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Reflections on 1948 — Part 1: Al-Nakba “The Catastrophe”

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Reflections on 1948 — Part 1: Al-Nakba “The Catastrophe”

While Israel celebrates the creation of the Jewish State this month — Palestinians refer to the same events as “al-Nakba” or “the catastrophe”. 

By the time the first Arab-Israeli war ended in 1949, hundreds Palestinian villages had been depopulated. By some estimates, up to Nine-hundred thousand Palestinians — representing half the pre-war Arab population — were displaced and became refugees.

Up to one-fifth of the Palestinians who remained in the new State of Israel were internally displaced.

Palestinians marked the 60th anniversary of their uprooting with rallies, sirens and black balloons on May15th. Normally a show of unity, "Nakba" ceremonies this year underscored the split between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamic group Hamas.

The memorial provided a stark contrast to Israel 's all-out birthday-bash that included a high-profile visit by President Bush.

Tomorrow — Jerome will speak with Israeli Historian Benny Morris about his new book “1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War” I'll talk with Morris about Israel interpretation and re-interpretation of history. Today — We talk with an Israeli and Palestinian who work to educate people about al-Nakba.

Mohammad Jaradat is a Palestinian activist and Co-founder of Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights. Badil takes a rights-based approach to the Palestinian refugee issue through research, advocacy and refugee participation.

Eitan (eh-tahn) Bronstein is a Jewish-Israeli educator, activist, and Director of the organization, Zochrot.

Zochrot attempts to educate Israeli Jews about the Nakba. Eitan Bronstien told me about the challenges they face…

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