Mast, Edward & Haithem El-Zabri. NAKBA: The Ongoing Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. USA, 2008.

“…Take a stone from our house
So that our descendents
Will remember their way home.” Mahmoud Darwish, from the poem Your Eyes.

Described as a concise guide to history and issues, this booklet packs an amazing amount of information into 40 pages. It is firstly a Palestinian history, going back 3000 years and forward to modern times, culminating in the NAKBA, the violent expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians from their homeland in 1948 — while the world stood by, helping the Israelis or completely ignoring this ethnic cleansing. 531 villages were destroyed. In 1967, Israel expelled another 300,000 Palestinians.

Coming right up to the present the authors explain that resistance to this expulsion takes the form of working for “the right of return´ for all exiles and their descendents. They write: The return of Palestinian refugees to Israel is not an issue of immigration, but rather of undoing an historical injustice. In the refugee camps today in Lebanon, these exiles hold on the ´stone´, a symbol for active memory and nourishing the Palestinian culture. Every child knows her village; many adults treasure the key their family home.

For those who were not exiled, life is increasingly difficult under military occupation. The authors have written concise and fact—filled sections on the Wall, the theft of water resources, the continuing destruction of homes and farms and the constant control on movement and life generally.

This booklet is designed for activist education; it is well—written, clear and brief.
It concludes with an International Solidarity/Activist Guide outlining many excellent actions and strategies. There is a special price for bulk purchase which makes this essential guide an affordable tool for Palestinian solidarity building. Highly recommended.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Edward Mast, Haithem El-Zabri