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The Making of the Modern Refugee$
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Peter Gatrell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199674169.001.0001

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‘Nothing Except Commas’ Jews, Palestinians, and the Torment of Displacement

‘Nothing Except Commas’ Jews, Palestinians, and the Torment of Displacement

(p.118) 4 ‘Nothing Except Commas’ Jews, Palestinians, and the Torment of Displacement
The Making of the Modern Refugee

Peter Gatrell

Oxford University Press

Jews and Palestinians alike experienced displacement as a painful and disfiguring process. Following a discussion of the consequences of the Holocaust in Central Europe, including the experience of Jewish survivors in DP camps, against the background of the longstanding Zionist project to promote Jewish settlement in Palestine, the chapter outlines the contours of the ‘Palestinian refugee problem’ in 1948 and beyond, devoting particular attention to social life in refugee camps in the Middle East and to the provision of emergency relief by NGOs and faith groups such as Quakers. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) promoted economic development as an ‘apolitical’ project in countries that accommodated refugees, many of whom rejected attempts to settle them permanently. The commemoration of the nakba or sudden upheaval included memorial books that drew attention to destroyed Palestinian settlements and asserted a claim to have their land restored to them.

Keywords:   holocaust, jewish dps, palestinian refugees, unrwa, quakers, middle east, commemoration, nakba, memorial books

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