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The Growth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem

Today on Tablet

by
Marc Tracy
December 03, 2010

Benny Morris knows all about the Palestinian refugee issue: As much as any single person, the Israeli historian is responsible for establishing that most of the hundreds of thousands of Arabs who fled their homes during the 1947-8 conflict did so because of Israeli military attacks. Today in Tablet Magazine, he points to the millions of refugees today—some originals, most their descendants—and argues that the continued predominance of a belief in the “Right of Return” among the Palestinian leadership, both the radicals in Gaza and the more-moderates in the West Bank, has doomed the two-state solution, at least for the foreseeable future. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Morris says,

might sign off on “an end to the conflict” and “no more demands”—and most likely be assassinated by Arab extremists in consequence—but a majority of Palestinians, and certainly a large minority of them, would continue the struggle, rendering the agreement no more than a wind-blown piece of paper.

Er, happy Friday?

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.

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