Nakbah, 60 Years or Long Before?

A reading in the history could be useful for the future.

Mohamed S. Kamel

Most of us remember 1948’s catastrophe, The Nakbah; the days when almost 900,000 Palestinians were forced to flee their homes and become refugees, the worst refugee crisis in history. Citizens, that should have been refugees for a few days ended up being so for 60 years and amount to more than 4 millions.

But this Nakbah did not start in 1948 it started long before; and it is well known to many of us but not to all.

The Nakbah really started in 1825, in Arrarat, when Mordechai Emanuel Noah[i] purchased the Grand Island, near Buffalo New York, as a homeland for demoralized Jews.

The Nakbah was renewed in 1890, with the scandal known as “The Dreyfus Affair” [ii]. That political scandal, with anti-Semitic overtones, is what divided France from the 1890s to the early 1900s. It involved the wrongful conviction for treason, in 1894, and the degradation and imprisonment on Devil’s Island, of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young and promising French artillery officer who was in advanced training with the Army’s General Staff.

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ABIM: Media Statement on the 60th Anniversary of The Nakba and the Palestinians’ Right of Return

15 May 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the Nakba, the grave catastrophe of 1948 in which Zionist militant forces invaded and destroyed more than 500 Palestinian villages through massacre and intimidation, causing not less than 700,000 Palestinians to become refugees. It is an account of human tragedy: the destruction of families, a civilization, culture and identity.

The Palestinian people are not only Muslims; the internally displaced population and that which has been displaced subsequent to the illegal formation of Israel is composed of a multi-religious and in some sense multi-racial population. It is a problem impacting all of humanity, not merely Jews and Muslims.

On this day, our hearts go out to all the Palestinians and we stand in solidarity with them in mourning the Nakba of 1948; we support their resistance of the Israeli occupation of historic Palestine; we strongly codemn the 1967 territorial expansion which continues to facilitate the expansion of the Zionist colonial agenda until today.

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