The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 by Benny Morris
(Cambridge Middle East Library)

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Benny Morris

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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).
 
Published March 25, 1988 by Cambridge University Press. 400 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

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