Caelum Moffatt reflects on this the 60th anniversary of Israeli independence/the Palestinian Nakba,
Following the Second World War, the holocaust and the termination of the British Mandate, UNCSOP passed Resolution 181 in November 1947 which called for a partition of the British Mandate into two bilateral states – Israel and Palestine. Even with a quarter of a decade of immigration and colonization, Jews still only comprised 30% of the population and owned just 7% of the land. Despite these facts, the state of Israel would be granted 55% of the former British Mandate. A war ensued firstly between Palestinians and Jews, then later between Arabs and Israelis after Israel had claimed independence on May 14, 1948.
The Arabs were defeated and by the time the armistice lines were drawn in July 1949, Israel had extended its territory to 78% of historic Palestine. 800,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes, 530 villages were destroyed and 86% of the Palestinians who now fell within the 1949 armistice lines were displaced. Of the 14% that remained, 70% of their land was confiscated or made inaccessible to them.
According to UNRWA estimates, there are presently 5.5 million refugees spread across 58 camps in the occupied Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
These have been replaced by some 5.5 million Jews living in Israel flourishing in freedom, prosperity and international acceptance in what can only be described as obstinate blindness and pure disregard for the brutality they employed and still adopt today in order to sustain their existence. They maintain that their actions are justified after being subject to worldwide contempt, suffering years of persecution and anti-Semitism. It is as if their unwavering resolve to achieve their goal supersedes Palestinian claims and relegates them to the unfortunate byproduct or obstacle standing in the way of their destiny.