Massacres as a weapon of ethnic cleansing during the Nakba

Ruins of homes left empty from the Deir Yassin Massacre, 1986. (photo:
From April 1st to May 14, 1948 — before Israel was declared, before the British left, and before any Arab soldier entered Palestine to save it — Zionist militias essentially conquered Palestine.

By Salman Abu Sitta | Mondoweiss | June 12, 2020

…young people are now discovering the truth about Al Nakba, that it is still going on, that they are its victims and will continue to be until they realize their Right of Return.

In May each year, Palestinians all over the world commemorate the ongoing al Nakba of 1948, in which they were dispossessed by Israel of their land, property and identity. This year, it was different. Thanks to the coronavirus, the use of video conferencing technology enabled them to cross borders where they were previously denied access, speak freely about their silenced history without censorship, blockade or defamation, virtually visit and communicate with their kith or kin even if they were deprived of passports or citizenship.

The main beneficiary of this revolution are the young people. I had an immense pleasure in mid-May to speak, at one event, to 600 young people in the US, students, activists and concerned citizens about the still-live history of Al Nakba.

This is refreshing. For decades the Zionist narrative dominated the Western mind. The unprecedented depopulation of two thirds of the Palestinian people by the Zionist militia (The Haganah, renamed IDF) in 1948 was explained away as ‘the Arab Invasion’ of Palestine, by Arab orders or an act of Israeli self-defense.

Palestinian historians such as Aref al Aref, Mustafa al Dabbagh, or Walid Khalidi were not widely known in the west. In 1980s, the Israeli “new historians” and writers such as Simha Flapan, Benny Morris, Baruch Kimmerling, and Ilan Pappe among others broke the wall of silence and exposed the deception and distortion of the Zionist narrative. Benny Morris retained his Zionist loyalty by describing the long trail of massacres committed by Israel and claiming it was not planned. Ilan Pappe, almost alone among Israeli historians, went on to describe in detail “the ethnic cleansing of Palestine”, that was deliberate, consistent, and continuous in its aim to depopulate Palestine.

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