The Nakba


Imagine yourself as an Arab Palestinian at the beginning of 1948, living in rural Palestine. Your friends and relatives would have lived in the same village, or a closely neighboring one. Your ancestors would have lived and died in the same region, worshiped in nearby mosques or churches, lived in houses that you know, and seen the same vistas that you see. They would probably be buried close by. Everything you owned or loved would have been right there - family, home, children, traditions.

What would it take to make you leave ...?


How did the Palestinians lose their country in 1948?

On April 9, 1948, Jewish troops massacred many of the Arab inhabitants of the small village of Dayr Yasin. Here is a brief description of what happened.

In July of 1948, the Palestinian residents of Lydda were forced from their homes at gunpoint, and forced to walk to Ramallah. Two Palestinians, Audeh Rantisi and Charles Amash, were boys at the time, and they tell about the harrowing long walk without water, and the violence and frivolous offensiveness of the Jewish troops.

Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian of the Nakba, tells what happened in 1948, and how the story of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians was obscured and largely erased by more palatable stories of military victories in Israel's collective memory.

In 1948, Count Bernadotte was empowered by the new United Nations Organization to negotiate a peace treaty between the recently formed government of Israel and the Arab countries confronting it. Shortly after Bernadotte demanded that Israel rebuild three destroyed Arab villages, he was killed by the terrorist group Lehi.

A brief description of the first Zionist military campaign of the Nakba: Plan Dalet.

A description of the committee, chaired by David Ben-Gurion, that planned the Nakba.

Dina Mikdadi tells about her grandmother, Aida Aweida, a young Palestinian woman who, in 1948, lost a cherished past and hopes for the future.

Hatim Kanaaneh poignantly describes how life changed when his village was captured by Jewish forces.

A timeline containing containing many of the principal events of the Nakba.

Richard Curtiss discusses the evolution of President's Truman's decision to recognize Israel as a sovereign state.

On Christmas Day, 1951, Greek Catholic Palestinian refugees from the village of Iqrit walked toward their old home singing a Christmas hymn. They thought that they were about to be allowed to return...

Donald Neff tells how the Nakba was the basis for future Israeli policies, and blames these policies for the continuing and open-ended Middle East conflict.