In 2009, Palestinians commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Nakba - the most traumatic catastrophe that ever befell them. The Palestine Nakba explores ways of remembering and commemorating the Nakba, dealing with the issue within the context of Palestinian oral history, "social history from below," narratives of memory, and the formation of collective identity. Masalha argues that to write more truthfully about the Nakba is not just to practice a professional historiography but a moral imperative. The struggles of the ordinary refugees to publicize the truth about the Nakba is a vital way of protecting the refugees' rights and keeping the hope for peace with justice alive. With the history, rights, and needs of the Palestinian refugees being excluded from recent Middle East peacemaking efforts and with the failure of both the Israeli state and international community to acknowledge the Nakba, "1948" as an "ethnic cleansing" continues to underpin the Palestine-Israel conflict. This book is vital for a real understanding of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
'As a meticulous scholar, historian and above all Palestinian, Nur Masalha is eminently suited to write this excellent book. He has produced a marvellous history of the Nakba which should be essential reading for all those concerned with the origins of the conflict over Palestine.'
Ghada Karmi, author of Married to Another Man: Israel's Dilemma in Palestine
'Nur Masalha has a distiguished and deserved reputation for scholarship on the Nakba and Palestinian refugees. Now, with his latest book, his searching analysis of past and present makes for a powerful combination of remembrance and resistance.'
Ben White, journalist and author of Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide
'Nur Masalha's 'The Palestinian Nakba' is a tour de force examining the process of transformation of Palestine over the last century. One outstanding feature of this study is the systematic manner in which it investigates the accumulated scholarship on the erasure of Palestinian society and culture, including a critical assessment of the work of the new historians. In what he calls 'reclaiming the memory' he goes on to survey and build on a an emergent narrative. Masalha's work is essential and crucial for any scholar seeking this alternate narrative.'
Salim Tamari, Visiting Professor of History, Georgetown University
'This book is the most comprehensive and penetrating analysis available of the catastophe that befell Arab Palestine and its people in 1948, known as the Nakba. It shows how the expulsion and physical obliteration of the material traces of a people was followed by what Masalha calls 'memoricide': the effacement of their history, their archives, and their place-names, and a denial that they had ever existed.'
Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies Department of History, Columbia University