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Conflict 101: What is Nakba?


Palestinian Refugees on their way to Lebanon, Oct. 1948.
Nakba means catastrophe in Arabic which is the event (massive dispossession & ethnic cleansing) that befell upon the Palestinian people during and after the 1948 war with Zionist forces. Nakba proved to be a turning point for Palestinians; where almost 3 out of 4 of them (now numbering 8-9 million) were dispossessed and became homeless as a result of establishment of the Jewish state. Sadly, Palestine was forced to receive persecuted European Jewish citizens (while the US closed its doors to Jewish refugees; even to the wealthy ones) and over a 20 year period; they demanded independence; however, there was a mathematical problem: The indigenous population (Muslim & Christian Palestinian Arabs) were the majority and Zionist Jews where only 11% of the citizens (but 33% of the population; many were illegal immigrants or with residency papers from the British Government who occupied Palestine between 1917 to 1948). Therefore, if the Jewish states to exists; ethnically cleansing the indigenous majority was a necessary step.

If you're a beginner to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and would like to know more, we recommend visiting our introductory section that contains a short list of articles about the conflict.

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