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The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited

The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited

2nd Edition


Part of Cambridge Middle East Studies

  • Author: Benny Morris, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
  • Date Published: January 2004
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521009676

£ 46.99

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Revised edition of controversial history challenging traditional Zionist mythology that Palestinians left their homeland voluntarily in 1948
    • Newly opened Israeli military and intelligence documentation sheds light on one of the most harrowing episodes of the Arab-Israel conflict
    • Author, considered to be the first of the revisionist Israeli historians, is a well-known critic of both Israeli and Palestinian policies
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    Reviews & endorsements

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

    Review of the first edition '… The most comprehensive and detailed study yet published on the Palestinian refugees.' 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.' 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.' The New York Times Book Review

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: January 2004
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521009676
    • length: 666 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 152 x 38 mm
    • weight: 0.98kg
    • contains: 3 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Background
    2. 'Transfer': thinking in Zionism before 1948
    3. The first stage of the exodus, November 1947–March 1948
    4. The second stage of the exodus, April-June, 1948
    5. The third stage of the exodus,'The Ten Days', July 1948
    6. Deciding against a return of the refugees
    7. Preventing a return
    8. The fourth stage of the exodus, October- November 1948
    9. Clearing the borders
    10. Solving the refugee problem: the failure to reach agreement and a solution, 1949

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Arab - Israeli Conflict
  • Author

    Benny Morris, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
    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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