My village is a very beautiful one. It has a mountain full of trees, figs, and grapes, and it faces the main road to Jerusalem. 


 This is a story about what happened here in 1948. You are only 750 people, and everybody knows each other. I came from a big family. We lived a good life. We never expected to be investigated. It was a black spot in history that history has been carefully concealed, purposefully distorted, and in the west largely forgotten. We use our village as an example of what they can do. The massacre in this village was one of many in a series of catastrophic events that became known as the Neckba, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were violently displaced from their homeland in order to create the state of Israel in May 1948, a new Jewish state. Israel was born in a bath of blood. The borders of Palestine have been changed forcefully over time, but historically, this region has been home to Palestinians for centuries, with hundreds of villages and thriving cities, one of them being the Central City of Jerusalem with holy sites important to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim people by the late Ottoman Empire. Palestinians living here were overwhelmingly Muslim, with minority Christian and Jewish native populations too, regardless of religion. Palestinians were often referred to as Arabs, people of the Arabic-speaking world, despite their distinctive culture. Palestinians have long distinguished themselves as household staples. The people of Palestine developed a distinctive Arabic accent, regional food, regional dress, and family ties. But by the time World War I began, several key political forces were competing for control of these lands. First, there was a growing Arab political movement looking for independence from the Ottoman Empire in hopes of a unified Arab state that would include Palestine. Then, there were zionists, a political group that had one main goal: the creation of a Jewish state. Zionism was a response to an increasingly brutal climate for Jewish people, particularly in Europe and Russia, where there was a massive wave of anti-Semitism, including large-scale attacks in the late 1800s, and after briefly considering other areas for a new state, including Uganda and Argentina. Zionist leaders decided on Palestine because of its connection to early religious history but there was a third key group with political interests here the British control of the region would allow them to expand their spheres of influence and protect trade routes to India during World War one since both the British and the Arab Independence Movement wanted Palestine they decided to go after the Ottomans together with an important pledge through a series of letters in 1916 an Arab leader and a British official agreed that if Arabs would help the British fight the Ottomans and give the British economic and other foreign privileges in Arab lands in return the British would recognize and support an independent Arab State soon the Arabs started doing their part in revolting against the Ottomans making it easier for the British to move in but the next year the British issued a new declaration and betrayed the Arabs in 1917 Lord Allenby conquered the holy land, and the Jews were promised a national home in Palestine. Without consulting the native Palestinian population, the British issued what’s known as the Balfour Declaration, supporting the established men in Palestine and providing a national home for the Jewish people. So instead of supporting the idea of Palestine as part of a unified and independent Arab state, the British pledged to help secure this land for Zionists. It was a strategic move. This declaration opened up a pathway for Britain to gain power in Palestine under the guise that it was supporting the self-determination of other people in Palestine who don’t reside there yet. As for Palestine’s majority Arab population, the Declaration referred to them as non-Jewish communities who would be given civil and religious rights but not political rights. A few years later, after World War I ended, Britain gained control of Palestine through a mandate that also required them to put the Balfour plans for Jewish settlement in motion, which they did between 1922 and 1923. Doubled migration helped the Zionist movement gain steam, and a slogan took off a land without people for a people without land, and it sent a message to Western leaders that the people who had been living in Palestine for generations could just be easily moved elsewhere. The idea was that those inhabitants weren’t all people with ties to that land. Palestine was, of course, a land with people. In 1931, there were more than 850 people, still the vast majority, but with the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party in particular, hatred became a rallying call. Jewish flight from Europe became even more urgent, and Palestine started to see the biggest wave of Jewish immigration, yet violence broke out, rooted in tensions over land. Jewish settlers purchased swaths of fertile land and evicted tenant Farmers creating a crisis of hundreds of thousands of landless dispossessed Palestinian Arabs though Palestinians fiercely rebelled against both British colonial forces and Jewish settlers they were brutally crushed by the British they put in Palestine more troops to repress that Rebellion than they had stationed in India at that time all of India these troops killed thousands of Palestinians including many of their leaders and the British began training an arming Zionist militias to suppress the Rebellion too but the Rebellion continued so in an attempt to prevent further Palestinian resistance the British began to limit Jewish immigration into Palestine this ended up angering Zionist extremists leading to more violence so in 1947 after Decades of trying to manipulate both Palestinian Arabs and zionists to keep their control over Palestine Britain gave up and handed the question of Palestine to someone else through the United Nations also came the problem of Palestine in recent years this small country had been the scene of disorder and bloodshed they figured there is this new thing called the United Nations here in your lap Palestine first gift so the United Nations has now to figure out how do you disentangle this thing that the British rule helped create a un special committee proposed the land be divided into two states a Jewish State and an Arab state with Jerusalem as a separate un-controlled entity it was called the partition plan of 1947. the plan shocked Palestinians we could not accept the mortician plan because at that time the population were almost two to one but the plan proposed giving over half the land and often the most fertile areas to the Jewish state from a purely pragmatic perspective the partition plan didn’t make much sense for Palestinian Arabs that wasn’t the only problem with the plan within this proposed area of the Jewish state were hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs including both Muslims and Christians who had lived there for Generations on a moral level the idea of making hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs minorities in their own Homeland seemed unjust and unfair in November the aftermath of the Holocaust and after lobbying from U.S leaders and zionists the U.N voted in favor of partitions and finally a momentous decision to partition the holy land’s ten thousand square miles Britain announced their mandate over Palestine would end in May to reject the UN’s decision to partition the land after the politicians took place. You know, in 1947, you know, we really were scared. Something might happen to us by the end of 1947. Zionists had several well-developed paramilitary forces, the largest of which was known as the Hagana, and more extremist militias like Ergon. On March 10th, a couple of months before the British mandate would end, the Hagana adopted what was called Plan Dalit, or Plan D, on paper. The main goal was to gain control of the Jewish state as laid out in the partition plan while also defending Jewish settlements outside of the borders. In reality, that’s where the majority of these operations took place outside of the United Nations' proposed Jewish State, some carried out by the Hagana and others by more radical militias. Many of these operations focused on isolating Jerusalem and the roads to it. A set of brutal instructions called for the destruction of Arab villages by setting fire to blowing up and planting mines, especially those population centers that were difficult to control in case of resistance. It called for the population to be expelled outside of the borders of the state. Villages were emptied for the occupation and control of Arab villages along main transportation arteries. One of the most widely publicized village massacres happened here in Dear Yasin. We lived in Liriation, which is about four miles west of Jerusalem. Assad was there the day of the massacre and was 18 at the time we saw one night that night the night before the movement of Lights armored trucks moving around moving moving like this so we know that something is wrong that’s why we knew that something is going to happen to our village on April 9 1948 extremist Zionist forces executing Plan D closed in on Darius scene even though the village had made a local piece pact with neighboring Jewish settlements Friday morning near Texas my anchors they were shooting at them and I was there loading the gun for them and shoot them we thought about almost two and a half hours they found my uncle and they put him on the wall and they shot him eight bullets in Cold Blood my grandmother she went in the village to see my mother on her way she got shot my brother Omar fell from his shoulder to the floor with the floor was a concrete one dawood escaped through a trench I went down all the way down here ladies so over four hours walking to Jerusalem to this day the archive of the Israeli Army refuses to release many of the images and intelligence reports on Darius scene but one un report detailed circumstances of great savagery including women and children stripped lined up photographed and slaughtered roughly 100 people largely children and the elderly were killed in the village as for dawood he later reunited with the group of Darius scene captives in Jerusalem including his sister and mother my mother says he was shot where is your grandmother he said you were shut and um was here where is David where is Ahmed where is Ismail a dream I’m dreaming about it. You know, news of what happened to Darius Ian spread quickly with far-reaching effects. The Zionist militias used it as a propaganda tool to tell people about it everywhere. The idea was that if you don’t leave, we will do to you what happened in various scenes. Stories came out about women being raped and babies being killed, which induced a great deal of fear among the Palestinian Arab population, many of whom fled as a result. Jewish troops routed Arab forces from the city of Haifa after taking Dariacin. Zionist paramilitary groups cleared major cities, including Haifa and Jaffa, and took hundreds of smaller villages and towns too. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced to flee, pouring into neighboring states as refugees. Plan D became the blueprint for carrying out the ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine to make room for a new state, and on May 14th, the day before the British mandate ended, zionists declared this state Israel, but the creation of Israel didn’t end the Nakva; neighboring Arab countries that were overwhelmed by Palestinian refugees immediately went to war with Israel now. United in a league of Arab states, they are insistent that the entry of refugees into Palestine must be ended. The fighting lasted for months. Arab armies eventually lost, while Palestinians continued to be killed and forced out throughout that time. Palestinians who fled often carried only enough to stay away for a few weeks, hoping they’d eventually return home. A lot of them locked their doors, put their keys in their pockets, and then moved to safer ground. When you leave the house and take your key with you, it’s because you’re planning to go home. In the case of the Palestinians, those refugees weren’t allowed to return. Refugees trying to return were often shot at by Zionist paramilitary operations, which also tried to prevent them from returning. Again, by destroying the villages, the act of preventing their return compounded the nakaba, so the next bit is both the forcible displacement of Palestinians from their homes and lands and country as well as preventing them from returning once the fighting was over. Palestinian society was dismembered and crushed. More than half of the Palestinian people became refugees, stateless, and dispossessed of their land. Over time, the state of Israel covered up the physical evidence of an Arab Palestine. Place names were often changed from Arabic to Hebrew. The Jewish National Fund embarked on a massive effort to plant thousands of acres of pine forests and recreational areas on top of hundreds of ruined Palestinian villages. Even though these forests have now grown into big pine trees, Palestinians have not forgotten their homelands. While we know that roughly 6, 000 Israelis lost their lives in the violence of the Nakba Records for Palestinian deaths weren’t kept; they're estimated to be around fifteen thousand by the end of the Nakva. roughly 750 000 Palestinians had been forcefully expelled and more than 500 villages destroyed, though the UN’s partition plan allotted Israel 56 percent of the land through the Nakba. Israel captured 78 percent of the land; it was everything except what’s now known as the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip today. That’s up to at least 85 percent of the total area, turning 6 million Palestinians into refugees without a homeland. It’s why, around the same time that Israelis are celebrating independence day, Palestinians are out protesting on May 15th, holding up Keys as a symbol of the homes they lost and the hope of their return. The Nakba isn’t just a moment in history; it’s a catastrophe that never really ended a dream. I’m dreaming about it. You know, we lived a good life until 1948, when we were displaced.

 (text from How Palestinians were expelled from their homesVox)



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