Dispossessed of a Country [en]

Palestine Map

During the almost seven decades between the early 1880s and 1948, the Palestinians were at the receiving end of a Jewish political movement of European provenance, Zionism, which presented them with the deadliest threat, short of physical annihilation, to which a people can be subjected – the denial of their birthright in their ancestral home, Palestine. Nor did this threat remain hypothetical: 1948, the Year of the Catastrophe, as Palestinians call it, witnessed the long-dreaded, inevitable climax of Zionist colonization since the 1880s in the twin phenomena of the establishment of Israel by force of arms in the greater part of Palestine, and the displacement of the Palestinians inhabitants from a score of towns, and from some four hundred villages whose ruined sites became part of the new Jewish state. In the process, at least ten thousand Palestinians were killed and three times that number wounded; 60 percent of the Palestinian population at the time, some 700,000 persons, were rendered homeless. The Palestinians may not have been annihilated in 1948, but they were dispossessed of their country.