1. The Nakba is more than just a “Palestinian narrative”.
Seven hundred thousand Palestinians were expelled from their lands in 1948. These expulsions were motivated by the Zionist desire to establish a Jewish-majority state on as much of British Mandate Palestine as possible. This is an objective fact of history, not a subjective perspective that we need to be sensitive about in dialogue groups. In the decades following the 1948 war, Palestinian villages were destroyed and refugees attempting to return were shot at the armistice lines. A series of laws were passed in the 1950’s to strip the refugees of their land and make everything legal. While Zionism had been a multifaceted movement with both statist and non-statist adherents right up until the early 1940’s, the Nakba constituted the State of Israel as a settler-colonial project. A project in which ethnic cleansing was seen as a legitimate means of establishing and maintaining a demographic Jewish majority.