Institute for Palestine Studies commemorates Nakba on the Web

The Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS) has created a special on-line resource to commemorate the Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948.

“1948: Sixty Years On …” draws on the Institute’s rich archives and its flagship Journal of Palestine Studies to provide wide public access to incisive articles, analyses, memoirs, detailed maps, and chronologies. These materials illuminate the events leading up to and culminating in the establishment of the state of Israel and the beginning of the Palestinian tragedy.

Readers can download PDF versions of landmark articles, such as Walid Khalidi’s 1961 documentation of “Plan Dalet: the Master Plan for the Conquest of Palestine,” and a rare memoir of Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser focusing on the cataclysmic events of 1948. Scholars, journalists, policy makers and educators will find this on-line resource timely and useful. The articles, essays, and debates are grouped in seven categories. Memoirs and reflections

In addition to the memories of 1948 by historical personages such as Gamal Abdel Nasser and Fauzi al-Qawuqji, the section includes eye-witness accounts of the fall of Lydda, the conquest of Nazareth and its aftermath, the Tantura massacre, among other tragic events.

Exodus and Refugees

The genesis of the Palestinian exodus is laid out with different emphases by a number of authors, including Ilan Pappe, Simha Flapan, Donald Neff, and Amnon Kapeliouk.

History and Analysis

Scholars address the historiography of 1948 and the crux of the conflict from different perspectives. Read articles by Walid Khalidi, Nur-eldeen Masalha, Tarif Khalidi, and Benny Morris.

Legal Dimensions

Thomas and Sally Mallison on the right or return; Henry Cattan on the status of Jerusalem and Michael Fischbach on refugee compensation.

Military Dimensions

Walid Khalidi’s 1961 landmark piece on Plan Dalet was the first revelation to the broader public that there were Zionist plans to expel the non-Jewish population of Palestine. Other pieces include Benny Morris on Operation Hiram and Nafez Nazzal on the occupation of Western Galilee.


The renowned Egyptian writer and journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal reflects on the impact of the Nakba on Egypt. This section also features Walid Khalidi’s clear and comprehensive discussion of the UN partition plan, and broad analyses of the diplomatic background to the war by Sabri Jiryis and Michael Adams. Kathleen Christison and Avi Shlaim examine specific dimensions of the diplomacy after 1948.


Today’s ongoing debates about the Palestinian tragedy began immediately after 1948 and picked up steam in the 1980s and 1990s with the advent of Israel’s “new historians.” Read Benny Morris’ various restatements of his position and well-argued rejoinders by Ibrahim Abu Lughod, Norman Finkelstein, Walid Khalidi, and Nur-eldeen Masalha.

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