Below are key calendar dates in March related to Canada and the Middle East, especially Palestinian activism and resistance.  Please email [email protected] if you would like to suggest other anniversaries or dates for our "On this day" commemorations.


March 15, 1950 - Israel enacts Absentee Property Law

March_15_EN.pngOn this day in 1950, the Israeli Knesset enacted the Absentee Property Law, which expropriated the land and property of Palestinians who fled their homes during the Nakba in 1948. The law declared that any Palestinians who had been away from their land during the war (even if they were seeking refuge in a neighbouring town) were considered “absentees” and lost all rights and ownership to it. This consequentially led Israel to demolish hundreds of thousands of Palestinian homes... (Read More)

March 16, 2003 - US activist Rachel Corrie killed by Israeli bulldozer in Gaza

March_16_EN.pngOn this day in 2003, Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American student, was crushed and killed by an Israeli bulldozer while trying to prevent Israeli forces from demolishing a Palestinian home in Gaza. The cause of her death was immediately ruled out as an accident by Israeli authorities, who declined to undertake a full investigation. However, activists on the scene claimed that the incident was deliberate, and that Corrie was targeted for her solidarity work... (Read More)

March 17, 2003: Canada announces it will not join the US invasion of Iraq, while secretly promising military support

On this day in 2003, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien announced to the House of Commons that Canada would not be participating in the US-led invasion of Iraq. However, on the same day, top Canadian diplomats secretly met with their American and British counterparts promising Canada’s military support in the “war on terrorism.” According to a classified US diplomatic memo of the secret meeting obtained from WikiLeaks, US officials were told that Canadian naval and air forces positioned in the region could be “discreetly” put to use during the invasion... (Read More)

March 23, 2011 - Israel passes 'Nakba Bill' to prevent commemorating the Nakba

March_23_EN.pngOn this day in 2011, the Israeli Knesset passed a controversial bill called the ‘Nakba Bill.’ This bill imposes financial sanctions on institutions that commemorate the Nakba, one of the most significant events in modern Palestinian history. Nakba means ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic, and refers to when more than 700,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes during the establishment of the state of Israel, as part of a process of ethnic cleansing... (Read More)

March 25, 2019 - Trump recognizes Israel's annexation of the occupied Golan Heights

OTD_Images_-_Instagram__Web_(5).pngOn this day in 2019, United States President Donald Trump signed an order recognizing the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as a part of Israel, defying international law. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 war and annexed the territory in 1981. This act was never recognized by the international community, which considers the Golan Heights to be occupied territory. Trump’s order was perceived as a political gift to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who unveiled a new illegal settlement in the territory named “Trump Heights”... (Read More)

March 30, 1976 - Israel kills six Palestinian citizens of Israel protesting the mass seizure of land

March_30_EN.pngOn this day in 1976, Israel shot and killed six unarmed Palestinian citizens of Israel, who were participating in a massive demonstration against the Israeli government’s plans to expropriate thousands of dunams of land. The protests by Palestinian citizens of Israel – across the country in the Galilee, the Naqab, and Wadi Ara – were met with severe Israeli violence, injuring hundreds more... (Read More)

March 30, 2018 - Palestinian refugees launch the Great March of Return in Gaza

On this day in 2018, Palestinians launched the Great March of Return, a series of weekly mass protests at the fence separating the occupied Gaza strip from Israel, demanding an end to the Israeli blockade and the right of refugees to return to their homes. Israeli snipers stationed at the fence opened fire indiscriminately on the demonstrators, deploying live ammunition, rubber bullets, and tear gas Over a period of two years, Israeli forces killed 214 Palestinians, including 46 children, and injured more than 36,100... (Read More)