|Annotated Hebrew Sources on Palestinian Refugees|
Pta-im be-milkud: 30 shnot mediniyut Yisrael ba-shtahim
2. Grossman, David. Nokhahim nifkadim [Sleeping on a Wire (sic)]. Tel-Aviv: Ha-Kibbutz ha-Meuhad, 1992 (250 pp.).
3. Hass, Amira. Li-shtot me-ha-yam shel ‘Azza [Drinking the Sea at Gaza (sic)]. Tel-Aviv: Ha-Kibbutz ha-Meuhad, 1996 ( 375 pp.).
Falastinim, ‘Am be-hivatsruto: Le-min ha-mered neged Muhammad ‘Ali ve-’ad le-khinun ha-Rashut ha-Leumit
Lidata shel be’ayat ha-plitim ha-Falastinim, 1947-1949
7. Rubinstein, Danny. Hibuk ha-teena: “Zkhut ha-shiva” shel ha-Falastinim. [The Fig Tree Embrace: The Palestinians’ “Right of Return”]. Jerusalem: Keter, 1990.
Shomrim ‘al ha-kerem: Majd El-Korum kemashal
19. Kimmerling, Baruch. “Al-Nakbah” [The Nakbah], Teorya u-Bikoret [Theory and Criticism], 12-13 (1998):33-38.
21. Morris, Benny. “Transfer Ziyoni” [A Zionist Transfer], Svivot [Environments], 31 (1993):67-75.
23. Nizeri, Michael. “Al-Nakba (The Palestinian Catastrophe)”, Jama’a, 3(1998):119-124.
André Elias Mazawi
Scope of the bibliography
The present annotated bibliography, which is concerned primarily with Palestinian refugees, covers Hebrew publications between January 1990 and summer 1999. It includes: books, book chapters, scholarly articles, magazine articles, unpublished dissertations, research reports, human rights reports and newspaper reports.
The broadest possible working definition was adopted for the term “refugees”. It refers to the following four basic components:
(a) Palestinians uprooted from their place of residence under diverse military and political circumstances since 1948, and, while residing within or outside mandatory Palestine, are unable to return to their place of residence and/or dispense their rights over their property;
(b) Palestinian individual deportees exiled outside mandatory Palestine by official orders or commands since 1948;
(c) Palestinian individuals deprived of residence status, or stripped of citizenship, and prevented from residing in various parts of mandatory Palestine, or displaced from their customary place of residence whether within mandatory Palestine or in other places in which they have come to live;
(d) Palestinian individuals or groups in Israel, or on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, who were deported from their customary habitat to other locations within their respective area.
While the term “refugee” refers to all those who were uprooted during the last half century or so, following current practice in the post-Oslo period the 1948 uprooted are referrd to as refugees of 1948, and those uprooted in 1967 as “displaced”.
The adoption of such a broad definition has several justifications.
First, it enables to present the refugees problem as a total experience, involving both individuals, groups and entire communities.
Secondly, refugeedom - as deprivation of a set of basic human rights - was experienced under diverse circumstances, military and political. These refer to government policies undertaken outside the frame and circumstances of military hostilities. For instance, regional planning, urbanization schemes, military security arguments, resources allocation policies and court verdicts become relevant.
Thirdly, a broad definition enables the depiction of the refugees problem as a continued reality, which evolves and is shapped by ongoing political processes and their ramifications in diverse social, political and regional contexts.
The bibliography includes 274 items, as shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Distribution of entries by category
About two thirds of the items were published mostly in the daily press, particularly Ha-Aretz. Books, book chapters, scholarly articles, dissertations and research reports included about one fifth of the items. About 16 percent of the items were published in leftist magazines such as Mi-Tsad Sheni. while human rights reports accounted for less than 2.5 percent.
Each bibliographic entry is numbered and has a detailed reference which provides a transliterated reading of its original Hebrew title and source. The transliteration is followed by an English translation of the title. Where English titles were available in the original Hebrew publication, they are marked “(sic)”. Each item has also a brief summary of its essential claims and arguments. Where direct quotations were made from the text, they appear in brackets. Furthermore, each entry was assigned several descriptive keywords.
For both practical and budgetary considerations, several potential sources were not included in the present annotated bibliography. These sources include:
(a) rulings of Israel’s High Court of Justice and of lower courts
(b) internal ministerial and other unpublished official reports
(c) Hebrew Internet-based documents and sites
(d) encyclopedia entries
(e) memoirs of officials
(f) works of fiction
(g) local or regional newspapers and other popular magazines
(h) audiovisual material
(i) items which were not available for review due to missing
archival records (mainly some newspaper items on microfilm).
These will be included in the alphabetic listing in the
It should be noted that, in the case of newspaper reports, the period July-September 1999 was covered selectively, as the project was warping up and lists were ‘closed’. Any future updating of the present bibliography should take 1 June 1999 as the starting date.
I wish to thank Ms. Thérèse Mtanès, graduate student in Labor Studies at Tel-Aviv University, for her relentless and systematic assistance in identifying and reproducing the listed material.
1. Gazit, Shlomo. ^ [Trapped: Thirty Years of Israeli Policy in the Territories]. Tel-Aviv: Zmora Bitan Publishers, 1999 (344 pp. + 15 colored maps].
Written by the first Coordinator of the Israeli government in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, the book reviews Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip following the June 1967 war. Gazit also reviews secret talks and contacts undertaken between Israeli and Palestinian personalities, Israel’s attempts to create an alternative leadership to the PLO and its policies regarding refugees and refugee camps under various ministers.
Israeli policies, politics, occupied territories.
Encounters between the author and Arabs within Israel. Arabs narrate their 1948 memories and experiences, their post-1948 adaptation to the new social and political reality.
An Israeli journalist, Amira Hass counts her first-hand encounter experience with the Gaza Strip, its people, and the Israeli military and civilian administration since the early 1990s. She describes Israeli policies in Gaza, particularly regarding the refugee camps and attempts at resettlement. Her account is a vivid description of a daily reality shadowed by occupation, poverty, humiliation and resistance to an occupation which has subjugated the Gaza Strip to total Israeli economic and political interests.
Gaza (city), Israeli policies, living conditions.
4. Kimmerling, Baruch & Migdal, Yoel Shmuel. ^ [Palestinians, a People in the Making: From the Great Revolt Against Muhammad ‘Ali and Till the Establishment of the National Authority]. Tel-Aviv: Keter Publishers, 1999 (Photos, maps, app., 320 pp.).
This is an updated and revised publication based on chapters 1-9 of the original English version published in 1993 by Free Press and in 1994 by Harvard University Press. The book reviews the major events in Palestinian history from the 1830s to the Israeli 1996 elections. In the second part, the authors review the meanings and implications of the 1948 Nakba for Palestinians and the formation of refugees (maps on pp. 135-136). In the third part the authors discuss issues related to the Palestinian diaspora and life conditions of Palestinians in refugee camps, the emergence of Palestinian resistance and guerrilla warfare, Israeli military occupation, the Intifada and their percolation into the Oslo accords and the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority.
Social history, refugees negotiations, revolt.
5. Morris, Benny. ^ [The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949]. Tel-Aviv: ‘Am ‘Oved, 1991 (596 pp.).
This is an updated and revised edition of the original English version published in 1987 by Cambridge University Press.
Israeli policies, social history, refugees, refugee camps, causes of dispersion, deportation, transfer, military operations.
6. Rabinowitz, Danny. ^ [Anthropology and the Palestinians]. Studies on the Palestinian Society. Kav ha-Tefer Series. Beit-Berl: The Institute for Israeli Arab Studies, 1998 (232 pp.).
The Author, an anthropologist affiliated to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, critically reviews the major trends of anthropological research concerned with the Palestinians since the mid-19th century. The book discusses, diachronically, the emergence of major anthropological currents interested in Palestinian society, refugees, political activism and resistance and nation-building.
The book reviews the distinct strategies developed by Palestinians following the 1948 Nakba to express their steadfastness and attachment to the land, their identity and their desire to be repatriated to their homeland. Drawing on, among other things, Palestinian poetry, the author discusses its contribution to the articulation of the right of return and the emergence of distinct forms of Palestinian activism.
Fiction, right of return.
8. Yiftahel, Oren. ^ [Watching Over the Wine-Yard: The Example of Majd al Korum (sic)]. Kav ha-Tefer Series. Beit-Berl: The Institute for Israeli Arab Studies, 1997 (Photos, maps, tables, 127 pp).
Written by a political geographer affiliated to Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, the study discusses regional planning in Israel, its political scope and mechanisms of land expropriation and alienation of the Arab population. Choosing Majd El Krum as a case study, the author reviews the major planning practices used to exert social and political control over the local population and affect the regional demographic balance.
Majd El Krum (village), Israeli policies, regional planning.
9. Goren, Tamir. “Ha-manhigut ha-‘Aravit beyn ha-pikud ha-Briti la-Hagana ve-toldot ha-masa u-matan ‘al mismakh ha-kni’a shel ‘Arviyey Haifa” [The Arab Leadership Between the British Commandment and the Hagana and the History of the Negotiation over the Surrender Document of Haifa’s Arabs], in: Yossi Ben-Artsi (ed), Haifa: Historya Mekomit [Haifa: A Local History], pp. 183-214. Haifa: Haifa University & Zmora Bitan, 1998.
The article discusses the circumstances leading to the surrender of the Arab community of Haifa and its ultimate departure. The role of the British authorities in the overwhole process is critically reviewed. It appears that the local Arab leadership was under British pressures and the failure of British policies in this regard contributed to its final collapse. A reproduction of a version of the final surrender document is appended.
Haifa (city), exodus.
10. Mahmud, Sa’id. “Hishtaknut plitey pnim ba-kfarim ha-‘arviyim bi-tsfon ha-aretz” [The settlement of internal refugees in the Arab villages in the north of the country], in: David Grossman and Aviono’am Meir (eds), ha-Yishuv ha-‘Aravi be-Yisrael: Tahlikhim geografiyim [The Arab Settlements in Israel: Geographical Processes], pp. 150-165. Ramat Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press, Beer Sheba: Ben Gurion University Press and Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1994.
The chapter reviews the issue of internal refugees and their settlement patterns in various Galilean localities. Israeli policies towards internal refugees have varied between repatriation, resettlement and compensation. The patterns of settlement of internal refugees in their host villages are then reviewed for ‘Arabeh, Kafr Caboul, Rameh and Tamra. It is pointed that internal refugees have remained quite isolated in their host villages, and have developed a distinctive identity as internal refugees.
Internal refugees, Israeli policies, regional planning, ‘Arabeh (village), Rameh (village), Kafr Caboul (village), Tamra (village).
11. Milstein, Uri & his friends (sic) “Gerush pe’iley ha-Hamas li-Levanon” [The deportation of Hamas activists to Lebanon], in: Uri Milstein and friends (sic)], Mimshal hadash le-Yisrael: Halufa intellectualit-politit [New Administration for Israel: An Intellectual-Political Alternative], pp. 97-118. “Survival” Publishing House, 1993.
The chapter discusses the reasons and aims behind the deportation of Palestinian activists into Lebanon in 1992 by the Rabin government. The chapter reproduces a roundtable debate between Milstein and others on this issue, and retraces the positions of various parties to the coalition.
Israeli policies, deportation.
12. Peres, Shim’on. “Ba’ayat ha-plitim”, in his Ha-mizrah ha-tichon he-hadash [The New Middle East, a Framework and Processes: Towards an Era of Peace], pp. 156-165. Benei-Brak: Steimazky, 1993.
While reiterating the moral and historical rightness of the Zionist position over Palestine, the chapter, written by Israel’s foreign minister at the signing of the Oslo accords, calls for an agreed, fair and reasonable resolution of the refugees problem. Operatively, the author proposes a three-staged discussion of the issue: the negotiations stage, the interim status stage and the final status agreement. Specific actions for the resolution of the issue could be undertaken during each stage. The alleviation of living conditions within refugee camps could be undertaken during the negotiations stage. During the interim status stage, the building of an economic infrastructure and physical rehabilitation of refugees localities is called for. Finally, after reaching a final status agreement, there would be more space for a limited re-unification of families from both sides of the green line, as well as for entry into the Palestinian entity of diaspora Palestinians.
Resolution, Israeli policies, Oslo accords, Shimon Peres, refugee camps, Zionism, family re-unification.
13. Yahya, ‘Adel. “Tafkid mahanot ha-plitim” [The Role of the Refugee Camps], in: Swirsky, Shlomo & Pape, Ilan (eds). Ha-Intifada: Mabat mi-bifnim [The Intifada: A Look From the Inside], pp. 141-155. Tel-Aviv: Breirot, 1992.
Translation from the English original “The role of the refugee camps”, edited by Jamal R. Nassar and Roger Heacock, Intifada - Palestine at the Crossroads (New York, Praeger, 1990).
Refugee camps, living conditions, Intifada, Israel, political movements, politics.
14. Abu-Samra, Muhammad. “Mediniyut Yisrael bi-sheelat ha-plitim ha-Falastiniyim, 1948-1949” [Israel’s Policy Towards Palestinian Refugees, 1948-1949], Be’ayot Beyn Leumiyot, Hevra u-Medina [International Issues, Society and State], 31 (1992):50-64.
Based on his MA thesis, the author reviews the Israeli policies and practices over the issue of refugees during the years 1948-1949. The reluctance to accept refugees into its territory, motivated Ben Gurion and the Israeli government to avoid any significant progress over this issue. The study reviews major considerations in Israeli foreign policy, as well as various resettlement plans.
Politics, Israeli policies, resolution.
15. Bracha, Oren. “Safek miskenim, safek mesukanim: ha-mistanenim, ha-hok u-Beyt ha-Mishpat ha-’Elyon 1948-1954” [Miserables or Dangerous ?: The Infiltrators, the Law and the High Court of Justice 1948-1954], ‘Iyuney Mishpat [Law Studies], 21 (1998):333-385.
This study discusses the positions of the Israeli High Court with regard to Palestinian refugees who would cross the borders (infiltrate) into Israel for a variety of reasons during the years 1948-1954. The author reviews Israeli attitudes towards infiltrators as well as the legal framework through which the issue was handled by the authorities. Petitions made by infiltrators were undertaken for the obtention of an Israeli identity card or citizenship and in view of revoking deportation orders. In its verdicts the Israeli High Court of Justice made several distinctions. Basically, the Court distinguished between forced deportation and voluntary departure of the petitioner. Yet, it further examined other aspects related to the petitioner’s right to approach the Court. The author then discusses how ideological, political and social considerations found their way into the Court’s decisions in this regard.
Legal aspects, infiltrators.
16. Golan, Arnon. “Mimsad, plitey milhama, ‘olim: ha-‘itsuv mehadash shel ha-merhav ha-‘ironi be-milhamet ha-‘atsmaut ve-ahareyha” [Establishment, War Refugees and Immigrants: The Re-planning of the Urban Landscape During the War of Independence and Afterwards], Mehakarim be-Geografya shel Eretz-Yisrael [Studies in the Geography of Palestine], 15 (1998):28-46.
A critical study of the integration of the Palestinian villages of Yazur and Jamassin into the greater metropolitan area of Tel-Aviv during the war of 1948 and in its aftermath. This integration process reveals the unequal power structure between the establishment representing the Jewish majority, and subordinate groups of immigrants and veterans alike. The article describes the emptying of Jammassin and Yazur during the war, their occupation by Jewish immigrants, and the political and strategic considerations which guided the authorities in this respect.
Yazur (village), Jammassin (village), Tel-Aviv (city), Israeli policies, immigrants, urban planning.
17. Goren, Tamir. “Madu’a ‘azvu ha-toshavim ha-‘Aravim et Haifa ? ‘Iyun be-sugiya hatzuya” [Why Did the Arab Residents Leave Haifa ? An Examination of a Disputed Issue], Cathedra, 80 (1996):175-208.
The reasons contributing to the exodus of Haifa’s Arab community lie in the internal fragmentation within the Arab National Committee as well as between Muslims and Christians. The departure was also affected by the failure of the negotiations between Arabs and Jews. The author states that there is consensus in the historiographic literature that (a) Haifa did not witness any explicit policies aimed to drive the Arabs out of Haifa; (b) the departure of Haifa’s Arab community was motivated essentially by intra-community factors; and (c) the extent of the Arab exodus from Haifa was due during the hostilities and in their direct aftermath to British support and to encouragement on the part of elements within the Arab leadership who supported this step. Essentially, the Arab left the city as an act of rejection of the surrender agreement presented by the Hagana. The Jewish leadership acted extensively to moderate the extent of this departure which it could not stop.
Haifa (village), exodus.
18. Harish, Yosef. “Ha-ti’un shel ha-meshivim be-mishpat ha-megorashim” [The Arguments of the Respondents in the Deportees’ Trial], Plilim [Criminal Studies], 4 (1994):67-96.
This document reproduces the state’s legal position in favor of the deportation of Palestinian activists by the Rabin government to Lebanon. The signatory to the document is the Legal Advisor to the Government.
Legal aspects, deportation.
The 1948 Nakba is associated with the dispersion of Palestinian society. Between 700 and 800 thousand Palestinians became refugees and about 360 villages were destroyed. Plan D, which served the Jewish militia as a basic logistic frame of reference, aimed to secure Jewish control over conquered territories and relocate Arabs beyond the lines. “This ethnic cleansing should be seen in its historical context”. Both Arab and Jews understood that politically, survival is possible for only one group. “This was at least the genuine and subjective feeling among the Jews, who just started to internalize the consequences of the Holocaust and its significance”. As for Palestinians, they perceive themselves as paying the price for crimes committed against Jews by Western societies. The trauma of deportation and exile still dominates Palestinian society, as does the memory of the Holocaust for Jews. This trauma has both creative and paralyzing effects. Its creative effects are visible in Palestinian literary production. The latter contributed to the emergence of a collective memory, identities and national narratives. Today, Palestinians are ready to give up several of their dreams in exchange for a state solution which will guarantee their dignity and socioeconomic development. This is a practical acceptance of the partition plan. Palestinians expect that at least we recognize their catastrophe and suffering, and that Israel has been built on the ruins of the Palestinians society. “They don't even expect us to apologize, just recognize the facts”.
20. Marx, ‘Immanuel. “Shikum plitim bi-rtsu’at ‘Azza” [The Rehabilitation of Gaza Strip Refugees], ^ Leumiyot, Hevra u-Medina [International Issues, Society and State], 30 (1991): 64-73.
Is there a basic difference between refugees and other residents of the Gaza Strip ? It appears that the main actors interested in preserving the identity of “refugee” are UNRWA and the Israeli Civil Administration. Palestinian nationalists are more interested to erase distinctions and increase national consciousness. In what respects is a human being nonetheless a refugee ? Any individual who feels dispossessed by the creation of Israel and has not been compensated. Some use this feeling as a political leverage, such as the slogan “right of return”. What are refugee camps ? Most refugee camps in Gaza are integrated in urban areas from which they receive all services. The accepted stereotype of the refugee camp as a place with temporal accommodation does not fit into reality. It is possible to find fixed structures and commerce. During the years refugee camps ameliorated their housing conditions. In periods of shortage in housing facilities, “it is not logical to strive for the destruction of the refugee camps. Better preserve them, as urban housing neighborhoods for the weak strata”. It is even advisable to promote further building within the camps as well as the constructions of roads. Other roads will connect the camps with the city centers. “In such conditions, gradually ‘camps’ specifically for ‘refugees’ will disappear, and they will become urban popular neighborhoods to be distinguished from the existing neighborhoods by their straighter streets an the many one-story buildings”. Follow 14 recommendations essentially advocating a change of policy, from refugees “rehabilitation” to “residential housing”.
Israeli policies, refugee camps, UNRWA.
In a 1991 conversation, Benny Morris states his opinion that there was a military and existential justification for the Jewish military operations beyond the lines of the partition plan. He further stressed that “going beyond the lines of partition was not, to my understanding, morally reprehensible. But certain acts that came with it were immoral”. He further adds that the exodus of the Arabs “took place during a civil war between two populations of the same country, which were highly mixed in the different cities and rural spaces”. In the aftermath of the hostilities, the Israeli army prevented any return of refugees by instituting an “iron curtain”. Refugee camps, Morris adds, fuel the enrollment of fighters and anti-Israeli propaganda. “There is an Arab interest to preserve the phenomena of Palestinian refugees”. As to his personal opinion regarding the right of return, Morris says that on the practical level, the implementation of such a right is impossible, “the Palestinians and their leaders know that the demographic process of 1948 is irreversible”. In conclusion Morris states that “no nation, or people, was able to realize national existence in a humanistic way... Almost every national realization is associated with the perpetuation of injustice, and the realization of Zionism is no exception”.
Israeli policies, social research.
22. Morris, Benny. “Gerushey mivtsa’ Hiram: tikun ta’ut” [The Deportations of Operation Hiram: An Erratum], Jama’a [Middle East Studies Department at Ben Gurion University], 3 (1999):80-87.
The author wishes to correct some of his conclusions in his book The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949. New documents, released by the IDF archives show that “a central order was indeed made by the headquarter to evacuate from the country the residents of the enclave occupied in Operation Hiram”. Morris reviews newly released correspondence between Israeli officers exchanged during the hostilities. In his conclusion he stresses the need to make only provisional judgments as archives gradually make their documents available.
Israeli policies, deportation, transfer, Operation Hiram.
Review of the film “Al-Nakba” produced by Benny Bruner. The film covers the Palestinian exodus of 1947-1948 and the military and political events which surrounded their departure. Benny Morris served as scientific councilor. Methodologically, the film lacks objectivity. The term “Al-Nakba” expresses the Palestinian view. Further the film includes several interviews of Etzel and Hagana members who are then confronted with interviews with Palestinian refugees. This in itself categorically contradicts Morris’ methodology which discouraged the use of interviews. There is a gap between the film and Morris’ book. There is also a risk of manipulation through the choice of interviewees. The film conveys the impression that the Israeli side and Ben-Gurion personally are responsible for the Palestinian refugees problem. In the same time, the films leaves aside the role of the Arab leadership in these same events. The film is further superficial historically.
Films, refugees camps, social history, social research, exodus, David Ben-Gurion, Benny Morris, Etzel, Hagana.
24. Pape. Ilan. “Lidata shel ba’ayat ha-plitim u-pitrona” [The Birth of the Refugees Problem and its Solution], Be’ayot Beynleumiyot: Hevra u-Medina [International Issues: Society and State], 33 (1994):4-11.
Review of Nur Masalha’s Expulsion of the Palestinians, and Don Peretz’s Palestinian Refugees and the Middle East Peace Process.
Transfer, occupation, deportation, exodus.
25. Peled, Matti. “Ha-Falastini ki-dmut sifrutit ‘al-zmanit” [The Palestinian as an A-temporal Literary Figure], ‘Iton 77 le-Sifrut u-Tarbut [‘Iton 77 for Literature and Culture], 134 (1991):18-21.
Peled reviews Jabra Ibrahim Jabra’s novel, The Search for Walid Mas’oud. Two figures are prominent in contemporary Palestinian literature, that of the intellectual and that of the refugee. The author then analyzes the particular contribution of Jabra’s book to Palestinian literature. Translated excerpts of Jabra’s novel are appended to the article.
26. Shamir, Ronen. “Yesh gvul eyn gvul: he’ara ‘al tfisat ha-merhav be-bagats” [There is a Border There is no Border: A Comment on the Spatial Perception of the High Court of Justice], Plilim [Criminal Studies], 4 (1994):59-66.
The Israeli High Court of Justice applies varied spatial techniques in its dealings with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These evolve essentially around the “green line” since 1967, its meanings and its legal implications in cases of deportations and resident rights. Traditionally, the Israeli Court adopted two sets of conduct, one pertaining to Israel and the other to the occupied territories. In fact, the Court has constructed two sets of maps, one valid for the Jewish collectivity and the other, more stringent, for its Palestinian counterpart. Thus the Court takes an active role in the reproduction of unequal power relations between both groups.
Legal aspects, borders.