To conclude Al Jazeera's special coverage of the 60th anniversary of the creation of Israel - an event known to Palestinians as al Nakba (catastrophe) - senior political analyst Marwan Bishara hosts a debate examining why the events of 1948 still have wide-ranging political ramifications today.

He explains what The Continuing Catastrophe will aim to achieve.

What do you hope to achieve on another  programme on the 60th anniversary of Israeli independence and the Palestinian Nakba?

For the last few weeks, Al Jazeera has provided unprecedented coverage of the 60th anniversary of Israeli independence and the resulting Palestinian Nakba.

The news events and documentaries have highlighted both Israeli and Palestinian narratives and underlined the resulting humanitarian catastrophe suffered by the Palestinians.

Through this programme we want to explain why history continues to repeat itself. During a studio discussion, we will examine why the events are still important.

Why The Continuing Catastrophe?

60 Years of Division


Watch Al Jazeera's special programmes on 1948

The reason we chose the title is because, in the opinion of Palestinians, their tragedy has been unending since 1948.

Sixty years on displaced Palestinians continue to live either under occupation, or in squalid refugees camps scattered throughout the Middle East.

Beyond the human rights issues,  what relevance does an event that happened 60 years ago, have today?

The tragedy of the region is that history repeats itself over and over and over. It is a continuing flashpoint for instability in the wider Middle East.

Why should the rest of the world be interested in this tiny piece of land, without oil, whose suffering is far below that of places like Iraq, and the natural disasters that have recently occurred in Myanmar and China?

Western intervention in the region, both geo-politically, and geo-economically has consistently backed Israel, and this has polarised relations between the Arab and Muslim worlds and the West. This has dangerous ramifications for the entire world.

Who will be taking part in the discussion?

The array of guests will include some of the smartest minds, writers and thinkers who will offer a nuanced understanding of what is presented as a very complex situation in order to clarify both the challenges, and possible solutions to the 60 year old conflict.

Watch part one of The Continuing Catastrophe

Watch part two of The Continuing Catastrophe

Watch part three of The Continuing Catastrophe

Watch part four of The Continuing Catastrophe

The Continuing Catastrophe aired on May 24, 2008


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Source: Al Jazeera