Middle East Studies

Excellence in Scholarship and Learning


Peace Politics in the Middle East

The Palestinian Refugees
Old Problems – New Solutions

In the series
Peace Politics in the Middle East

Joseph Ginat, a cultural-political anthropologist, was Vice President of International Relations and Research at Netanya Academic College. He was the author of Blood Revenge: Family Honor, Mediation, and Outcasting, and editor of Sussex Studies in Peace Politics in the Middle East, as well as numerous contributions to social anthropology in the field of Mormon studies, and Arab culture.

Foreword by HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan
Preface by David L. Boren, President of the University of Oklahoma

There has been little progress on the refugee problem because of official Palestinian public positions, other Arab countries’ approach to the “right of return” of all Palestinian refugees, and the contrasting Israeli public policy of not allowing any refugees to return to Israel. Such polar-opposite approaches can never resolve this difficult and longstanding humanitarian problem. By working collectively, the world’s leading experts from Arab countries, the Palestinian Authority, Israel, Europe and the United States have developed a chessboard of proposed solutions.

The volume in part reflects the polarization that exists on the issue, and in part moves away from the political slogans of both sides, toward concrete proposals for negotiating a comprehensive agreement. Topics include: the historical background; the “right of return”, repatriation, compensation, and resettlement; the Jordanian viewpoint and national identity; the economic capacity of the future Palestinian state to absorb the refugees; the Palestinian refugee problem in the eyes of the Palestinian and Israeli–Jewish publics; and final status negotiations.

Published in association with the University of Oklahoma Press

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-902210-89-6
Hardback Price: £39.95
Release Date: September 2001
Page Extent / Format: 360 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan

David Boren, President of the University of Oklahoma


1 Introduction: Traditional Positions and New Solutions
Joseph Ginat and Edward J. Perkins

PART I The Historical Background and the "Right of Return"
2 The Historical Background
Yoav Gelber

3 Between the Right of Return and Attempts of Resettlement
Mohamed Hawary

4 From a Doctrine-Oriented to a Solution-Oriented Policy: The PLO's "Right of Return," 1964–2000
Menachem Klein

5 The Political Refugee Problem in the Light of the Peace Process
Manuel Hassassian

6 Early US Policy toward Palestinian Refugees: The Syria Option
Joshua Landis

Comprehensive Solutions
7 Refugee Compensation: Responsibility, Recipients, and Forms and Sources
Don Peretz

8 Refugee Compensation: Why the Parties Have Been Unable to Agree and Why it is Important to Compensate Refugees for Losses
Emanuel Marx

9 Traditional Positions and New Solutions
Moshe Ma'oz

10 Actual Repatriation: A Minimal Israeli Gesture
Donna E. Arzt

Regional Context Perspectives
11 From Refugees to Citizens: A Regional Proposal
Joseph Ginat and Dale F. Eickelman

12 Palestinian Refugees in Jordan and National Identity, 1948–1999
Mohanna Haddad

13 Final Status Negotiations and Regional Cooperation
Taisir Amre

14 Refugee Resettlement in the Gaza Strip: Israeli Policy Revisited
Norma Masrieh-Hazboun

15 Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon since 1982
Kais M. Firro

16 The Future of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
Laura Drake

PART II Policy Positions and Solutions
17 Solving the Refugee Problem – An Israeli Point of View
Shlomo Gazit

18 A Predicament in Search of an Innovative Solution
Munther S. Dajani

19 The Historical Development of the Refugee Camps in Jordan
Hussein Ramzoun

20 The Role of UNRWA: Refugee Statistics and UN Resolutions
Abraham Badran

21 A Jordanian Perspective
Rateb Amro

22 The Refugee Question and Human Rights
Bahieldin Elibrachy

23 Obstacles and Opportunities: The Ideological Dimensions
Tahseen Basheer

24 The Economic Capacity of the Palestinian State to Absorb the Refugees: The Employment Perspective
Onn Winckler

Public Opinion Polling
25 How the Palestinian and Israeli-Jewish Publics Perceive the Issues
Ephraim Yuchtman-Yaar and Tamar Hermann

Concluding Remarks
Joseph Ginat and Edward J. Perkins

The Contributors

The editors note that the refugee debate is polarised between the Palestinian/Arab view that all refugees should be allowed to return to their original homes inside Israel, and the Israeli view that no refugees should return to Israel. The editors and contributors argue the case for ‘realistic proposals for solving the refugee problem’, but most of the contributors endorse at least in principle Palestinian maximal demands for a right of return … Shlomo Gazit is willing to financially compensate the refugees, but opposes any return to Israel … Yoav Gelber argues insightfully that the respective Palestinians and Israeli arguments about solutions are based on totally different cultural assumptions. The Israelis favour resettlement, which is the traditional European approach to refugee populations, while the Arabs favour repatriation, which is the traditional pattern in the Middle East.
The Australian Jewish News

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