The NAKBE a Criminal Conspiracy,

A Crime Against the International Working Class and Humanity.

By Samia A. Halaby

New York Committee to Defend Palestine


            The tragic proportions of the Palestinian Nakbe (tragedy) of 1948 have yet to be measured and its causes fully examined.  At this point in history we can begin to scientifically assess its proportions, discern a criminal conspiracy, and accuse those who planned it and those who executed it. 


            The Nakbe was a deliberate conspiracy, knowingly planned, knowingly executed, and criminally hidden.  The destructive effects of the conspiracy began early in the 20th century with the beginning of British colonial rule in Palestine and continues today with the US/Israeli partnership.


The Crime


            At the start of the 20th century, at the close of the World War I, when Britain through military power and political deception gained colonial control of major parts of the Arab world, Palestine was a developing national economy with substantial agricultural production which it exported to Europe and other parts of the world.  Among its neighbors, Palestine was distinguished for its visual arts, its architecture, journalism, and literature. At the close of the century and now in 2004 we find Palestine has been converted into an Imperial colony of the US – an imperial colony we call Israel.  Palestinians have been forcibly removed from their lands.  The remaining population in Palestine occupies, in generous estimate, less than 8% of the land (see presented maps) besieged within Bantustans.  They are forced into enslaved as unskilled, under-paid, highly-taxed labor for the benefit of the US/Israeli partnership.  The transformation of Palestine from a thriving nation to a series of enslaved Bantustans serving foreign occupiers is a crime against Palestine, and humanity.    It is one of the serious brutalities of capitalism in its last rotten stage.


            The Nakbe is also a crime against the working class of the world.  Capitalism is keeping itself afloat through un-ashamed destruction not only of the property of others, but also of communities and entire nations.  It pushes ever-larger parts of the world’s population into working-class poor who are hugely exploited, under-employed, malnourished, and often in poor health.  The US/Israel conspiracy has turned the Palestinian nation into a source of unskilled underpaid workers who are allowed to go to work only through carefully-controlled closure points.[1]  Attending the War Crimes Tribunal of August 26th, 2004, in New York City, Mike Hoffman, member of the New York Committee to Defend Palestine, testified to seeing the wall and the way it strangled the residents of the town of Jayyuse in the West Bank.  The strangulation wall is being built to besiege Palestinians inside their communities thereby tightly controlling all Palestinian movement, and delivery of the essentials of life.[2]


The Accused


            The accused are the US government and its leaders and corporate handlers—the so called ‘captains of industry’, the colonizing British government and its bourgeoisie now turned clients of the US, the International Zionist movement,[3] the Israeli government, the Jewish terrorist gangs such as the Hagana and the Irgun and the Stern, Jewish settlers, Complicit Arab regimes, and the United Nations (UN).  Together they conspired to depopulate Palestine and enslave its people for their various economic interests. 


            Until we have access to hidden files of governments, corporations, and the United Nations, we will need to rely on measuring the effects of the crime.  A very few documents of bourgeois conspiracy now available are the McMahon-Hussein Agreement[4] of October 1915 promising independence for the Arabs if they help England defeat the Turks in World War I; the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916[5] between England, France, and Russia planning how to divide Arab lands after and if they win the first World War; and the Balfour Declaration made in November 1917 promising Palestine as a homeland for the Jews.  It is very worth to note here that the Sykes-Picot Agreement was made public by Lenin after the success of the Soviet revolution.


Crimes of British Colonialist Rule and Israel


            Colonialist Britain conspired to transform the marginal Zionist movement into a tool whereby it could build a loyal colony in the oil rich Arab lands.  It utilized similar patterns in South Africa and Ireland.  The Zionists happily accepted the privileges that accrued to this collaboration.  Britain planted the Israeli formation in Palestine as a military and economic staging area into the oil rich Arab world.  England stimulated the flow of Jewish settlers into Palestine, created, trained, and armed, the Israeli military.  The British government throttled all Palestinian development, while giving privilege to Jewish industry.  Jewish industry adopted a ‘Jews only’ labor policy while depopulating villages.  This created a disproportionate Palestinian unemployed working class in the towns.[6]


             The British killed, arrested, maimed, and injured Palestinians, and imposed imprisonment on a large segment of the male population for its political goals.  From 1936 to 1948, during the uprising of the 1930s, the British demolished 5,000 Palestinian homes.[7]  Furthermore, the British government knowingly destroyed cultural property.  On June 18, 1936, the British flattened a large swath through the ancient port city of Yafa (Jaffa) for supposed security purposes.  An estimated 220 homes were blown up and 6,000 people rendered homeless in this single attack on the beautiful port city of Yafa.[8] 


            The British also established military laws applying severe and savage punishment to Palestinians.  For example, if caught with a stick, a Palestinian faced two weeks in Jail.  The Israelis adopted these laws and their severity and extensive detail is well know.  For example, showing the Palestinian flag is against the law and so is using the colors of the Palestinian flag in paintings.


            In 1948 the newly born baby of British colonialist greed, Israel, occupied 78% of Palestine.  Israelis depopulated 531 Palestinian villages, towns, and localities making for a total of 935,000 people driven from their homes and made stateless -- having no legal rights.  All their official papers were made totally useless ranging from deeds to homes, birth certificates, passports, and etc.  This is the Nakbe, a landmark tragedy which marks history and memory. 


            The eviction of 935,000 people from their homes is not easy.  It was accomplished through many massacres.  The executioners were the British-created Israeli military and the Jewish terrorist gangs armed to the teeth by the British.  The defenders were Palestinians, most of them workers and villagers, who had been exhausted by their failed attempt at national liberation from Britain in the late 30s.  They had the great disadvantage of not having had any opportunity to organize against imminent danger, of being deceived by promises of help from Arab Government, and the disadvantage of poor weapons.  Palestinian defense was, nevertheless, hard fought. 


            The eviction of Palestinians from their homes began under the British Mandate.  Salman Abu Sitta, a Palestinian researcher on the subject of the Palestinian right of return, points out that 414,000 Palestinians from 213 villages were turned into homeless refugees by the Jews and their terrorist gangs before the British Mandate came to an end.[9]  Abu Sitta cites 25 reported massacres which took place in 1948 and 20 others which occurred just before and after 1948.  Also, 29 Israeli operations against civilians are cited by Abu Sitta.  The actual number of Massacres related to the Nakbe is estimated by some to have been nearer to 80.  Attacks such as the July 2, 1946, bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 91 people, has not been counted. And massacres did not stop in 1948 or 1949.  There are 18 more massacres known from the early 50’s.  I personally interviewed survivors of the Kafr Qasem massacre of 1956 and can begin to comprehend the deeply disturbing and lasting negative effect of a massacre on survivors.


             The Palestinians left their towns and villages unwillingly and they fought hard and only departed after high cost to life, family, and property.  Yet Zionist and Bourgeois propaganda pretends that they fled out of fear and left willingly.  Abu Sitta states:  “There is hardly any village which has not been depopulated without the effect of some operation.  Abu Sitta plotted diagram (shown in Abu Sitta’s book and here presented as evidence) showing date of village depopulation against the date of Israeli operations.  The result showed complete correlation. “If there was a lull in the fighting, no villagers departed. ...Villagers usually circled around their village, waiting for a chance to return.”[10] 


US/Israel conspiracy, Arab Governments and the UN


            The Arab Governments played an indirect part in the conspiracy.  Clearly warned, threatened, and paid-off in advance, the Arab Governments in 1948 huffed and puffed and sent their abysmal military forces into Palestine.  But once stationed inside Palestine, they did almost nothing more than watch.  A lone Iraqi general, Abdul Karim Qasem who went on to liberate Iraq in 1958, came with sincerity to fight in 1948.  Kafr Qasem, the site of a massacre in 1956, was names after him as he saved it from Jewish annexation until King Hussein of Jordan gave it to Israel along with a section of land now known at the Triangle.  Popular adoration of Qasem by Kafr Qasemites says that when ordered to stop fighting by his government, he refused to stop.[11]  You do not need to explain to the residents of Kafr Qasem the complicity of the Arab governments. 


            The UN acts on many levels as participant in this conspiracy.  Wasting the energy and talents of those who seek peaceful solutions, and selling false hope, the UN passes one resolution after another with no effect.  It stands totally unable to act unless it acts on the will of the US government.  The United Nations Relief and Works Agency provides land, tents, minimal education, food, and health care for the refugees.  It is all extremely sub-standard and insufficient – dissipating revolutionary anger by just barely allowing for survival while knowingly closing all other avenues of development.  The educational ideology works to keep the Palestinians docile.  Most revealing is the fact that, UNRWA leased land for refugee camps on a 100 year basis clearly betraying that the UN’s program for Palestinians was permanent life in refugee camps.  Furthermore the UN is complicit in under-estimating the number of refugees, and refusing to register a good many of the applicants.  I can personally bear witness to the fact that they rejected my sister’s and my right to register as refugees.  Palestinians are the largest refugee community in the world numbering 5.5 million people – approximately half of the Palestinian nation.


            US participation in the conspiracy is veiled by bourgeois mass-media deception.  Yet much is available for those who take the trouble to look.  Taking over from British Colonialism, the Americans use Israel as a major military staging area for parts of the oil rich Arab world.  The US government and its corporate handlers are accused of dramatically expanding and compounding the crime against Palestine for the simple motive of profit and greed.  Some evidence representing a small percentage of the total is here presented.  This evidence is limited to showing the strategic importance of Israel to the US, demonstrating that the US government pays un unduly huge price to help evict the Palestinians and artificially maintain an image that Israel is a viable independent state.  Furthermore, some evidence is presented on methods used to organizationally maintain the usefulness of Israel as a huge cost to the American tax-payer and particularly at a cost to essential services to US workers.


            It is known that the US shares nuclear and other military technology with Israel and that the US military and covert organizations are present and active on the land of Palestine under the Israeli government.  Thus it is not surprising that the US government protects Israel from curious eyes.  Since the US military has sold satellite technology under license to corporations world wide, it keeps control over what the licensed companies might or might not sell and to whom.  Washington prohibits sale of satellite photographs of Israel at a resolution below 2 meters square.  It is known that a resolution as small as 80 cm square is possible where men, guns, and crates are discernible.  According to Debka Files, the new rules on distribution of satellite photography over Israel “reflect the expansion of US installations under construction in the Jewish state and their strategic value. The most important facility is the $125 million base at Nashshonim in central Israel, slated to be the US military’s biggest training facility in the Middle East and main forward base for US Marines and infantry units deployed in Israel or on their way to other regional locations.”[12]


            The Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs reports that from 1949 to 1997 the US has given nearly 135 billion of our tax dollars ($134,791,507,200) to Israel at a total taxpayer cost per Israeli of $23,240.[13]  In my own calculation this comes to 33 thousand dollars per Israeli taking into consideration that there were far fewer Israelis in 1949 than now and that Palestinians make up nearly ¼ of the Israeli population and are not recipients of this generosity.


            In addition, there is the more than $1.5 billion in private U.S. funds that go to Israel annually in the form of $1 billion in private tax-deductible donations and $500 million in Israeli bonds.[14]


            Beyond this money the US military and government successfully urge venture capitalists to invest in Israeli technology and especially in Israeli military technology.  According to the Israel Venture Capital Research Center, 8.23 billion dollars were invested in Israeli start-ups in the five year 1999 to 2003.[15]  And this is a figure that is lower than those for earlier years.  The Aqsa Intifadah during this period dampened investment.


            Furthermore, the US government and its corporate handlers have robbed the American population, with particularly negative implications for the American working class, of vast amounts of their tax dollars in order to support military goals and increase corporate wealth.  US government agencies designed to serve the US population have all been inducted to the service of Israel.  We present the case of the U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Commission (USISTC) established by President Clinton in 1993 to “encourage high-tech industries in both countries.”  Money for this project comes from the Department of Commerce, the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Defense, State, Health and Human Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency.  One wonders whose health is sought by this funding and from who are human services being withheld by this generosity.[16]


            We see the tip of the iceberg in US complicity in this criminal conspiracy and only the tip of the iceberg of how much the US employs Israel for its criminal greed.  Until working class revolution opens the books, we can only guess the depth of involvement and collaboration by the FBI, the CIA and the host of other covert operations and organizations.


The Accusation


            British colonialism is accused of the crime of militarily and economically preventing the nascent movement to national independence from growing – acting as brutal enemy to Palestine and friend to Israeli ethnic cleansing and economic strangulation for the sake of their own economic benefit.


            The Israeli military, Jewish terrorist gangs, and Jewish settlers are accused of genocide, of ethnic cleansing, of massacre, of theft of land, of theft of home, theft of natural resources, the destruction of the Palestinian economy, and the imprisonment and enslavement of the Palestinian population.  Jewish settlers, the Israeli military, and Jewish terrorist gangs are accused of particularly and deliberately targeting children in their attack on unarmed civilians.  They are accused of knowingly starving the Palestinians by withholding the shipment of food and necessities with special vengefulness against the population of the Gaza Strip.  Israel is accused of serving US interests in return for payment and privilege.


            In the case of Palestine the US government in collaboration with Israel, international Zionism, the UN, and Arab regimes is accused of criminal conspiracy to rob Palestinians of their nation and their national rights, of criminal destruction of life and property of an entire nation.


Requested Decision of the Tribunal


            In addition to finding the accused guilty, this tribunal is further requested to issue judgment awarding Palestinians full right of return to their homes and land regardless of place of birth, full reparations for damage and misuse of property, full reparations for all those killed, injured, and maimed, for all those who suffer mental deficiency due to malnutrition, and full reparation and payment for all the lost years of political prisoners forced into Israeli jails, and reparation and medical treatment for the ill effects of torture on adult prisoners with double indemnity for child prisoners. 


            Additionally this tribunal is requested to issue a decision that the Palestinians have a right not only to defend themselves but that the working-class and revolutionary forces in Palestine have a right to be fully armed.


            This tribunal is further requested to issue judgment that Palestine should be completely under Palestinian sovreignty as a democratic secular state.  This Tribunal is requested to pass judgment that the popular committees of the Intifadah, a spontaneous popular, participatory democracy, created during the 1970’s, be empowered to begin the process of registering Palestinians for the right to return; to be given full access to all international files and documents relating to Palestine so that they may begin the important work of organizing and planning the return, the development of the Palestinian nation, and the creation of democratic society in Palestine.[17]




[1] Delegates to Palestine visiting Qalqilia with the New York Committee to Defend Palestine, in 2003, saw the strangulation wall and met and interviewed men who could not gain permits to cultivate their own land on the pretense that it posed a security threat, but could easily obtain permit to work in Tel-Aviv at very close proximity to Israelis.

[2]  See the scientific research being conducted by the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem at <>.  Dr. Jad Isaac, General Director (  Most recent viewing of this page is August 30, 2004.

[3] The Zionist Organization was founded by Theodor Herzl at the First Zionist Congress in Basle in 1897.

[4] History Learning Site.  The McMahon-Hussein Agreement of 1915.  April 2003.  <> (August 30, 2004).  Meeting documented by letters between Sir Henry McMahon, acting on behalf of the British government, and Sherif Hussein of Mecca.

[5] The Avalon Project at Yale Law School, The Sykes-Picot Agreement : 1916.  August 30, 2004,

<> (August 30, 2004).

[6] Ghassan Kanafani, The 1936-39 Revolt in Palestine (Committee for Democratic Paltestine date uncertain probably 1971).

[7] Ghassan Kanafani, p 19.

[8] Ghassan Kanafani,  p 16.

[9]  Salman Abu-Sitta, THE PALESTINIAN NAKBA 1948, (The Register of Depopulated Localities in Palestine), The Palestine Return Centre, London, 1998)  p 4.

[10] Salman Abu-Sitta, p 10.

[11] Conveyed to the author during interviews of survivors of the Kafr Qasem massacre.

[12] Debka File.  Washington Vetoes Satellite Photo Sales of Israel, DEBKAfile Exclusive Military Report.  December 31, 2003, 10:16 PM (GMT+02:00),

<  (August 30, 2004).

[13] Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.  U.S. Financial Aid To Israel: Figures, Facts, and Impact. 

<> (August 30, 2004).

[14] Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, same page as note 13,

[15] Matthew kalman, Venture capital invests in Israeli techs
Recovering from recession, country ranks behind only Boston, Silicon Valley in attracting cash for startups.
  The Sanfrancisco Chronicle, April 2, 2004,

<> (August 30, 2004).

[16] Jewish Virtual Library, A division of The American-Israeli cooperative Enterprise, U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Commission (USISTC).  2004,

<> (August 30, 2004).

[17] Though many of the popular committees are now dormant, they nevertheless exist and many still function.  They are a spontaneously created popular participatory democracy aided by the working-class unions of Palestine.  They function in small units in each town, village, and refugee camp to fulfill specific social services.  Each committee then democratically elects a representative to a coordinating committee.