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Al Nakba by Brunner, Benny

Al Nakba is a term meaning "cataclysm" or "the catastrophe". It is the term with which Palestinians usually refer to the refugee flight of the Palestinian Arabs during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, or more specifically the,Palestinian exodus. During the war of 1948, many Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes in the part of the land that would become the State of Israel to other parts of the land or to neighbouring countries. The documentary 'Al Nakba' by Israeli director Benny Brunner is a detailed account of these historic events.

Social Interest
The Palestinian exodus, along with the parallel Jewish exodus from Arab lands, and the resulting Palestinian refugee problem remain a central and controversial topic in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. The number of refugees who fled or were expelled is hotly debated. Estimates range from a low-end figure of around 400,000 claimed by the Israeli government, to over 950,000 according to some Arab sources and human rights organizations. The official UN estimate is 711,000.

Historic Interest
Jewish immigration into the Land of Israel/Palestine under the Ottoman rule and later under British mandate increased tensions between the Jewish population and the Arab population in the region. By the end of World War II, the conflict became a major international issue. The United Nations, the United States, and the Soviet Union were determined to initiate a two-state solution. The UN mandated partition was put into effect in 1948, but was rejected by the Palestinians and many Arab states.

Political Interest
After the holocaust the world was intent on creating a Jewish state. As a result the UN created a partion plan that divided the British Mandate of Palestine into two states, Jewish and Arab, The Arab leadership (in and out of Palestine) opposed the plan, arguing that it violated the rights of the majority of the people in Palestine, which at the time was 67% non-Jewish (1,237,000) and 33% Jewish (608,000). Arab leaders also argued a large number of Arabs would be trapped in the Jewish State as a minority. The Arab refusal to accept the partition plan led to the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

Current Palestinian refugee count
Current Palestinian refugee counts include (source wikipedia 2007):

  • Jordan 1,827,877 refugees
  • Gaza 986,034 refugees
  • West Bank 699,817 refugees
  • Syria 432,048 refugees
  • Lebanon 404,170 refugees
  • Saudi Arabia 240,000 refugees
  • Egypt 70,245 refugees

    About the Producer
    Benny Brunner is an Israeli-Dutch filmmaker based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jewish and Israeli modern history, and inspiring individuals are the subject matters of his films. Brunner has written, directed, and produced documentary films internationally since mid-1980s. He does not believe in "objectivity" in documentary filmmaking, especially in times of conflict, when people are killed in the name of ideology. His political stand in the century old struggle between Arabs and Jews in Palestine-Israel is clearly reflected in his films.

    Buy the DVD
    Either send us an e-mail ( or contact Benny Brunner (Tel. + 31 20 6277859

  • Director
    Brunner, Benny
    Copyright Holder
    Xela Films
    53 min.
    Year of release
    English dubbed

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