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Journey into the Nakba

The founding of Israel resulted in the displacement of more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and kick started the ethnic cleansing of those who managed to stay within historical Palestine. Today marks the 68th year since the events of the Nakba, that’s 68 years of oppression, land appropriation, mass deportations and injustice.

Since the beginning of the British Mandate, there was underlying tension due to the presence of UK forces in Palestine. Conflict sprouted between settlers and locals, over basic living commodities such as agriculture, homes and water. Palestinians were becoming frustrated with British rule which was allowing unchecked immigration to Palestine – this was due to political pressure from Zionist organisations. The influx of Jews from Europe continued to exacerbate the situation within Palestine, which was seeing an increase in the number of foreign nationals.

A propelling factor of Jewish migration to Palestine was the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. A prime example was of course the Holocaust. Approximately 60,000 Jews emigrated from Germany to Palestine in the 1930’s. As numbers increased, Britain applied restrictions on the entry of Jews, in the hope of stemming the flow of Jews entering Palestine and maintaining control of the situation on the ground, which continued to intensify. Jews resorted to entering illegally. Not only did the Holocaust result in the genocide of more than six million Jews, but it also created a concrete platform of appeal on an emotional level for the creation of the State of Israel, a permanent homeland for Jews.

After 30 years of British rule, the Palestinian issue was brought to the limelight and now demanded international attention as the “bad atmosphere” had matured into a conflict over national identity between the locals and settlers. On November 1947, UN Resolution 181 divided Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state, with Jerusalem as an international city. British rule was withdrawn following the establishment of the State of Israel.

In the lead up to these events, extremist Jewish groups had formed; they had already ethnically and culturally cleansed Arab villages and communities to create a vacuum which was to be fulfilled by the “State of Israel”. They also later established an official government policy called the “Dalet Plan”, the policy of conquering Palestinian villages and the expulsion of their citizens. This policy remains at the epicentre of the Israel-Palestine conflict, as it creates a Jewish majority in Israel and slowly erases any remanence of Palestinian heritage, culture or even existence.

Scores of homes and communities were forcefully emptied of their inhabitants by these groups, as if they were unwanted objects. Those who defended their homes and their livelihoods faced clashes and massacres. Reports of expulsion spread fast, Israeli forces made sure of this – to generate panic amongst people and in turn “scare away” as many as they could. Families fled their homes to escape the brutality which was being inflicted on their neighbours. Households were left empty, some were taken over by settlers and many were bulldozed or demolished in order to remove any hint of the area’s Arab heritage. By wiping Palestine out and replacing it with settlers, Israel was able to have a distinct Jewish character and political culture.

Palestinians were forced to enter neighbouring countries such as Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. Laws were passed setting up strict rules regarding the re-entry of Palestinians. The Prevention of Infiltration Law banned the entry of Palestinian refugees and sympathisers into Israel, those found in the country would be deported. Others, including the Absentees’ Property Law, ensured any property left by Palestinians fleeing the violence was confiscated by the state and annexed by Israel.

Seven decades after the Nakba, Palestinians still do not have the right to return to these properties.

Archived footage of a British newsreel which broadcasted Israel’s Declaration of Independence in May 1948

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  • Juan Rabinovits

    The Cyprus-based British Near East (Arab) Broadcasting reported on April 3, 1949: “The Arab Higher Committee encouraged the refugees’ flight from their homes.” The Commander-in-Chief of the invading Arab military force, Fawzi el-Kaukji, a known Nazi collaborator, threatened in August, 1947: “Should the UN vote the wrong way [to establish a Jewish state], we will initiate a total war… murder, wreck and ruin.” On November 24, 1947, the Acting Chairman of the Palestinian Arab Higher Committee, Jamal Al-Husseini threatened: “Palestine shall be consumed with fire and blood if the Jews get any part of it.”

  • Juan Rabinovits

    The “occupied territory of the West Bank” is not occupied. In 1948 israel was confirmed as a national entity by the U.N. with Judea and Samaria as part of this sovereign state based on an international agreement signed by the government of Turkey and recorded in the Treaty of Lausanne which legalized the San Remo Accords. The government of Turkey as signatory to this binding treaty gave up all claim to its former territories and the Mandate for Palestine came into legal force. And thus ‘Jewish Palestine’ was established by the League of Nations on September 16th 1922 as Eretz-Israel when Israel was defined as the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea by the Transjordan Memorandum. This subsequent partition plan of 1947 was merely a proposal and totally rejected by the Arabs. It has no legal standing whatsoever. The San Remo agreement and the Treaty of Lausanne are Israel’s Magna Carta and are in full force to this day.

  • Juan Rabinovits

    “On November 1947, UN Resolution 181 divided Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state, with Jerusalem as an international city.”

    It was called the partition plan. It was only a plan because the Arabs did not agree to it. It has no legal standing despite the fact that Israel agree to it. Agreement was needed according to the Treaty of Lausanne:

    “Turkey hereby renounces all rights and title whatsoever over or respecting the territories situated outside the frontiers laid down in the present Treaty and the islands other than those over which her sovereignty is recognised by the said Treaty, the future of these territories and islands being settled or to be settled by the parties concerned.”

    -Article 16 of the Treaty of Lausanne signed on 24th of July 1923

  • Jewish State of Israel ROOLZ

    Nice video. Mazal Tov Israel on 68 years of success while all the Arab states have wallowed in 68 years of failure, however others are always to blame – it must be a Jewish conspiracy! haha

  • Juan Rabinovits

    1. “Kill the Jews wherever you find them. It would please God, history and religion,” incited the top Palestinian Arab leader, Haj Amin al-Husseini, in a March 1, 1944 Arabic broadcast on the Nazi Berlin Radio. “Drive the Jews into the sea… and never accept the Jewish State,” instigated the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna, as reported by the New York Times on August 2, 1948.

    2. “In 1948, the Arab Liberation Army told Arabs in British Mandate Palestine to leave their homes, and return a few days later, so it could fulfil its mission [against the Jews],” reported the Palestinian daily Al Ayyam on May 13, 2008.