By Mazin Qumsiyeh
Today is the day we actually commemorate Nakba Day, 14 May 1948, the date the state of Israel was declared. However, it is not the beginning of our Nakba (catastrophe) nor its end. Over 200 villages were ethnically cleansed in the six months before 14 May 1948. This simple fact illustrate that it is not the founding of the militarized state of Israel that began the Nakba but that it was a pivotal moment in it. After that date, the wave of ethnic cleansing was being done in a name of a nation-state established by and for Jews from Europe and not just the terrorist underground Jewish militias. The ethnic cleansing accompanying the foundation of this apartheid Jewish state and its maintenance meant the destruction of 530 villages and towns and meant that in the past 9 years alone over 10,000 homes were destroyed in the West Bank (including occupied Jerusalem), Gaza, and the Negev.
Today 7 million of the 11 million Palestinians around the world are refugees or displaced people. The Israeli population according to the Israeli central bureau of statistics is 7,510,000 of which 5,984,500 are “Jews and others” (presumably the others are Druze, Russian non-Jews, and similar categories) and 1,525,500 Palestinian Arabs (1). The population of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza is 4 million allowed to live on areas A & B, small parts of the 22% of Palestine occupied since 1967 (2). The total area allowed for Palestinian use is 2.5% of the area of pre-1967 Israel (3) plus areas A & B of the West Bank . In total this comes to 2.5% of 78% and 29% of the 22% that is the West Bank and Gaza (4). The total geographic access to all remaining Palestinians (5.525 million) is thus 1.95%+6.38%=8.33% while the Jewish and other population (Zionist preferred) consists of 5.5 million with access to the remaining lands comprising 91.67% of historic Palestine.