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Palestinian Refugees, the Nation, and the Shifting Political Landscape
Social Alternatives (2013)
  • Randa R Farah, Dr., Western University

This article briefly examines the historical causes that led to the uprooting of the Palestinians in 1948, who today represent one of the longest and largest refugee situations in contemporary history. It then draws on field research on refugees in Jordan to trace some of the pertinent political and ideological shifts since the Palestinian Nakba. Its emphasis is on refugee camps, approached here as palimpsests refracting different historical periods, which for the purpose of this article are divided into: the Nasserite period in the 1950s and early 1960s, the heyday of the Palestinian national liberation movement, beginning in the mid-1960s, and the Oslo period in the early 1990s and its aftermath, including reflections on the effects of the ongoing Arab uprisings. It argues that the historical perspective reveals that the refugee right of return is at the core of the Palestinian national question, and its marginalization in the 'peace' process has been detrimental to the Palestinian national cause in general. Because the article covers a long historical period, it is by no means comprehensive, but hopes to give a snapshot of important historical junctures to help raise relevant questions about the present and future of Palestinian refugees.

  • Palestinian refugees,
  • camps,
  • history,
  • nationalism,
  • PLO,
  • Israel,
  • ethnic cleansing,
  • Islamization,
  • Arab "Spring",
  • Arab uprisings,
  • Arab nationalism
Publication Date
Citation Information
Randa R Farah. "Palestinian Refugees, the Nation, and the Shifting Political Landscape" Social Alternatives Vol. 32 Iss. 3 (2013)
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