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Posted by Dr. Salman Abu Sitta on August 7, 2001

Half a century has passed since the dispossession and expulsion of the Palestinians from their homes in 1948. This event shaped the history of the area ever since, and remains, until today, the major issue of Middle East politics.
In spite of five major wars, innumerable raids and attacks, coup d'etats and removal of rulers in all adjacent countries, this volatile issue remains unresolved. Palestinian rights have not been restored nor justice done.
Arguments on both sides of the conflict are loaded with propaganda. The Israelis, however, have been more skilful and powerful than the Arabs in presenting their views. They desperately needed to justify the conquest of land, and the expulsion of its people, and portray Israel's heroic image in the eyes of the West, from whom they derived material and moral support.
Recently, however, partly due to the release of Israeli documents, a number of Israeli historians have re-examined the events of 1948; notable among them: Morris ( 1987,1990), Shlaim, Segev, Pappe and Flapan.
In this monograph, we re-examine the events of the 1948 War, which led to the Palestinian Holocaust (al-Nakba) and derive some conclusions from them. We then examine the means to redress this injustice by applying the Right of Return. By demographic and other considerations, we show how it is possible to effect the return of the refugees with the minimum population dislocation, thus laying the foundation for a truly lasting peace.



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