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The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited
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  • Cited by 13
  • 2nd edition
  • Benny Morris, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
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Book description

Benny Morris' The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem was published in 1988. Its startling revelations about how and why 700,000 Palestinians left their homes and became refugees during the Arab-Israeli war in 1948 undermined traditional interpretations as to whether they left voluntarily or were expelled as part of a systematic plan. This book represents a revised edition of the earlier work, compiled on the basis of newly-opened Israeli military archives. While the focus remains the 1948 war and the analysis of the Palestinian exodus, the new material contains more information about what happened in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Haifa, and how events there led to the collapse of Palestinian urban society. It also sheds light on the battles and atrocities that resulted in the disintegration of rural communities. The story is a harrowing one. The refugees now number four million and their existence remains a major obstacle to peace.


'The book is thorough, shocking, and based upon the highest standard of historical research.'

Source: Journal of Peace Research

'When published in 1988, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem was the first serious history of one of the central issues behind the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A revised edition following the opening up of Israeli state archives for the period, examines in greater detail the actual events behind the flight of Palestinians from Jerusalem, Jaffa and Haifa.'

Source: Jewish Chronicle

Review of the first edition‘… The most comprehensive and detailed study yet published on the Palestinian refugees.’

Source: The Economist

Review of the first edition‘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.’

Source: The Spectator

Review of the first edition‘Mr Morris … is a rare combination of journalist and painstaking research historian, whose thorough use of Israeli, British and American archives - many of the materials unavailable until now - has enabled him to present a definitive history of his subject.’

Source: The New York Times Book Review

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