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Posted by wmmbb in Israel-Palestine.

On May 15, Nakba, groups of Palestinians sought to return to their native country at various points, including the Golan Heights. The Israel Army was there to defend the borders against the aliens.

There are other more graphic videos, but this is one from The Electronic Intifada:

Juan Cole provides the background at Informed Comment:

What was driving the Palestinian protests is desperation and a state of statelessness, of being in limbo, of having no rights, no property, no prospects, living within sight of their former home, gazing at it from foreign countries that happen also to speak Arabic but which treat them as aliens or (as in Jordan) second-class citizens.

In 1948, European Jewish settlers in British Mandate Palestine ethnically cleansed some 700,000 Palestinians, depriving them of the country promised them by the League of Nations in 1920 when it recognized Palestine as a Class A Mandate and charged Britain with bringing the new country into existence. (Syria and Iraq were also Class A Mandates, i.e. former Ottoman and Hapsburg territories now thought candidates for independent nationhood). Instead, Israel came into existence, born in a revolt against the British and a civil war with the Palestinians who formed over two-thirds of the population of Palestine.. Palestinians who had lived in what became Israel were forced by the Zionist military north to Lebanon, east to the West Bank, Syria and Jordan, and south into the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Most of those expelled from their homes were civilian non-combatants and some had informal peace agreements with inhabitants of neighboring Jewish settlements. There are now some 12 million Palestinians, given natural increase. About 1.5 million live in Israel and have a precarious citizenship, being only 20% of the population of an avowedly Jewish state. There are about 3.6 million in Jordan who have citizenship and another 140,000 or so (mainly from Gaza) who do not. The some 400,000 in Lebanon do not have citizenship, nor do the 450,000 in Syria. There are about 4 million in Gaza and the West Bank under Israeli military occupation who lack citizenship in a state.

Palestinians thus became a scattered, largely refugee people, lacking a state that would guarantee them basic rights and human dignity. In Lebanon, where I have done interviewing with them, they cannot own property, mostly cannot work, cannot get permission to travel to Syria or Jordan. Their camps have poor security and sometimes, as with Nahr al-Bared, come to host tiny outlaw groups that cause the whole camp to be attacked and destroyed. I talked to an old man in his 80s in Nahr al-Bared, living in UN temporary dwellings because the small city had been reduced to rubble in an attempt to destroy some 50 fighters of Fatah al-Islam. He recalled how in 1948 he was living with his mother in an apartment in Haifa when Zionists came and took it from them. They fled to the Lebanese border where they lived as refugees for a year. Then the UN workers put them on a train and took them up to Lebanon’s Tripoli in the north, settling them in a refugee camp. He had been there ever since. He could not own property. He had never been able to have a job. He took me by the hand and led me to a small room where there were two sick old ladies. “Look at them,” he said. “Is this any way to live?”

There are at least two major conflict zones in international politics that seem incapable of rational resolution: Kashmir and Israel-Palestine. So much for the inherent wisdom of the grandees of the British Empire.



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