The struggle over the historical record and popular memory of 1948 has reached the Internet. A number of websites and posted materials devoted to the Palestinian experience in 1948 known as the nakba (national catastrophe) offer a wealth of information to counter the virtual media silence about the victims of Israel’s independence. Two comprehensive nakba websites have been created by the Arab Studies Society in Jerusalem ( and the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center in Ramallah (, both of which provide historical accounts of the nakba, survivors’ testimonies, chronologies and photo galleries. The Birzeit University home page ( is a valuable starting point for locating more websites and materials relating to the nakba and maintains a comprehensive guide to Palestinian websites ( Birzeit University’s Center for Research and Documentation of Palestinian Society has a website devoted to the documentation of the 415 destroyed Palestinian villages in 1948 (www.birzeit.edukrdps/village.html). The massacre and expulsion of the Palestinians of the village of Dayr Yasin is commemorated by an online information center called Deir Yassin Remembered ( The plight of the Palestinian refugees of 1948 and their dispersion around the world is dealt with by the Shaml Palestinian Diaspora and Refugee Centre website ( Finally, the Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment (LAW) ( has a special section of its website dedicated to its conference “50 Years of Human Rights Violations: Palestinians Dispossessed,” which catalogues the myriad human rights abuses and Israeli distortions of the last 50 years.

The Israeli government offers its own self-congratulatory account of 1948, unblemished by any mention of Palestinian dispossession and suffering, in the official “Israel at Fifty” website ( The very existence of a Palestinian counter-narrative of the events of 1948 has generated the predictable rise of “nakba denial” among threatened Zionists such as the Zionist Organization of America ( which has posted on its website a revisionist account of the events around Dayr Yasin entitled “Deir Yassin: History of a Lie” (

How to cite this article:

Steve Niva "Countering Israel’s Fiftieth on the Internet," Middle East Report 207 (Summer 1998).

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