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The Middle East’s New Nakba


The Middle East’s New Nakba

After midnight on August 15, 1947, India and Pakistan became separate countries.

What should have been a joyous occasion — a celebration of independence from three centuries of British colonial rule — quickly turned into one of the greatest tragedies in modern history. By the end of 1948, after an exodus of Muslims from India and a comparable hemorrhaging of Hindus from Pakistan, between 1 and 2 million people were dead. Extremists in both nascent countries had set out to create ethnically pure spaces by ruthlessly eliminating those that didn’t “fit in.”


Let's not forget that the USA became an apartheid state no later then the establishment of Reservations for Native Americans.


Well thought out article. I myself live within 5 miles of the Nacoochee Valley in North Georgia, one of the main gathering points for the forced removal of the Cherokee people onto the Trail of Tears.It was a disgraceful act of our government, sadly just one of many.. Ironically, the Cherokee's themselves had apparently expelled the Creeks from this area 80 years before that after a terrific battle. (at least that's what an elderly Cherokee neighbor of mine told me).

I think that multi ethnic states can exist...as long as the rights of minorities are protected and citizens identify more with being a citizen of that state than being a member of a certain group. Otherwise, they can only be held together by an autocratic ruler or system. Tito in Yugoslavia, Franz Josef in Austria-Hungary, Saddam in Iraq, Assad in Syria, ect. Once these rulers are deposed or pass on, the countries tend to spin off into their separate components, usually with much bloodshed.

The colonial powers after the demise of the Ottomans did not seem to give much thought into what future problems they were causing when they arbitrarily drew lines on the map, without realizing what competing, and mutually hostile, groups they were throwing in together. Same thing happened in such places as Nigeria, resulting in the hideous Biafra war of 1970.

Not sure what can be done about it now, other than leave other countries in peace to sort out their own problems.


" inability of Israelis and Arabs to live in a multiethnic society together." So that's what the problem is and here I thought it had something to do with invading and occupying the Palestinians land and the IDF's periodically killing them. Good to have Mr. Feffer clear that up.


I appreciate Mr. Feffer's refresher course on the post 19th century history of the Middle East; but I think he's far too cavalier in dismissing what U.S. and NATO forces conscientiously tore asunder; nor is any mention made of the Neo-con agenda as per The Project for a New American Century. To those who are unfamiliar with this document, it lays out a plan for virtually crushing numerous nations across the Middle East. The actual on-the-ground logistics show that this plan was indeed instituted.

That's why a conclusion of the following nature was known at the onset:

"Outsiders can’t impose a state system, as the colonial powers attempted to do after World War I or the Bush administration tried in Iraq after 2003. But they can help reduce the amount of violence in order to create space within which the critical discussions over what kind of state is appropriate can take place."

Neighbors in civilized urban centers probably get along until food or water runs out, or power only comes on for a few hours a day. The purpose-driven attacks on Iraq and surrounding nations exacerbated already difficult living conditions. This, in turn, fired up existing tribal and internecine conflicts. And all of this could be (and likely was) predicted before the first U.S. forces began their campaigns of plunder.

Many people believe in the law of karma. Part of its precept is that "those who live by the sword will die by it."

Since the Middle East was rendered Dante's 8th ring of hell, fire, brimstone, and damnation, the world's billionaires--most of whom came by their ill-begotten gains through less than savory practices--should purchase a large sect of land for each displaced group. If a territory could be marked off for the Jews who managed to escape Hitler's carnage, territories should be equally earmarked for those groups dispossessed by recent conflicts.

Barring that, a retroactive tax on Wall Street's many transactions could also create the funds that would house the homeless and feed the hungry. It would be wonderful if this more enlightened Pope Francis starts the process with a major gift of largesse direct from the vaults of the Vatican.


"Religion and ethnicity play a significant role in the displacement. But ideology also has a hand in it."

"Conservative Religion, ethnicity and ideology, that is. Leave innocent liberals out of it.


Good post.


That's very generous of you considering our ideological differences. Thank you.


The Russian Government pointed out in a press release that reports carried in the Western media of Civilian casualties due to a Russian airstrike appeared BEFORE Russian planes even left the ground. The videos making the rounds "proving" civilian casualties were made a full week before the first Russian airstrikes and were all carried by the western media.

This sort of like WTC7 reported collapsed as it stood in the background.

The problem with any person trying to make an accurate assessment as to what goes on here is we are being bombarded with falsehoods from Governments and the complicit media. If the data we collect as input are all lies our conclusions as to what goes on can not be justified.

It imperative we the reader try to filter out as much as the BS as possible and recognize that when our Governments speak about ISIS or Syria or why air strikes needed and what causes said conflicts that they are lying to us as a matter of course.

I would suggest as a starter that the CIA and USA are not backing "moderate rebels" as part of a failed policy. They are backing ISIS which had been successful as far as they are concerned until Russia asserted itself in the region.


It is very difficult to find news without any bias or plain mistakes. I know on the few topics that I have a real expertise on, the news outlets invariably get a good deal of it wrong. Bias or lazy reporting, one or the other.


Innocent liberals? I hope you are not including the neo-liberals in that group.


No way. A neoliberal is a former liberal that got rich and conservative.


Seems that the author forgets the Armenian Holocaust. 1 million Armenians killed by Turks and Kurds in 1915. Ah, well. The Turkish genocide of Armenians is not recognised as a genocide, is it? And the word Holocaust only applies to Jews, according to the Israeli government.


Worked early under a project manager who called it "creeping conservative republicanism" and who said it as though he was sure he was infected. Where the business of America is business he'd learned the best career route was to go along to get along. That's where I'm always falling off the ladder.