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History As It Happens

Oct 24, 2023

Today's war between Israel and Hamas has its origins in the unresolved problems caused by the events of 1948. The year that witnessed the creation of an independent Jewish state in the former British mandate of Palestine, is known by Palestinians as the nakba, or catastrophe. Internecine violence intensified in 1947 as the U.N. weighed partitioning Palestine into two independent states, one Jewish and one Arab. Then five neighboring Arab countries invaded the new state of Israel immediately after David Ben-Gurion declared independence on May 14, 1948. In all, approximately 750,000 Arabs fled or were driven from their homes by Jewish forces. Many fled to Gaza and were forbidden from returning to their homeland after the war, turning them into permanent refugees. In this episode, Middle East expert Ian Lustick of the University of Pennsylvania discusses the throughline from 1948 to 2023.