those who brought apartheid to the Holy Land. https://t.co/mCQPPrC2QG
— Xavier Abu Eid (@xabueid) December 21, 2018
His family was forcibly displaced from the city in 1948 during the mass exodus of Palestinians known as the ‘Nakba’, or catastrophe.
Acre was historically a mixed city of Palestinian Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Baha’i, but around 75 percent of the population was displaced during fighting surrounding the creation of the Israeli state.
(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)