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al-Nakba ‘The Catastrophe’

The Palestine-Israel issue has been portrayed as a conflict between religions, spanning thousands of years.

BULLSHIT! Historically life in Palestine consisted of a number of religions existing in peace.


They say an Englishman’s home is his castle.

Imagine then if 700,000 Englishmen were driven out of their homes,

through terror,

to make way for the establishment of a homeland for a group of people that had decided to migrate to England against the will of the English people.

That is exactly what happened to my people, the Palestinians in 1948 in what is referred to as the Nakba and then more were ejected in 1967 in what is called the Six Day War.

Breif History - 1878 to 1936 Theodor Herzl was a Jewish Journalist living in the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the late 1800’s, where 10 territories were fighting for their own nation states. Herzl hoped the Jewish people could assimilate into European nations, but soon realised the Jewish people needed to leave Europe due to the rise of anti-semitism. Zionism, founded in 1897 by Herzl, is a national movement of the Jewish people that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland. Although its often thought of as a Religious movement, it is in fact a movement for land and identity, a political movement. The Balfour Declaration was a single paragraph penned in 1917 by United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. The declaration was the start of a concerted colonialist campaign over Palestine. At the time of the declaration, Palestine was still an Ottoman territory, however the British had already began handing out chucks of land in the middle east. In 1916 they declared to France they would divide the Arab nations giving Syria and Lebanon to France and keep Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and Sudan (Sykes–Picot Agreement). Further, in 1915 the British had promised the Sharif of Mecca (Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashimi) that he would rule over an Arib state including Palestine if he lead an Arab revolt against Ottoman - which he did in 1916 (McMahon–Hussein Correspondence). After WWI a British colony was established in Palestine, with the goal of handing over governance to Palestinians when ready. The Palestinians were ready to govern themselves almost immediately but the Brits remained, with the mandate staying in place from 1920 to 1948.

Between 1920 and 1939 the Jewish population in Palestine grew by 320,000. The growing Jewish population focused on purchasing property from absentee land owners, and then evicted Palestinian workers who were living and working their.

Balfour Declaration His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

A. Balfour 1917

Breif History - 1936 to 1990’s In 1936 Palestinians revolted against the British campaign, but with the help of Jewish militias the revolt was brutality surpassed. In the aftermath the British called for the limiting of Jewish immigration into Palestine and and also the establishment of a joint Arab and Jewish state within Palestine within 10 years. This never happened. After WWII, conflict escalated after a relativley peaceful period in Palestine. In November of 1947, the UN voted on the ‘Partition Plan’ to seperate Palestine into two states, ruffly of equal size, however the Palestinian state would be a jigsaw within a continuous Jewish state. On the 30th of Nov 1947 the Arab-Israeli war broke out. The Civil War, known to Isrealis as the ‘War of Independence’ and to Palestinians as ‘al-Nakba’ or ‘The Catastrophe’ ended on May 14th 1948 when the Independence of Isreal was signed. The 15th of May is refered to as Nakba Day. The civil war led to the 1948 Palestinian Exodus which saw 700,000 Palestinians driven from their homes and villiages, many becoming refuggess in neighbouring countries. After the war Israel occupied 30% more land than preposed in the ‘Partition Plan’, with Jordan controlling the West Bank and Jerusalem and Egypt controlling the Gaza strip. The majority of those driven from their land in 1948 haven’t been aloud to return to their feilds, for many Palestinians the Nakba is continuous. In 1967, after no territorial change since 1949, the ‘Six Day War’ broke out between Israeli forces and Arab forces. Israel won and gained control over the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights. The Israeli state then began creating illigal Jewish settlements on what had been Palestinian land including Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In December 1987 the First Intifada (Arabic for ‘tremor’ or ‘to shake off ’) began in the Jabalia Refugee Camp (Northern Gaza Strip) after an IDF truck collied with a civilian car killing four Palestinians. The Intifada was a Palestinian uprising against the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip by Israelis and involved a two-fold strategy of resistance and civil disobedience. The uprising lasted until the Madrid Conference in 1987, however it is also widely agnolodged to have lasted until the signing of the Oslo Accord in September 1993. The Intifada also saw the formation of Hamas, a two part party consisting of a social service wing and a militia wing. Hamas is considered a terrorist organisation by many nations including the US and EU. Hamas gained support rapidly, on part due to its militancy but mainly due to its social welfare projects in Gaza including the building of schools, health clinics and mosques.

The Palestinians commonly used makeshift weapons such as rocks and rubble, while the occupation heavy oppressed them with tear gas, guns and home invasions.

“I often say that we Palestinians have been under siege since Israel’s settler-colonial project began. It’s just different forms of sieges on different parts of us.” ~Rafeef Ziadah

This painful injustice has gone on for too long but it could end easily if Israel finally came to its senses,

ended the occupation and discrimination and allowed the refugees to return home.

When my mother can return to Jerusalem, peace will have come to the Holy land. Kamel Hawwash

When I got off the boat in Haifa, I was separated from my friends and subjected to a four hour interrogation about my name, my background and my reason for coming to Israel, I realised I had arrived as a Palestinian. Ben Jamal

“For us Palestinians, the Nakba means injustice, the terror of the Zionist movement and the world’s betrayal of us.” ~ Mahmoud Zwhare

From the ash of the Nakba, we rise to resist.

We are all able to resist this settler-colonialist project through the actions of our daily life and through popular unarmed resistance.

Mahmoud Zwhare


After they were forced out in 1948, my grandfather would say: “They uprooted us from our land and homes, the same as you uproot the tree from the field. We will never taste the meaning of real life until we come back to the land that we inherited from our fathers and grandfathers. ~ Mahmoud Zware

Our Nakba is still ongoing even though it began in 1948. This is seen in the millions of Palestinian refugees who have not been able to return to their homes in Palestine and who are living in dire living conditions in refugee camps to this day; the thousands of Palestinians who are being displaced and dispossessed for the second time from the refugee camps in Syria; the mothers in Gaza who put their children on death boats hoping to secure a better future for them; the hundreds who are being forcibly displaced within occupied Palestine; the ethnic cleansing that is taking place in Jerusalem; the two million Palestinian citizens in Israel who are treated as second class citizens, and the 1.8 million Palestinians who have been subject to a brutal siege for nine years in the Gaza Strip. ~Haya Al Farra

In September 2000 Israeli Presidential Candidate Ariel Sharon led a group of 1000 armed guards to the temple mount in the old town of Jerusalem. These events sparked a new wave of revolutionary protests and revolt, and eventually lead to the beginning of the second Intifada. This Intifada saw huge conflicts breaking out and eventually the deaths of 3000 Palestinians and 1000 Israelis. In 2002, supposedly acting to precept the safety of civilians, the Israeli state began the construction of the massive border wall around the West Bank which still stands today. The line of the wall doesn’t follow the territories acquired in the 1967 War, or those set out in the 1947 UN Resolution, but instead snakes deeper into what was Palestinian Territory.

The Wall around Qalqiliya is twenty-five foot high concrete cage cuts residents off from their agricultural land, necessary for their survival, and prevents you from traveling even 5 minutes out of the City. A single gate, open at the whims of the occupying army, controls 100,000 residents.

Oh rascal children of Gaza, You who constantly disturbed me with your screams under my window, You who filled every morning with rush and chaos, You who broke my vase and stole the lonely flower on my balcony, Come back – And scream as you want, And break all the vases, Steal all the flowers, Come back, Just come back‌ Naksa

~Khaled Juma

Forced exile Ethnic cleansing Apartheid

We will return. That is not a threat not a wish a hope or a dream but a promise.

Words Carefully chosen Purposely uttered These are the words

~Remi Kanazi

That lay the foundation Of the language of my liberation ~Samah Sabawi

A continued past of blood, of jailed cities confiscated lives and goodbyes. ~Nathalie Handal

listen, how many should die before we start counting,

listen, who is listening, there is no one here, there is nothing left, there is nothing left after war,

only other wars.

~Nathalie Handal

“It is a strange story: some might say Beyond belief, that a people who Suffered persecution Would so soon become the torturers Of others.”


Al Nakba  

Al Nakba - 'The Catastrophe'

Al Nakba  

Al Nakba - 'The Catastrophe'