The immediate causes of the diaspora of Arab Palestinians in 1948

Zachary Rose

(If you think my argument is wrong or if you have anything to add to it then please comment)

From 1947 to 1949 an estimated 750,000 Arab Palestinians fled Palestine. The exodus of Arab Palestinians led to the largest diaspora in modern Middle Eastern history. The causes of the exodus are many and continue to be redefined as governments open their document archives to researchers. Though there are many prior and immediate causes which led to the Palestinian diaspora, some causes are more significant than others. In studying the significant causes one is able to understand that the exodus did not take place in voluntary circumstances. The diaspora of Arab Palestinians can be traced back to three immediate causes: United Nations Resolution 181, a plan of partition for British Mandate Palestine; the implementation of Plan Dalet, a master plan for occupying land and expelling its inhabitants; and a complex policy of property confiscation through the use of absentee laws, created by Jews who favored the creation of a wholly Jewish state in what use to be Israel. The idea of the creation of Israel as a homeland for the Jews is known as Zionism.

An estimated eighty-four percent of Palestinian refugees left their homes directly due to the turmoil created by the Haganah, a paramilitary force which would become the Israel Defense Force after just after Israel declared independence in May 1948, and its allied terrorist factions.[1] The Palestinians who fled the war of independence for Israel and the Nakba or catastrophe for Palestine, were made to be permanent refugees throughout the world. The Nakba was not felt in the same manner by all Arab Palestinians. The Nakba affected social classes and locales differently depending on the practice and severity of expulsion methods.[2] Not only did the first Arab-Israeli conflict cause an exodus of Palestinians but the conflict also resulted in those Palestinian refugees not being able to return home and claim what they had left behind.

After the end of the Second World War the British could not maintain their burdensome mandate over Palestine, so they asked the United Nations General Assembly to create a plan for taking over British Mandate Palestine. UN Resolution 181, the plan of partition for British Mandate Palestine, was the first immediate cause of the exodus of Arabs throughout British Mandate Palestine.[3] UN Resolution 181 was designed to unequally separate Palestine into two states for the Jewish and Arab populations. The partition plan, signed by a two-thirds majority in the UN General Assembly, was also the preliminary cause for the Arab-Israeli war in 1948.[4] The two-thirds majority in favor of the plan was made up of western nations which usually had financial incentives favoring the partition of Palestine. The countries opposing the plan were all of the Muslim nations represented in the UN but also included Cuba, Greece, and India, which had a significant Muslim population.[5]

The partition plan called for basic human and civil rights throughout the two states of Israel and Palestine.[6] Neither of those rights was ensured for Arabs in Israel in 1948 and 1949. The partition plan declared that property abandoned by the Arab Palestinians was to be expropriated only if the Israeli authorities could pay compensation to the owners.[7] The exchange system of compensation for land expropriation never happened because of the following first Arab-Israeli conflict. The plan called for handing over the majority of land, fifty-five percent, to a thirty-seven percent Jewish minority.[8] The discriminatory land expropriation proposal ensured inequality and displacement of people throughout Palestine. Many Arab Palestinians were angry and fearful of the partition plan. It called for just over fifty percent of Palestine to be given to the Zionist Jews who owned under ten percent of the land which they would receive.[9] Since Jerusalem could not be equally split between the Arabs and Jews without a fair compromise the partition plan was going to have the city fall under international control.[10]

The UN General Assembly stated in the partition plan that the British should evacuate Palestine and hand over their administration powers to the UN by August of 1948.[11] Between early December 1947 and January 1948 underground Zionist terrorist groups, such as the Stern Gang, set off bombs within crowds in densely populated Jerusalem.[12] Early acts of aggression such as terrorism sparked the first wave of Palestinians to leave their homes. The first refugees who left were not village farmers or farm-hands; they were the wealthier Arab Palestinians living within the metropolis areas such as Haifa and Jaffa.[13] About half of the Arab Palestinian population had settled in cities by 1948.[14] Before the official end of the British mandate no less than 100,000 Arabs had fled Palestine during the beginning of the civil war between Arabs and Zionist Jews over British Mandate Palestine.[15] By the time the British had evacuated from Palestine, an estimated 300,000 Arabs left their homes to seek safety from the civil war and the atrocities that were being committed by Zionist terrorist gangs such as the Jewish Stern Gang.[16]

In early 1948 Warren Austin, a United States representative to the UN, realized that the escalation of violence would no longer allow for the execution of the partition plan.[17] As the division in communities grew deeper throughout Palestine, as a result of the inequality in the partition plan, and Zionist terrorism escalated, the British could not afford to stay until August and decided on an early exit.[18] As violence increased, the British left Palestine in May of 1948 leaving the UN to attempt to execute its partition plan.[19] Because of the escalating violence the UN sent Count Folke Bernadotte, a UN mediator, in order to reform the partition of Palestine.

Due to the internal failures in organized support for Arabs in Palestine and divisions of local Arab politicians in Palestine, the neighboring nations took upon themselves the responsibility to intervene in the civil war.[20] By the time of the Arab intervention many refugees had been dispersed throughout Palestine and its neighboring nations. Arab nations did not expect such a large influx of refugees and were not ready to handle the exodus.[21] The Arab nations assumed that an Arab led intervention in the civil war would end both the violence and the exodus of Arab Palestinians.

Fear tactics, such as shelling densely populated Arab city centers where no regular or irregular forces were stationed, were used to create a feeling of uncertainty throughout the country.[22] Many similar terrorist tactics were used before the British had evacuated. Zionist sponsored terrorism marked the beginning of tragedy for the Arab Palestinians.

The civil war escelated after the British left Palestine in May 1948 , earlier than anticipated by any of the parties involved. The Palestinians who could afford to leave before the height of the war had already done so.[23] Five days after the British had officially evacuated themselves from Palestine a member of the popular Jewish National Fund, Yosef Weitz, wrote that the exodus of Arab Palestinian refugees had led to a territorial revolution and that Israel had the right to lay claim to the abandoned land.[24]

Since the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine was the pinnacle of Zionist policy, it was in the best interest of the Zionists to form a governmental body as quickly as possible. The Zionists believed that Britain would be a burden and an aggressor to the creation of a Jewish state. The Arab Palestinians felt that the British would be protecting Palestine from division. Because of this the Zionists had been ready to claim their portion of Palestine as quickly as possible. They had a government set up and in place one month after the British had been evacuated from Palestine. The Arabs, on the other hand, were still deeply divided and were not ready for the unexpectedly quick departure of their British protectors. This gave a significant advantage to the Zionist policy of reclaiming a land which they believed was inherently theirs.[25]

The second immediate cause of the Arab Palestinian diaspora was the implementation of Plan Dalet. David Ben-Gurion, a founder of Plan Dalet, was the foremost significant founder of Israel and its leading foreign and domestic policy maker. Plan Dalet was a plan of operation used to expel populations, occupy and destroy villages, and defend the newly created state of Israel from external and internal security threats. Before the establishment of Plan Dalet, Ben-Gurion’s advice to expel Arabs and destroy Arab villages was a clear sign of how Plan Dalet was to be implemented.[26]

Months before Plan Dalet had been released in the spring of 1948, Ben-Gurion ordered outright expulsion of Arabs and wholesale destruction of their villages in response to undefined resistance to Jewish occupation.[27] The final solution to the Arab problem in Palestine was ethnic cleansing. The ethnic cleansing of Palestine was on Ben-Gurion’s mind as early as 1937.[28] Ben-Gurion was not alone in his solution to the Arab problem. Many of the founders of Israel such as the first President of Israel, Chaim Weizmann, had adopted the idea of population transfer in order to cleanse Israel of its native population.[29] The hostile and racist policies of the Zionists during the civil war are transparent enough in Israeli legislation that Arabs living within the borders of Israel were viewed as a potential threat to national security.[30]

Plan Dalet epitomizes the thinking of early Zionist founders. Plan Dalet created a basis to which Arabs in Palestine were to be, under law of Israel’s paramilitary organization, legally transferred out of Haganah occupied villages. When the Jewish state declared independence on May 14th, 1948, there was a celebratory atmosphere felt by the Zionist disciples of Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism who popularized the idea of indigenous population transfer.[31] The implementation of Plan Dalet rendered it impossible for the partition plan’s proposal of the creation of an Arab state in Palestine. One historian, Rosemary Sayigh, argues that the prevention of “an Arab Palestine” was the very reason that Plan Dalet was created.[32]

According to Plan Dalet, any village which had been “difficult to control,” a term left undefined in Plan Dalet, was to be destroyed through the use of arson or bombs.[33] The execution of the plan, in regards to what was considered enemy bases, had affected just about all Arab villages in Palestine.[34] Because of this loosely defined policy in Plan Dalet any Arab village could have been considered an enemy base. By the end of the conflict in early 1949 the Zionist forces had systematically destroyed about 400 Arab villages throughout Palestine.[35] Brigade commanders of the Haganah were given permission, by Plan Dalet, to use discretion as to how to occupy each Arab village and what to do with each Arab village following its occupation.[36] Many brigade commanders chose to destroy the villages. This created even more fear among neighboring villages, of which many took flight.

Throughout Plan Dalet there are a number of references for expulsion of village residents. Any village which resisted the occupation by Haganah forces was to be wholly expelled.[37] Eliahu Sasson, a member of the population Transfer Committee, summed up orders from Yigal Allon, a Haganah commander, in reference to expelling Arab communities in Palestine, by stating that “we need to harm them without mercy, women and children included,” and “there is no need to distinguish between guilty and not guilty”.[38] Plan Dalet gave the excuse to the Haganah to occupy nearly all territories within and near the undefined borders of the Jewish state.[39]

Haifa, a large seaport with a mixed Arab and Jewish population prior to the expulsion and experience of Plan Dalet, now has a mostly Jewish population. When Haganah forces entered the city they were given the normal orders to destroy the Arab quarters by using explosives, as called for in Plan Dalet. In addition, the forces were also given an order by brigade commander, Mordechai Meklef, to “Kill any Arab you encounter.”[40] Haifa’s Arab population was subject to psychological warfare in the same manner which many other Arab cities and villages had experienced. Loudspeakers were used to cause panic in Haifa by blaring messages insisting that Arab families should “leave before it was too late.”[41] It can be argued whether or not this fear tactic should be classified as a means of forced expulsion or simply as a safety warning. Either way, the loudspeaker tactic caused people to take flight and it was used often.

Many Jewish concentration camp survivors came to Palestine in order to create a new nation from a nation which had already existed.[42] By creating the Jewish nation they were creating a system of ethnic cleansing similar to what they had experienced in Europe. Jewish occupation of Arab villages throughout Palestine was brutal and often resulted in murder of civilians and sometimes massacres. Wholesale genocide took place not just in villages, where major massacres were unfolding, but also on the roads connecting villages. Some soldiers were intent on killing the next generation of Arab males by murdering male babies.[43] In Bayt’Affa, the Israeli soldiers intimidated villagers by slaughtering ten civilians who “were just in the way”.[44] The occurrence of intimidation in freshly occupied villages by killing villagers was not a rare or infrequent occurrence. Routine killings, such as the killings in Qula Palestine where civilians were slaughtered, were common during the occupations.[45]

The massacre of unarmed civilians at Deir Yassin became one of the most widely known atrocities to take place in Palestine in 1948.[46] After the massacre, the mention of Dier Yassin struck fear into the Arab population throughout Palestine.[47] The soldiers who slaughtered the nearly 200 civilian villagers stated that they had orders sanctioned straight from the Haganah to carry out such operations.[48] Nakba historian Ilan Pappe quotes one eye witness of the massacre as saying, “They took us out one after the other; shot an old man and when his daughters [sic] cried, she was shot too. Then they called my brother Muhammad, and shot him in front of us, and when my mother yelled, bending over with him-carrying my little sister Hudra in her hands, still breastfeeding her-they shot her too.”[49] The massacre at Dier Yassin, as Rosemary Sayigh points out, was “part of a systematic campaign” to create fear and panic throughout Palestine and “force them to give up resistance.”[50] Um Jabr Wishah and her family, like other refugees, had feared returning home due to the widely known massacre at Deir Yassin.[51]

Forced expulsion by means of psychological operations, such as spreading rumors of massacres like the one in Dier Yassin Palestine, and by gunpoint were the root causes of the majority of Arab Palestinians to flee their homes.[52] Night time raids on civilian villages were another part of the psychological warfare. It was a common practice of the Zionist paramilitary forces to attack and occupy villages in the middle of the night. Many refugees remember their forced expulsion in the middle of the night and then being shipped out to refugee camps outside of the Israeli borders.[53] Because of the ensuing chaos of night time raids many Arab Palestinians were not able to communicate with family members and were sometimes split up and sent to different refugee camps.

Some villagers were able to leave their homes and flee to neighboring villages, which were assumed to be safe, only to become refugees of those same villages as well as their own.[54] For some, like Um Jabr Wishah, the process of expulsion and resettlement was repeated multiple times.[55] Um Jabr Wishah, a former resident of Palestine, witnessed, like many others, the fear tactics used by the Israeli soldiers in order to displace and terrorize Arab villagers.[56] In a move to save both loved ones and property some Arab families divided themselves by having some family members stay with the property and others members, primarily children, sent to safer regions such as Lebanon.[57]

Many Arab Palestinians left their homes believing they would be allowed to return. In fact, many thought the conflict would be short and that they would return home in days or weeks.[58] The lower class of Palestinians followed the same actions taken early by their wealthier compatriots by leaving during hostilities to other regions of Palestine or neighboring countries.[59] Peasant villagers, like farmers, fled their land with little more than the clothes on their backs.[60] As the number of refugees increased to nearly half of the population of Palestine, Arab authorities in neighboring nations tried to intervene in the crisis. Many Arabs throughout Palestine were urged by their compatriots not to flee.[61] Some Arab Palestinian national community organizations, such as the National Committee, tried to convince the population not to abandon their villages and cities.[62]

Most of the massacres that took place in occupied villages occurred following a pattern. The pattern, as the prominent Israeli history Benny Morris describes it, usually started with the different Jewish forces entering a village and immediately killing a number of unarmed males. This process promoted fear and panic in the inhabitants of the occupied village and caused many villagers to flee to nearby Arab villages.[63] In Gaza in Crisis, authors Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe argue similarly to Morris in reference to the way occupation and expulsion took place. Chomsky and Pappe add that “Villages were surrounded on three flanks, and the forth one was open for flight and evacuation.”[64] The two authors then state that massacres were intended for residents who did not use the forth flank to flee.

In the villages of Balad al-Sheikh and Hawassa Plan Dalet was fully executed. In Balad al-Sheikh and Hawassa men, including males who were old enough to be considered men by the Haganah forces, were systematically executed. The massacre was part of the Zionist agenda to rid Palestine of non-Jews by ethnic cleansing.[65] In reference to how to deal with Arab problem in Palestine, Ben-Gurion used the words “’clean’ and ‘empty.’” [66] Any resistance to occupation was met by punishment for all Arabs. An order coming from General Moshe Carmel, of the Haganah, clearly stated that Haganah soldiers were to expel Arabs from conquered areas.[67] One high ranking Zionist policy maker, Ya’akov Meridor, ordered that soldiers were to drive Arabs out of their villages and keep those refugees from returning home.[68]

Indiscriminate bombing of civilians areas was another tactic to expel Arabs. People from the village of Barbara fled after the Israeli air force dropped a bomb in the center of the village.[69] No amount of force was too much in order to expel Arabs from their homes. In describing one tactic the Haganah used to inspire fear in order to cause the exodus Walid Khalidi quotes Yigal Allon of the Haganah forces as saying,

“I gathered all of the Jewish Mukhtars, who have contact with Arabs in different villages, and asked them to whisper in the ears of some Arabs, that a great Jewish reinforcement has arrived in Galilee and that it is going to burn all of the villages of the Hulah. They should suggest to these Arabs, as their friends, to escape while there is still time. And the rumor spread in all areas of the Huleg that it is time to flee. The flight numbered myriads.”[70]

The towns of Lydda and Ramlah were located inside of the partition plan’s proposed Israeli border, which meant that the towns, because of their Arab inhabitants, were deemed security threats to Israel. The Haganah duly expelled the populations of Lydda and Ramlah. In the case of Ramlah the Haganah went as far as to provide transportation for the inhabitants, which made for a quicker expulsion of the native inhabitants.[71] In both towns there were also massacres immediately following the occupation which totaled about 250 Arabs between the two towns.[72] Both towns are examples of how Zionist expulsion policies were executed.

The expulsion alone was not enough to cause the diaspora of Palestinians. The third and final immediate cause of the Palestinian diaspora was the Zionist policies created in order to keep Palestinian refugees from returning home. The policies were racist and similar to apartheid laws which were used throughout South Africa. One of these policies was the destruction of villages and the mining of their ruins.[73] This policy ensured that the displaced Palestinians would remain permanent refugees with no homes to return to. As the new state of Israel continued to expand its undefined borders in 1948 and through early 1949 it systematically destroyed an estimated ninety-two percent of Arab Palestinian villages.[74]

Palestinian immovable property like agricultural land, which was rarely destroyed by the Zionist soldiers, was absorbed by Israel. This act of incorporating occupied land meant that the original owners would, under Israeli law, no longer have ownership rights to the land. Not only was the land stolen but the refugees were no longer allowed to purchase their stolen land from Israel. Under Israeli law the only people who were legally allowed to own and settle the stolen land had to be Jewish.[75] Another policy to keep refugees from returning home was the resettlement of abandoned Arab property. The few villages which were not destroyed by the Zionist occupation forces were quickly resettled with Jewish immigrants coming from displaced persons camps throughout Europe.[76] The policy was titled Abandoned Areas Ordinance. The ordinance had such a broad definition of absentee property that any land which was abandoned by the Arab Palestinians could fall under new ownership by the state of Israel.[77]

The diaspora of Arab Palestinians did not end in 1948, though 1948 was the year that the highest percentage of Arab Palestinians were expelled from their homes. The process of expelling entire villages and creating more refugees went on through 1949. In 1949 an area known as the Little Triange, consisting of many Arab villages in central and southern Palestine, had been occupied and its inhabitants expelled just as many Palestinians continue to be expelled today.[78] Since the war of 1948, Israel has tried to methodically erase significant historical evidence of Palestinian history. Many villages like Qula have been renamed or turned into man-made forests in order to cover the remains of Arab villages.[79] Dier Yassin’s cemetary, where many of those were who were massacred were buried, has been razed by bulldozers in order to link together the increasing number of illegal Jewish settlements on occupied Palestine.[80] Refugees still hold on to their house keys in the hope that they may one day be able to return home.[81] The keys are not just keys to abandoned homes, but they are symbolic as the key to a Palestinian homeland.

This paper has revealed that the immediate causes which created the diaspora were not voluntary on the part of the Arab Palestinians. UN Resolution 181 was demonstrated to be the cause of fear and uncertainty which led to Arab Palestinians fleeing British Mandate Palestine and the first Arab-Israeli conflict. Plan Dalet has been explored and the analysis proved that expulsion was practiced and predetermined. The final immediate cause was the steps taken to ensure that refugees were not able to return home. This was exemplified by the apartheid policy of creating the absentee laws.

[1] Simha Flapan, “The Palestinian Exodus of 1948,” Journal of Palestinian Studies 16, no. 4 (Summer 1987): 8.

[2] Ahmad H. Sa’di and Lila Abu-Lughod, eds., Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory (Cultures of History) (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007), 136.

[3] Nur Masalha, The Politics of Denial: Israel and the Palestinian Refugee Problem (Sterling, VA: Pluto Press, 2003), 26.

[4] Flapan, “The Palestinian Exodus of 1948,” 3.

[5] Ami Isseroff, “United Nations Resolution 181 (ii) November 29, 1947,” MidEastWeb GateWay, (accessed March 27, 2011).

[6] Ami Isseroff, “United Nations Resolution 181 (ii) November 29, 1947,” MidEastWeb GateWay, (accessed March 27, 2011).

[7] Michael R. Fischbach, Records of Dispossession: Palestinian Refugee Property and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Institute for Palestine Studies Series) (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), 81.

[8]Benny Morris, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008), 65.

[9] Walid Khalidi, “Master Plan For the Conquest of Palestine.,” Journal of Palestine Studies 18, no. 1 (Autumn 1988): 12.

[10] Ami Isseroff, “United Nations Resolution 181 (ii) November 29, 1947,” MidEastWeb GateWay, (accessed March 27, 2011).

[11] Ami Isseroff, “United Nations Resolution 181 (ii) November 29, 1947,” MidEastWeb GateWay, (accessed March 27, 2011).

[12] Ilan Pappe, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947-1951 (New York: I. B. Tauris, 2001), 76.

[13] Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim, eds., The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948 (Cambridge Middle East Studies), 2 ed. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 86.

[14] Sa’di and Abu-Lughod, eds., Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory, 77.

[15] Fischbach, Records of Dispossession, 2.

[16] Noam Chomsky, Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians (Updated Edition) (South End Press Classics Series), 2 Upd Sub ed. (Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 1999), 96.

[17] Efrim Karsh, The Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Palestine War 1948. (Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2009), 42.

[18] Morris, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War, 36.

[19] Karsh, The Arab-Israeli Conflict, 57.

[20] Pappe, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 60.

[21] Karsh, The Arab-Israeli Conflict, 90.

[22] Khalidi, “Master Plan For the Conquest of Palestine.,” 14.

[23] Pappe, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 88.

[24] Fischbach, Records of Dispossession, 7.

[25] Pappe, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 54.

[26] Flapan, “The Palestinian Exodus of 1948,” 8.

[27] Masalha, The Politics of Denial, 19.

[28] Masalha, The Politics of Denial, 18.

[29] Masalha, The Politics of Denial, 20.

[30] Flapan, “The Palestinian Exodus of 1948,” 19.

[31] Khalidi, “Master Plan For the Conquest of Palestine.,” 9.

[32] Rosemary Sayigh, The Palestinians: From Peasants to Revolutionaries (London: Zed Books Ltd, 1991), 73.

[33] Khalidi, “Master Plan For the Conquest of Palestine.,” 29.

[34] Pappe, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 92.

[35] Fischbach, Records of Dispossession, 4.

[36] Sa’di and Abu-Lughod, eds., Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory, 293.

[37] Khalidi, “Master Plan For the Conquest of Palestine.,” 29.

[38] As quoted by Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford, UK: Oneworld Publications, 2007), 69.

[39] Sa’di and Abu-Lughod, eds., Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory, 292.

[40] Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 95.

[41] Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 95.

[42] Sa’di and Abu-Lughod, eds., Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory, 310.

[43] Um Jabr Wishah, “The 1948 War and Its Aftermath,” Journal of Palestine Studies 35, no. 4 (Summer 2006): 56.

[44] Wishah, “The 1948 War and Its Aftermath,” 56.

[45] Sa’di and Abu-Lughod, eds., Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory, 34.

[46] Masalha, The Politics of Denial, 32-33.

[47] Flapan, “The Palestinian Exodus of 1948,” 10.

[48] Pappe, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 85.

[49] Pappe, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 90.

[50] Sayigh, The Palestinians, 75.

[51] Wishah, “The 1948 War and Its Aftermath,” 56.

[52] Masalha, The Politics of Denial, 29.

[53] Tanya Reinhart, Israel-Palestine How to End the War of 1948., 2nd ed. (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2006), 261.

[54] Nadia Latif, “Making Refugees,” CR: The New Centennial Review 8, no. 2 (Fall 2008): 254.

[55] Wishah, “The 1948 War and Its Aftermath,” 59.

[56] Wishah, “The 1948 War and Its Aftermath,” 55.

[57] Sayigh, The Palestinians, 85.

[58] Um Jabr Wishah, “The 1948 War and Its Aftermath,” Journal of Palestine Studies 35, no. 4 (Summer 2006): 57.

[59] Karsh, The Arab-Israeli Conflict, 89.

[60] Latif, “Making Refugees,” 254.

[61] Khalidi, “Master Plan For the Conquest of Palestine.,” 6.

[62] Sa’di and Abu-Lughod, eds., Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory, 90.

[63] Rogan and Shlaim, eds., The War for Palestine, 55.

[64] Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe, Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians, Original ed. (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2010), 61.

[65] Pappe, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 81.

[66] Rogan and Shlaim, eds., The War for Palestine, 99.

[67] Rogan and Shlaim, eds., The War for Palestine, 51.

[68] Noam Chomsky, Fateful Triangle, 237.

[69] Wishah, “The 1948 War and Its Aftermath,” 58.

[70] Khalidi, “Master Plan For the Conquest of Palestine.,” 18-19.

[71] Flapan, “The Palestinian Exodus of 1948,” 14.

[72] Pappe, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 154.

[73] Masalha, The Politics of Denial, 39.

[74] Sa’di and Abu-Lughod, eds., Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory, 55.

[75] Noam Chomsky, Middle East Illusions: Including Peace in the Middle East? Reflections On Justice and Nationhood (Oxford, UK: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2003), 14.

[76] Fischbach, Records of Dispossession, 69-70.

[77] Fischbach, Records of Dispossession, 19.

[78] Pappe, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 190-191.

[79] Sa’di and Abu-Lughod, eds., Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory, 42.

[80] Noam Chomsky, Fateful Triangle, 166.

[81] Sa’di and Abu-Lughod, eds., Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory, 13.


Mettons le drapeau palestinien en photo de profil par solidarité le 15 mai et aussi à notre fenêtre MERCI… de plus:

NAKBA : Grand rassemblement à Paris le samedi 14 Mai

A l’occasion des 63 ans de la Nakba, synonyme d’expulsion de près de 800.000 Palestiniens de leurs foyers et de destruction par Israël de plus de 500 villages palestiniens, et alors que l’Etat d’Israël poursuit le nettoyage ethnique, et empêche les réfugiés palestiniens de rentrer chez eux, nous appelons à un grand rassemblement SAMEDI 14 MAI, de 13 H à 18 H à la Fontaine de Innocents, à Paris.

De nombreuses interventions, des expositions et des propositions d’actions pour soutenir activement les droits du peuple palestinien seront organisées à cette occasion.



DE 13 H A 18 H



Pour dire :
-NON aux mensonges, au racisme et aux crimes israéliens !
-LIBERTÉ pour le peuple palestinien !
-EGALITÉ des droits pour tous !
-DROIT AU RETOUR des réfugiés palestiniens !



DIMANCHE 15 MAI 2011 A 15 H

A l’arrivée « Le Camp du Retour » organisé par la GUPS
autour de tentes symbolisant un camp de réfugiés palestiniens,
offrira des témoignages de Palestiniens de plusieurs générations
de réfugiés de 1948, des musiques et des chants de la résistance…

Inter-collectif de solidarité avec les luttes des peuples du monde arabe
Contact :

Anti-Islam Dutch politician to headline Madison church event

A controversial Dutch politician known for his radical views on Islam is the headline speaker Thursday night at an event in Madison organized by the political-right group the Tennessee Freedom Coalition.

Geert Wilders, a Party For Freedom member of the House of Representatives in the Netherlands, is speaking Thursday at Cornerstone Church in Madison as part of an event called “A Warning to America.”

“I don’t hate Muslims,” Wilders is quoted in The Observer as saying. “I hate Islam.

“Islam is not a religion. It’s an ideology, the ideology of a retarded culture.”

Emceed by local right-wing radio personality Steve Gill, the event begins at 7 p.m. Other participants include Professor Sam Solomon, author of books such as “The Mosque Exposed,” and Bill Warner, who runs

The executive director of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition is Lou Ann Zelenik, the Murfreesboro businesswoman who lost last year to Diane Black in a heated congressional Republican primary. A Tea Party follower, Zelenik is an ardent opponent of the construction of an Islamic community center planned for Rutherford County.

Many publications overseas call Wilders –– known for his populist, firebrand style –– a potential Dutch prime minister candidate.

According to an invitation posted on Tennessee Freedom Coalition’s website, Wilders has been “outspoken in his warnings to the West about the dangers of ‘Islamisation’ creeping across the continent.”

“Islam deprives Muslims of their freedom,” Wilders’ most recent entry on his website reads. “That is a shame, because free people are capable of great things, as history has shown. The Arab, Turkish, Iranian, Indian, Indonesian peoples have tremendous potential.

“It they were not captives of Islam, if they could liberate themselves from the yoke of Islam, if they would cease to take Muhammad as a role model and if they got rid of the evil Koran, they would be able to achieve great things which would benefit not only them but the entire world.”

( / 12.05.2011)

Brookings Institution Discussion on the Future of Libya

The interim Prime Minister of the Libyan opposition expressed the hope that Moammar Gadhafi’s regime could fall apart within weeks.  Mahmoud Gibril Elwarfally also said Gadhafi’s frozen assets are desperately needed by the opposition in order to address humanitarian needs.  He spoke at the Brookings Institution in Washington one day after meeting with members of Congress.

( / 12.05.2011)

Rebellenregering Libië krijgt vorm

Mannen kijken voor het avondgebed nog even op internet. In Benghazi heerst een optimistische stemming, de bevoling heeft geloof in een betere toekomst.
De rebellen in Libië hebben hun regering vandaag uitgebreid. De Nationale Overgangsraad in Benghazi benoemde onder meer een vicepremier en ministers van Binnenlandse Zaken en Defensie. Dat heeft een woordvoerder van de opstandelingen bekendgemaakt.

De nieuwe vicepremier is Ali al-Issawi. Hij was in het verleden ambassadeur van Libië in India, maar brak als een van de eerste vertegenwoordigers met dictator Muammar Kaddafi. Boven Issawi staan ‘premier’ Mahmoud Jebril en ‘president’ Mustafa Abdul Jalil.

Frankrijk, Italië, Qatar en Gambia hebben de rebellen erkend als rechtmatige regering van Libië. De Britse premier David Cameron, die Jalil donderdag ontving in Londen, deed dat nog niet. Hij hield het erop dat de rebellen ‘legitieme vertegenwoordigers van het Libische volk’ zijn.

( / 12.05.2011)

Bahrainis ‘drugged’ by foreign agents during uprising

The head of Bahrain’s Defence Force has pledged to reveal “detailed confessions” of alleged foreign agents blamed for a wave of unrest against the Gulf state’s government.

Commander-in-Chief Marshal Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said Bahrain had been the victim to a conspiracy funded and carried out by foreign agents, that included drugging young Bahrainis to engage them in the uprising.

“Detailed confessions along with photos and sound will be released once the judicial system finishes its work,” Al Khalifa was quoted as saying by state news agency BNA.

Activists at Pearl Roundabout “were given pills which affected their minds and made them do unusual things,” he said.

Bahrain banned protests when it imposed martial law in March and invited troops from Sunni-led Gulf neighbours to help quash weeks of protests by pro-reform demonstrators.

Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested since then while many more have been sacked from government jobs and state-linked companies, rights groups say.

At least 13 protesters and four police were killed during the clashes, at least three of whom were run over by cars around March 16.

Four activists have also been sentenced to death for the killing of two policemen, while a further three were handed life sentences. Twenty-one activists were charged last week with attempting to overthrow the Gulf kingdom’s government, trials that may continue until the end of the year, Al Khalifa said.

Bahrain’s King Hamad said last week he would lift the country’s state of emergency on June 1.

Al Khalifa said the crackdown had sent a clear message to the “foreign threat”.

“I say to those who did not get the message, if you return we will come back, stronger this time,” he was quoted as saying.

( / 12.05.2011)

Stay human convoy headed for Gaza

[Vittorio Arrigoni. Image from unknown archive.]
[Vittorio Arrigoni. Image from unknown archive.]

The Stay Human convoy (CO.R.UM convoglio Restiamo Umani) will be in Gaza from 11th to 18th May. The people behind this group are individuals, associations and movements which have always been close to the people of Palestine and who feel it is necessary to react to the murder of Vittorio Arrigoni. The delegation of eighty (80) people consists mainly of Italians and some internationals. The convoy will visit the land which Vittorio gave a voice to and keep alive the memory of who he was, what he was doing and what kept him in the open air prison of the Gaza Strip. They want to take Vittorio back to Gaza, by carrying forth the ideas which inspired his everyday actions. The convoy will enter Gaza through the Rafah border crossing in Egypt as it is a nation which has demonstrated much more openness towards the Palestinian people after the fall of Mubarak. The main objective of this initiative is to continue the work of Vittorio Arrigoni, give a message of solidarity to the population of Gaza who are under siege and report back to Italy what is happening in the Gaza Strip.

( / 12.05.2011)

Hamas refuses to recognize Israel

Al Qassam website – Bethlehem – Hamas party leader Mahmoud Az-Zahhar on Wednesday said that Hamas refuses to recognize Israel as it would be the best for future generations.

Az-Zahhar also said that Hamas is ready to recognize a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders or any part of Palestine. Traditionally, the Hamas party demanded a modern state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

“However, a formal recognition of Israel would cancel the right of the next generations to liberate the lands,” added Az-Zahhar “What will be the fate of the five million Palestinians who have been exiled since 1948 when Israel was recognized by the United Nations?”

On the other hand, the Hamas leader confirmed the decision to maintain the truce with Israel as decided along the Fatah party. Az-Zahhar added the move was part of the resistance and stressed that “truce is not peace.”

On May 4, Fatah, Hamas and all other Palestinian factions signed an historic unity deal in Cairo which was welcomed by the international community but condemned by the Israeli government.

After the signing, the two main factions, Hamas and Fatah, began talks to form the technocrat government, which will take responsibility to prepare for new parliamentary and presidential elections.

As a result, the Hamas-led government in Gaza and the Fatah-led cabinet in the West Bank (Palestinian Authority) will be dissolved and replaced by a single cabinet of independent technocrats. Details of the unity government have not been released.

It is expected that elections will be held within a year. In addition, the Palestinian security forces in the two territories will be unified and a reconstruction project in Gaza will be launched.

The factions are also discussing the fate of current Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Salam Fayyad.

( / 12.05.2011)

French group to send aid delegation to Palestine

Excitement charged the atmosphere at this recruitment rally in Paris held by the group Welcome Palestine, whose aid delegation will arrive shortly after Turkey’s next flotilla, which is set for mid-June.

Many of the attendees already have airplane tickets for July 8th, when between 500 to 1,000 activists will converge at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport, forcing a showdown with Israeli authorities.

Such an attention-grabbing group may not be permitted to even leave the airport, but participants say they are tired of hiding their activism and are demanding the right to circulate freely.

According to Israel, travel restrictions on solidarity missions are necessary for security reasons. Humanitarian convoys are not without their dangers, as last year’s Turkish aid flotilla was attacked by Israel, leading to 9 deaths and dozens more wounded.

Around 100 members of Welcome Palestine visited Jerusalem and the West Bank last Christmas, engaging in passive resistance, touring the towns and forging links with local communities.

The Palestinian crisis has often been overshadowed in the news recently by the Arab Uprising. But people here say that that has given a new momentum towards finding a solution in Palestine, making their activism more important than ever.

( / 12.05.2011)