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The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949

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This book is the first full-length study of the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem. Based on recently declassified Israeli, British and American state and party political papers and on hitherto untapped private papers, it traces the stages of the 1947–9 exodus against the backdrop of the first Arab-Israeli war and analyses the varied causes of the flight. The Jewish and Arab decision-making involved, on national and local levels, military and political, is described and explained, as is the crystallisation ...
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Overview

This book is the first full-length study of the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem. Based on recently declassified Israeli, British and American state and party political papers and on hitherto untapped private papers, it traces the stages of the 1947–9 exodus against the backdrop of the first Arab-Israeli war and analyses the varied causes of the flight. The Jewish and Arab decision-making involved, on national and local levels, military and political, is described and explained, as is the crystallisation of Israel's decision to bar a refugee repatriation. The subsequent fate of the abandoned Arab villages, lands and urban neighbourhoods is examined. The study looks at the international context of the war and the exodus, and describes the political battle over the refugees' fate, which effectively ended with the deadlock at Lausanne in summer 1949. Throughout the book attempts to describe what happened rather than what successive generations of Israeli and Arab propagandists have said happened, and to explain the motives of the protagonists.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This excellent myth-debunking book … deserves a wide readership among those who want to understand what has happened in Israel over the last 40 years rather than repeat discredited propaganda which serves only to prolong the war.' The Spectator

'This latest addition to the Cambridge Middle East Library is a book of exceptional importance. It will be required reading for anyone who professes a serious interest in the Arab-Israeli conflict over Palestine. Its conclusions, which invalidate many of the assumptions commonly made about the origins of the conflict, need to be taken into account in any attempt to devise a solution to it.' Arab Affairs

'… the most comprehensive and detailed study yet published on the Palestinian refugees.' The Economist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521338899
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1987
  • Series: Cambridge Middle East Library Series , #15
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Benny Morris is Professor of History in the Middle East Studies Department, Ben-Gurion University. He is an outspoken commentator on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and is one of Israel's premier revisionist historians. His publications include Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-1999 (2001), and Israel's Border Wars, 1949-56 (1997).

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Table of Contents

List of maps; Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Maps; Introduction; 1. Background; 2. The first wave: the Arab exodus, December 1947–March 1948; 3. The second wave: the mass exodus, April–June 1948; 4. Deciding against a return of the refugees, April–December 1948; 5. Blocking a return; 6. The third wave: the ten days (9–18 July 1948) and the Second Truce (18 July–15 October); 7. The fourth wave: the battles and exodus of October–November 1948; 8. Clearing the borders: expulsions and population transfers, November 1948–July 1949; 9. Solving the refugee problem, December 1948–September 1949; Conclusion; Appendix I: The number of Palestinian refugees; Appendix II: Biographical notes; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
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