In November 1947, the Arab population of the Galilee was approximately 210,000. The vast majority were Palestinian Arabs – with the number of Arab Muslims estimated about 169,000, Arab Christians about 29,000, and Druze about 10,700. At the end of the 1948 war, only an estimated 100,000 Palestinians, in just 70 out of 220 Arab localities, remained in the Galilee, having survived the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
In no other part of Palestine occupied by Israel in 1948 was so significant a portion of Palestinians (almost half) spared the experience of expulsion and exile.
The challenges of resistance and survival facing the people living in rural Galilee were rarely noticed by the urban Palestinian leadership, and the resilience of many Palestinian families in the Galilee is a fascinating story still largely absent from the Nakba narratives. This paper proposes to shed light on the daily experiences of Palestinians during the later stage of the Nakba in northern Palestine.The micro-histories of Majd al-Kurum and its adjacent villages during the later phase of the 1948 war and after have much to teach us about the meaning of the Nakba in the daily experiences of refugees and non-refugees in the Galilee.
In this paper I rely heavily on the broader research undertaken for my recent book Nakba and Survival to delve into the realities of the people of Majd al-Kurum before and immediately after its surrender to the Israeli Army on 30 October 1948.
Keywords: Resistance; survival; central Galilee; Nakba; Operation Hiram; Majd al-Kurum; expulsion; Return; elections.