60 Years of Palestinian Nakbah, or "the Catastrophe"

(from FAQ page at

What is the Nakbah?

The word "nakbah" means "catastrophe" in Arabic. The Palestinian Nakbah refers to the forcible expulsion of nearly 800,000 Palestinians from their homes and properties between 1947 and 1949 by Zionist movement militias, which later became the Israeli army. This expulsion was a part an overall of ethnic cleansing campaign by Israel . Since then, Israel has committed countless human rights violations against the Palestinian people.

How many Palestinian refugees are there?

Today, the original Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as their descendants (who are also refugees), number roughly 6.8 million*. For six decades, Israel has consistently refused to allow the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. During the war of 1967, in which Israel launched an unprovoked attack on its neighbors, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were made refugees, many for the second time.

What happened to the homes and villages of the Palestinians who were expelled?

Between 1947 and the early 1950s, Israel destroyed 675 Palestinian villages. Many Palestinian homes were simply demolished. Others were occupied by Jewish immigrants from other countries. Still others are standing empty today.

Why should Israel let the refugees back?

The right of refugees to return to their homes and properties is a right long guaranteed under international law, as embodied in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1949. Israel was admitted as a member of the United Nations on the condition that it implement Resolution 194. And resolutions like General Assembly Resolution 3236 1974 reaffirm the inalienable right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

Why won't Israel let the refugees and displaced persons back?

Israel defines itself as a state for the Jewish people, with a large Jewish majority and control of the government in the hands of Jews only. Israel has denied Palestinian refugees their right to return because they are not Jewish. No state in the world has a right to deny people their rights because of religion or ethnicity; no state has a right to be racist.

What about Palestinians who are not refugees or displaced persons?

In addition to the millions of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons, millions of Palestinians live either within the borders of Israel itself or under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. These Palestinians are continuing to suffer from the effects of the Nakbah as well. Israel denies the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, many of whom are also refugees, even the most basic rights. The Palestinians living within the borders of Israel have more rights than other Palestinians, and many of them are citizens of Israel, but they are also denied equal rights with Israeli Jews. Many people, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa , have called Israel 's denial of Palestinian rights a form of Apartheid.

How is the US contributing to the continuing ethnic cleansing Palestinians?

The US has been Israel 's biggest friend. The US has vetoed almost every United Nations resolution calling on Israel to stop its human rights violations against Palestinians and to allow Palestinian refugees to return. The US also gives billions of our tax dollars in direct and indirect aid every year to Israel . The US government recently announced that it will give Israel $30 billion over the next ten years in military aid alone. Our money is funding Israel 's violations of Palestinians' rights.

What can I do to help?

Educate yourself! Go to some of the Links we have on our Learn More page for a list of useful web sites where you can learn more. Then act! There are many ways you can help, such as by writing to your Senator or Representative that you want the US to stop giving billions of dollars a year of your tax dollars to Israel .

Islamic Center of the Triad Youth Committee cordially invites you to protest Al-Nakbeh Day:

60 Years of Occupation
How long has this Israeli Occupation continued? Sixty years! 21900 days! How much we have suffered! How much we have endured! Our children should release 720 balloons on this day of mourning to remember that Israel has killed our children. Generations of our people have been destroyed by this Occupation.

We are planning to release 720 balloons representing the 720 months of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Land.

Time: 6pm - 7:30pm

Location: Corner of Holden Rd. and Highpoint Rd., Greensboro, NC
(Look for The Palestinian Flags)

Date: Thursday, May 15th 2008

For more information please call:
Samia Zitawi (336) 749 -7721
Ameed Nabulsi (336) 323 - 0277

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