The year 2008 marks the
60th anniversary of the Nakba ("the catastrophe"):
the expulsion and dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from
their homes and land in 1948.
In May 1948, Israel was
declared a “Jewish state” despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of
the indigenous population consisted of Palestinian Arabs, and the Jewish
population was composed primarily of new immigrants. Shortly
before the creation of the state of Israel, Zionist
leader David Ben Gurion instituted "Plan Dalet" in order to change
the demographic make-up of historic Palestine
and secure physical control over the territory. As a result, thousands
of Palestinians were massacred and approximately 75% of the total
Palestinian population, over 800,000 people, was expelled. More
than 530 Palestinian villages were depopulated and/or completely destroyed.
To date, and in violation
of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, and the forth Geneva
Human Rights Convention, Israel has prevented the return of approximately six
million Palestinian refugees, who have either been expelled or displaced. Approximately 250,000 internally displaced
Palestinian second-class citizens of Israel are prevented from returning
to their homes and villages. Meanwhile, Israel grants citizenship and the right to
“return” to Israel
to any person of Jewish ancestry worldwide. This catastrophic event and
continuing historic struggle for the Palestinians’ right of return is today
commemorated as the Nakba.
Links and Resources on the Nakba:
- Project: The Nakba Archive - Video testimonies of Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon about the events of 1948.