Nakba (1948 Palestinian catastrophe)

In 1948 over 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes and their lands by a systematic campaign of terrorism. The Israeli state legitimised the theft of their lands, houses, property and businesses, offering no compensation and has continued to refuse the right of the refugees to return.

The creation of the state of Israel was an act of dispossession – a brutal, colonialist assault on the Palestinians. 2008 marks 60 years since that first ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel.

For more information about the history of Palestine and the events leading up to the Nakba visit our section “About Palestine”, for factsheets, links to useful websites and recommended reading. A factsheet on the Nakba is available here.

Visit 1948:lest we forget for more information about the Nakba.


The Nakba Diary: A Cause for Shame; not Celebration

The creation of the State of Israel is Palestine’s Nakba- (catastophe)

On 14th May 2008, Israel will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of its ‘declaration of independence’. No doubt, over the weeks to come, there will be much celebration, both in Israel and here in the UK. What will be presented to the world will be a commemoration of the legitimate and legal creation of a safe haven for Jews escaping from Europe. What you won’t be told about is what actually happened in 1948 – a series of massacres, bombing of civilians, kidnaps and other terrorist atrocities that culminated in the ethnic cleansing of the land of over 750,000 Arab Palestinians and the destruction over 400 of their villages.

The United Nations had proposed a partition plan giving 55% of ancient Palestine for a Jewish state but the Zionists – who had targeted the whole of Palestine for the creation of a Jewish State long before the Nazi atrocities – took 78% of the land by terrorist tactics and military force. The civilized world regards these acts as war crimes but Zionists, then and now, see them as the wholly necessary and justified means for the creation of their Jewish State.

Those 750,000 refugees and their descendants – over seven million of them – still live today, dispossessed and destitute, in refugee camps throughout the region. Israel is in illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and is in violation of numerous UN resolutions. It is the longest and most brutal military occupation in history. International law continues to be persistently and grossly breached and fundamental human rights are infringed with impunity, especially in the Gaza strip. Israel’s own deeply racist society treats its Palestinian citizens with institutionalized discrimination. We therefore owe it to these people not to allow Israel – and its supporters worldwide – by celebrating the events of 1948, to obliterate from history the sufferings and injustice endured by the Palestinians.

Our objective over the coming weeks will be to tell the true story behind Israel’s birth in a Nakba Diary, which will mark the anniversary of each major event or atrocity as it occurs during the months leading up to, and following, Israel’s unilateral declaration of independence. The diary is in eleven parts:

It will become clear to the reader that the events which brought the state of Israel into being should not be a cause for celebration in a civilized society but rather a cause for deep shame.


About the Author

Leeds Palestine Solidarity Campaign