The Nakba: Before and After
Palestinian heritage and culture were grievously harmed.
by Stephen Lendman
May 15 marks Israel's 64th independence day. This year's Jewish calendar commemorated it on April 25.
For Palestinians, May 15 represents 64 years of Nakba suffering. Survivor testimonies bare witness. No words adequately explain their catastrophe. An unnamed Jew said:
"I am writing through tears. I wept when I saw the photo of the ruined village of al-Sanbariyya because it was my former brother-in-law who helped destroy the village and the lives of those who lived there."
"My now deceased brother-in-law was born in Los Angeles and after World War II decided he wanted to live in Palestine. He met his wife-to-be at a training camp somewhere in the midwest."
"While at the camp many of the people decided they wanted to build a kibbutz in then Palestine. I am not sure that they gave a thought to the fact that they would be taking the lands of others. But then, I don't know. I wasn't there."
"As a Jew who was raised to believe in justice for all peoples, I believe that it is my obligation to speak out about Israel and to try in whatever way possible to bring about a better life in Palestine for the people who belong there... The people who were so cruelly evicted from their lands."
A Palestinian also shared memories, saying:
"I cannot forget three horror-filled days in July of 1948. The pain sears my memory, and I cannot rid myself of it no matter how hard I try."
"First, Israeli soldiers forced thousands of Palestinians from their homes near the Mediterranean coast, even though some families had lived in the same houses for centuries."
"My family had been in the town of Lydda in Palestine at least 1,600 years. Then, without water, we stumbled into the hills and continued for three deadly days."
"The Jewish soldiers followed, occasionally shooting over our heads to scare us and keep us moving. Terror filled my eleven-year-old mind as I wondered what would happen."
"I remembered overhearing my father and his friends express alarm about recent massacres by Jewish terrorists. Would they kill us, too?"
"We did not know what to do, except to follow orders and stumble blindly up the rocky hills. I walked hand in hand with my grandfather, who carried our only remaining possessions-a small tin of sugar and some milk for my aunt's two-year-old son, sick with typhoid."