A new book, Rosemarie M. Esber’s Under the Cover of War: The Zionist Expulsion of the Palestinians, presents 1948 history as it really happened as opposed to how Zionists would like to white-wash events:
During the civil war period [early 1948], Esber writes, “Zionist Jewish military organizations forced more than 400,000 Palestinian Arab inhabitants from their homes in about 225 villages, towns and cities in Palestine.” That comprises approximately half of the total number of Palestinians made refugees during the creation of the State of Israel, as well as half of the depopulated Palestinian cities and villages, the latter largely destroyed as part of the systematic campaign to erase Palestinian society.
Israel’s official narrative has long held that the “refugee problem” was the result of a war sparked in the wake of Israel’s 14 May 1948 “declaration of independence” on the eve of the British withdrawal, and what Israel describes as an Arab invasion designed to extinguish the nascent state. The implication of this claim is that had the Arab states not invaded on 15 May, Palestinians might not have become refugees. But given the sheer scale of the expulsions prior to May 1948, the Arab intervention might more accurately be described as a long overdue and ineffectual attempt to halt a well-planned campaign of ethnic cleansing that had been proceeding unchecked for months.