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On the Trail and Trial of a Palestinian Diaspora: Mapping South America in the Arab–Israeli Conflict, 1967–1972


Centred around a May 1970 shooting at the Israeli embassy in Asunción, this article traces a chain of actions and reactions that began with Israel's victory in the Six-Day War in June 1967 and ended after the June 1972 verdict of a Paraguayan court regarding two Palestinians. Situated among Israeli officials, Palestinian refugees and Syrian-Lebanese elites, authoritarian Paraguay was not only encompassed by but also accommodated the post-1967 Arab–Israeli conflict, revealing the connection between the ‘areas’ of South America and the Middle East through ideas about relocating Palestinians as well as their actual displacement.

Spanish Abstract

Concentrándose en los disparos contra la embajada israelí en Asunción en mayo de 1970, este artículo rastrea una cadena de acciones y reacciones que empezaron con la victoria israelí en la ‘Guerra de los Seis Días’ en junio de 1967 y terminaron con un veredicto paraguayo en relación a dos palestinos en junio de 1972. Rodeado por las autoridades israelíes, los refugiados palestinos y las élites sírio-libanesas, el Paraguay autoritario logró contener el conflicto árabe-israelí después de 1967, revelando la conexión entre las ‘áreas’ de Sudamérica y el Medio Oriente a través de las ideas acerca de la reubicación de palestinos así como de su verdadero desplazamiento.

Portuguese abstract

Focalizando no tiroteio ocorrido na embaixada israelense em Assunção em maio de 1970, este artigo traça uma sequência de ações e reações que começou com a vitória de Israel na ‘Guerra dos Seis Dias’ em junho de 1967 e terminou após o veredicto da justiça paraguaia sobre dois palestinos em junho de 1972. Cercado por autoridades israelenses, refugiados palestinos e elites sírio-libanesas, o Paraguai autoritário conseguiu conter o conflito árabe-israelense pós-1967, revelando assim as conexões entre as ‘áreas’ da América do Sul e do oriente médio através de idéias sobre o reassentamento de palestinos e sua diáspora real.

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Andrew Nickson , ‘Tyranny and Longevity: Stroessner's Paraguay’, Third World Quarterly, 10: 1 (1988), pp. 237–59

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José David Saldívar , The Dialectics of Our America: Genealogy, Cultural Critique, and Literary History (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991)

Paul Sondrol , ‘Totalitarian and Authoritarian Dictators: A Comparison of Fidel Castro and Alfredo Stroessner’, Journal of Latin American Studies, 23: 3 (1991), p. 617

Andrew Nickson , ‘The Overthrow of the Stroessner Regime: Re-Establishing the Status Quo’, Bulletin of Latin American Research, 8: 2 (1989), pp. 185209

Paul Sondrol , ‘The Emerging New Politics of Liberalizing Paraguay: Sustained Civil–Military Control Without Democracy’, Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, 34: 2 (1992), p. 141

John Tofik Karam , ‘Anti-Semitism from the Standpoint of its Arab Victims in a South American Border Zone’, Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, 6: 2 (2011), pp. 144–67

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Journal of Latin American Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-216X
  • EISSN: 1469-767X
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-latin-american-studies
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