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At Issue: The Palestinian Refugee Issue: Rhetoric vs. Reality

Sidney Zabludoff
Jewish Political Studies Review
Vol. 20, No. 1/2 (Spring 2008), pp. 43-56
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25834776
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
At Issue: The Palestinian Refugee Issue: Rhetoric vs. Reality
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Abstract

The sixty-year-old Palestinian refugee issue has little connection with reality. It has become solely a bargaining chip used by Arabs and Palestinians in peace talks with Israel and, as such, is a distraction from the real issues of terrorism and boundaries. Indeed, continuing to call Palestinians refugees is a misnomer. They no longer live in tents or temporary quarters. In addition, the Palestinian refugee issue is unique. Since 1920 all other major refugee crises involving the exchange of religious or ethnic populations, while creating hardships, were dealt with in a single generation. Meanwhile, issues such as the "right of return" and compensation were never adequately resolved and were largely forgotten. The same pattern evolved for Jews who fled Middle Eastern and North African countries, even though their number was some 50 percent larger than Palestinian refugees and the difference in individual assets lost was even greater.

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