We commemorate the 66th anniversary of Al Nakba – the Catastrophe

We share with you poignant articles reflecting on the Nakba and inspired by the Right of Return. A dose of hope in a painful struggle.



1. Electronic version of Al-Nakba commemoration photo exhibit – “Our Story 1948-2013”

2.  Interview with Rev. Robert Assaly

3.  Poignant articles written on the Nakba and inspired by the Right of Return

4. Palestinian Forced Labour Camps

5. Voices of Dispossession:  Interview with Dr. Ismail Zayed

6. Palestinians in Lebanon

7.  Marc Ellis: Pursuing Justice in Israel / Palestine:  Jerusalem and the New Interfaith Solidarity

“Our Story 1948-2013” photo exhibit commemorates the history of the dispossession of the Palestinian people, through 65 photos. The exhibit is produced by Canadian Friends of Sabeel with Sabeel Jerusalem (www.sabeel.org).

Podcast of radio interview on CKUT 90.3 FM with Rev. Robert Assaly

On Wednesday May 14, 2014, the eve of the commemoration of the day of the Nakba, Rev. Robert Assaly, Anglican priest and chair of the Canadian Friends of Sabeel joined the program Caravan, in the CKUT studio in Montreal, to speak on the ongoing and 66-year old catastrophe in Palestine.


Liberating Israeli Jews from the dark legacy of the Nakba by Anwar Ben Badis

”The Nakba has been relegated to the dark basement of Zionist ideology, where people are afraid to tread or even look. The ghosts of the past, however, will only disappear once the sin of 1948 is recognized.”

On Nakba Day, Israelis forced to confront a guilty secret by Jonathan Cook

”For 66 years Israel’s founding generation has lived with a guilty secret, one it successfully concealed from the generations that followed. Forests were planted to hide war crimes. School textbooks mythologised the events surrounding Israel’s creation. The army was blindly venerated as the most moral in the world.”


Despite efforts to erase it, the Nakba’s memory is more present than ever in Israel by Noam Sheizaf

The Israeli Right has been waging a war on history in recent years, using extreme measures to remove evidence of the Nakba from the national discourse. It failed.

Who’s afraid of the right of return? by Alma Biblash

The thought of six million Palestinian refugees entering Israel can be scary, even terrifying. But it turns out there are real, practical steps that we can take to mitigate those fears, and they don’t have to come at the expense of those living here.

Diaries: Live from Palestine: “I can coexist with Israelis but only when I return home,” says Nakba survivor by Rami Almeghari

“Our life was great. We lived in peace, working in our own lands,” Um al-Walid Eid says of Zarnuqa village before the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Palestinian Forced Labour Camps

The following information was compiled by Palestinian researcher Salman Abu Sitta.

“This important subject is rarely mentioned, labor camps were indeed set up in Palestine. Typical expulsion pattern of a Palestinian village followed these lines:

The village is attacked and besieged from 3 sides leaving the fourth open to facilitate expulsion. Men and women were separated in two groups. The women with children were expelled to Lebanon, Jenin, Ramallah or Gaza (depending on location) after being stripped of their valuables. Young men, about 20 – 100 in number, were selected, shot and killed in groups of 4 – 6, after an earlier group had been ordered to dig mass graves for them. Other able-bodied men were taken to labor camps. Their immediate task was to bury the dead in other villages, to demolish Arab houses, to remove the debris from already demolished houses and carry salvaged items to Jewish homes. Generally they did arduous and dangerous jobs. They were fed a slice of bread daily. They were kept in crammed concentration camps. Their conditions improved after Red Cross (ICRC) visits.

The International Red Cross visited the labor camps. Their report on 06 February 1949 (No. G59/I/GC), now released 50 years later, gives the following list:

1. Camp No. 791 in Ijlil, near Herzlia, 1991 prisoners, Israeli Commander Mosedale.

2. Camp 792 in Atlit, near Haifa, 1640 prisoners, Israeli Commander Weissbach.

3. Camp 793 in Sarafand, near Ramle, 1360 prisoners, Israeli Commander Rappaport.

4. Camp 794 in Tel Litvinsky, near Tel Aviv, 1310 prisoners, Israeli Commander Kossovsky.


 Voices of Dispossession: Interview with Dr. Ismail Zayid

Dr. Zayid shares his family’s story of the Nakba. He recalls how that catastrophe has had a tremendous impact on his life and led to his engagement as a Palestinian in the diaspora with organizations like NECEF and CFOS. More on Dr. Zayid’s story and Al Nakba.


 Palestinians in Lebanon:  The Massacre of Sabra and Shatila

From September 16 to 18, 1982, Israeli-backed Lebanese Phalangist (Arabic: al-Kataeb) militiamen entered the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in West Beirut, and slaughtered at will. Age or gender were never a consideration, as the elderly, women, children and even toddlers became easy prey.  The death toll has never been verified, ranging from 800 to 3,500, which is testimony to the destruction wrought by the Phalangists that many bodies were never uncovered.This was a moment in time, still being lived by Palestinian refugees everywhere and Palestinians living under the cruel occupation.

Pursuing Justice in Israel / Palestine:  Jerusalem and the New Interfaith Solidarity
by Dr. Marc Ellis

As an exclusive to NECEF Sabeel Canada and Canadian Friends of Sabeel, Dr. Marc Ellis has written an essay on the the current state of affairs in the interfaith dialogue and the new interfaith solidarity networks that are together, pursuing a just and comprehensive peace in Israel / Palestine.

Dr. Marc H. Ellis has lectured around the world on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, and is available for lecture tours and other opportunities. He is retired University Professor of Jewish Studies, Professor of History and Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Baylor University.  He is the author of more than 20 books, including Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation.  Currently he is Senior Visiting Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University for Peace in Costa Rica.  His daily blog. “Exile and the Prophetic” can be found at www.mondoweiss.net