May 15 marks two anniversaries in Israel/Palestine. the day Israelis celebrate as Independence Day is also a commemoration by Palestinians of the Nakba. While many Americans are aware of Israel's statehood, few of us ever heard about the Nakba. In conflict, the winners' story is usually the one that is told.
Nakba means "catastrophe" in Arabic and May 15 marks the 66th anniversary of the Jewish militias' campaign to remove Palestinians from lands it wished to make into a state. I say "Jewish militias" because the removal of Palestinians from their villages in what is now Israel began in 1947—before the UN vote for partition, before the British withdrew from Palestine, before any "Arab War" began, before the formation of the state of Israel. Before May 15, almost a quarter-million Palestinians had already been forced from their homes by Jewish militias. (Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 2006, p. xv)
The Middle East Children's Association has compiled a short narrative with photos, telling the story of the Nakba, which I encourage you to read: