British historian: Palestine was destroyed in 12 months, but the Nakba lasted 75 years

History professor and director of the European Center for Palestine Studies Ilan Pappe wrote that the "Nakba", which has now passed 75 years, destroyed the lives and aspirations of the Palestinian people.

In an article published by the " Middle East Eye " website, he referred to the British Cabinet's decision in February 1947 to end the mandate over Palestine and leave it after a rule that lasted about 30 years, as the economic crisis in Britain after World War II proved that Palestine A burden and no longer an asset because the Palestinian people and the Zionist settlers were fighting against the British Mandate and calling for its end.

The taboo was signed in the Cabinet meeting on February 1, 1947, and the fate of Palestine was entrusted to the United Nations, which was an inexperienced international organization at the time, and was already affected by the beginning of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, so the two superpowers agreed, exceptionally, To allow other member states to provide a solution to the so-called "Palestine issue", without their interference.

The writer, who is also co-director of the Exeter Center for Ethnic and Political Studies at the University of Exeter in Britain, added that the discussion about the future of Palestine was transferred to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOPE), consisting of member states, which angered the Palestinians and the member states of the University. The Arab states, as they expected to treat post-mandate Palestine in the same way as any other mandated state in the region, i.e. to allow the people to determine their own political future democratically.

Photo 10 Palestinian youth raise the banners of return to Palestine on the anniversary of the Nakba.
Palestinian youth raise the banners of return to Palestine on the anniversary of the Nakba (Al-Jazeera)

Jewish state

The Palestinians boycotted UNISCOPE and, as they feared, the committee proposed the creation of a Jewish state on nearly half of their homeland as part of UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of November 1947.

In recent years, scholars studying the history of Palestine have revived an old definition of Zionism as a settler-colonial movement, and this would clearly explain why the Zionist leadership did not accept a divided Palestine.

Ilan Pape pointed out that the Zionist leadership accepted the division of Palestine, welcoming the principle of the Jewish state, but had no intention of committing to it in practice. He stated that historians discovered more than 30 years ago enough declassified archival material, especially from Israel, to expose the Zionist strategy from November 1947 until the end of 1948.

He described this strategy in that era as a major plan for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, which the Palestinians called the "Nakba".

Ethnic cleansing

The article indicated that researchers have revived in recent years an old definition of Zionism describing it as a settler-colonial movement, and this would – as the researcher says – clearly explain why the Zionist leadership did not accept a divided Palestine. Therefore, the first thing the Zionist leadership did was to establish the facts on the ground even before the official end of the Mandate, i.e. May 15, 1948. They cleansed the areas allotted by the United Nations to the Jewish state of Palestinians, as well as taking control of as many cities as possible in Palestine.

Ilan Pappe highlighted that the world's message to Israel was to accept the ethnic cleansing of Palestine mainly as compensation for the Jewish Holocaust and centuries of anti-Semitism in Europe.

Israel continued its ethnic cleansing after 1967, when additional occupied territory brought in more "unwanted" people, but this time the ethnic cleansing was gradual and continues today.

Ilan Pappe concluded that the only possible way to correct the evils of the past is to respect the right of return of the Palestinian refugees and establish one state throughout historic Palestine based on the principles of democracy, equality and social justice.

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