Ilan Pappé argues that the Nakba, the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians from Israel in the middle of the last century, was nothing short of a premeditated and systematically violent ethnic cleansing programme. The campaign, he asserts, led to the creation of a "latent apartheid" system, an ethnocracy in which the Arabs remaining in the country are second-class citizens who are perceived by the country's Jewish majority as outsiders in their own land and viewed as a "strategic threat" to their state.
Drawing a parallel with Nazi war crimes, Pappé, a Jewish academic, cites the shocking example of the 1956 massacre at Kafr Qassem, where the Israeli army shot in cold blood 48 villagers, including children and a pregnant woman. This atrocity, he explains, was carried out as part of a secret strategy known as Blueprint S-59, a failed attempt to use state terrorism to drive the remaining Palestinian population out of the country.
Meticulously researched, scholarly and highly readable, The Forgotten Palestinians provides a fresh perspective on an enduring and systemic injustice that has never received the level of attention it deserves outside the Middle East.