The Culture of Return of the Palestinian Refugees: A Geo-Hermeneutic Approach

Ala Al-Hamarneh

I. Introduction

Since Oslo, the Palestinian refugees have being continuously confirmed that the so called peace process will not bring a fair and durable solution to their main problem; The right of return. Since Oslo, four suspicions of the refugees were becoming realities:

(1) Israel is not going to accept the right of return under the existing international and regional political balance of power as a base for a solution of the refugees’ problem. By post-boning of the final-status negotiations on the refugees, Israel had succeeded to widen the distrust crises between the PLO and the refugees’ communities. The refugee issue is directly connected to people and people’s political choices. The other post-boned issues; Final boarders, status of Jerusalem, settlements and water have directly less to do with the daily life and the future of the 4-millions exile Palestinians, with their economic, social, political, legal and psychological situations. The trust crises between the PLO /later the Palestinian Authority/ and the refugees is a victory of the Israeli diplomacy in weakening the Palestinian’s negotiations position.

(2) The PLO and the Palestinian Authority are not going to be able to force a fair solution, but they are going to negotiate the refugees question to a dead end. Although, no Palestinian politician yet had accepted no-return solution, the very first non-implementation of Oslo accords by Natanyahu and later by Barak demonstrated the weakness of the ability of action and the limited practical influence of the Palestinian Authority, which is constructed in the character of the Oslo Accords themselves. With each negotiation’s marathon, the future of the Palestinian national self-determination was getting less realistic. The legend of Camp David 2 and the Taba accords showed the unacceptable, to the Palestinians, limits of the Israeli compromise for a permanent peaceful solution. The pessimistic attitudes of the refugees towards the so called “road map” are to be seen in this context.

(3) The direct negotiations and contacts between Israeli and Palestinian politicians and personalities on the refugees topic, with a very few exclusions, did not narrow the gap between the two sides. In contrary, a political and comprehensive solution on the basis of the right to return was widening the gap between the two sides. The Israelis were still discussing the rightness of “the right to return” and its impact on the “Jewishness” of the State of Israel. Israel has being insisting to ignore its political, historical, legal and moral responsibilities towards the Palestinian refugees problem. The humanitarian issues and the old/new talks about “historic population exchange” have being dominating in the Israeli attitudes and political speech. The Palestinian refugees have had the impression that Israel, after Madrid and Oslo, has being discussing the right itself and not the mechanisms of a possible and pragmatic implementation of the right to return. The Palestinians were trapped in a discussion on legal definitions, historical interpretations and philosophical exercises that all aims not to discuss the final status of the refugees on the base of the international law and UN resolutions, namely, the right to return.

(4) The so called world community (beyond the recognised and organised World Community as it is presented in the UN and its institutions), mainly USA, and the main pro-American Arab countries, with an exclusion of Syria and Lebanon which are not directly involved in the on-going peace process, are ready to accept a so called “pragmatic” solution which is practically based on no-return and/or out of Palestine/Israel re-settlement concept. The price Abdullah initiative, which was rejected by Israel and accepted by the country-members of the Arab League, adopted basically a no-return concept.

According to the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, “If Israel does not admit to its 1948 ethnic cleansing through the recognition of the right of the Palestinians to return, why should its leaders genuinely bother with the fate of the remaining 22 per cent of Palestine in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip?“1. The question of the Palestinian right to return means to Israel indeed more than a legal and/or political issue. It is directly connected to the official historic myth of the foundation of the state of Israel and to the core ideological pillars of Zionism. Beyond the position of the Palestinian scholars, some Israeli historians have already outlined the importance of the Palestinian refugees to the official Israeli historic narrative: Admitting an ethnic cleansing in 1947-1949 by the Israel means new responsibilities, new history, new narratives and a new self-understanding[2]. The so called “demographic threaten” of the right to return has its roots in the ideology of Zionism, which is simply presented in the slogan “land without people for a people without land”. Unfortunately, the land has already had it’s own people, the Palestinian Arabs, and have been cleansed directly and indirectly by the Zionists.

The Palestinian historic narrative of the cleansing is present in the collective and individual memory, identity, political orientation and lifestyle of the Palestinian refugees. The Palestinian Nakbah (the catastrophe) reflected even linguistically the magnitude of the cleansing to the whole Palestinian society. The identification of the refugees with the right to return was never so strong as in the last decade: The decade of the so called Peace Process. During the years before Oslo, the Palestinian refugees were dominated by two processes:- first, keeping their own Palestinian national identity alive and vital, second, the Palestinian national liberation movement. The fall of the project of a Pan-Arab national state and the rise of the Arab regional state, al-dawlah al-qutriyah, excluded among others, the possibility of an effective integration and an “ethnically-based” comprehensive assimilation of the refugees in the host countries. Regional Arab identities were/are pillars of the political stability in the regional Arab states. Even in Nasser’s Egypt and Asad’s Syria, where Pan-Arabism was frequently articulated, the regional identities (Egyptian, Syrian) played priority roles. The existence of an internationally organised All-Palestinian and Trans-local relief agency, the UNRWA has being strengthening the self-identification of the refugees.[3]

Since the late 60s the PLO dominated the political scene in the Palestinian exile. The PLO succeeded to establish political, social, cultural, humanitarian, financial and personal networks and institutions that formed and organised the Palestinian Diaspora. In the 80s, the PLO was a state-out-of-homeland with all the attributes of a modern national state, but without a geographical dimension. The struggle for the liberation of Palestine, which have had then no concrete pragmatic geographic contours, dominated the liberation ideologies. Palestine was the land between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean sea, as well as any liberated territory there. The focus on liberation reflected itself in a culture of liberation, in which the struggle, the liberation fighters /fida’yeen/, the camps, the justification and morality of the struggle were the main topics and narratives. Ghassan Kanafani, Mahmoud Darwish and Mu’een Bseysu represented the culture of liberation in literature.

The drift from the culture of liberation to a culture of return has been taking place since Oslo. The geographic dimension of the culture of liberation gained contours in Oslo and was fixed by the PLO and the Palestinian Authority: Palestine is the occupied territories in 1967 of East-Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza-Strip. But who are the Palestinians? The demographic dimension replaced the geographic dimension after the establishment of the Palestinian Authority and the return of the PLO elite to Palestine.

II. A Return-to-Palestine-Fixed Culture

The Palestinian refugees have been developing different alternatives to adjust to the post-Oslo situation with the aim to keep their choice of the right of return “alive” and present. The alternative strategies and tactics were not born by an organised coordination centre or authority. They were rather a combination of separated individual and collective activities with no clear long-term programs and agendas. Nevertheless, they were all return-focused and home-fixed activities. An alternative culture of return in the Palestinian exile has being established which is oriented against the wide-spared no-return culture of the so called pragmatism and political rationalism. This return-to-Palestine-fixed culture is one of the main reasons that is keeping the return’s issue alive and adjustable to new conditions and situations. The culture of return is based on three major fields of action: political activities, oral history and intellectual creation in terms of arts and literature.

On the following examples, I will try to demonstrate how the culture of return is re-birthing the right to return on alternative groundwork by institutions and individuals and how does memory play a major role in reconstructing an identity that is based on the idea and the vision of the return to Palestine.

1. BADIL (Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights): Alternative NGOs and Networks

BADIL is a Palestinian community-based organisation that aims to provide a resource pool of alternative, critical and progressive information and analysis on the question of Palestinian refugees in the quest to achieve a just and lasting solution for exiled Palestinians based on the right of return.[4]

BADIL was established in Bethlehem, West Bank in January 1998 and is registered with the Palestinian Authority and legally owned by the refugee community represented by a General Assembly composed of activists in Palestinian national institutions and refugee community organisations.[5] The names and locations of the members of the General Assembly of BADIL cover the main refugee communities in the West Bank. The connection with the other refugee communities is guaranteed through different networks and joint activities with other refugee initiatives and institutions.

BADIL is an active member of the quick expanding “Palestinian-Right-to-Return-Coalition“ that has had it’s third annual Convention in April 2003, in which delegations and representatives of more than 60 local initiatives in 16 countries were present. BADIL coordinates and initiates theoretical and field researches, organises discussions and conferences, publishes a quarterly magazine “al-Majdal” and takes a part in solidarity and protest activities.[6] The Centre addresses directly in some publications in Hebrew the Israeli Jewish community as well.

An international Expert Forum on Palestinian Refugee question in which scholars and personalities of various backgrounds are involved has been initiated by BADIL and sponsored by the University of Gent, the University of Geneva and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs as well as by different human rights organisations and other NGO in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. The main aim of the Forum is to relocate the focus of the refugee discussions on the “practicability” of the international law, the human rights provisions and especially the UN resolutions towards the Palestinian refugees right to return and to re-examine key components of the refugee question, to issue recommendations and to engage in practical follow-ups.

The Open Letter by Palestinian community organisations and refugee rights initiatives to the Head of the London-based Royal Institute of International Affairs and the Head of the Oxford-based Centre of Lebanese Studies, on the 29 April 2003, shows the huge gap between the so-called “seekers for pragmatic solution” and the mass of the refugees, their community organisations and local political initiatives. The Open Letter declares the withdraw of more than 20 internationally and regionally organised networks from the so-called “Consultation Workshops” on the refugee issues organised by the Royal Institute and the Oxford Centre. The main reason given for the withdraw was that:

“the agenda has largely failed to sufficiently address the issue of most concern to Palestinian refugees – i.e., a solution to more than 50 years of exile that is consistent with UN Resolution 194 and international law. There has been little concern and respect for our basic individual and collective rights, including the right to return to our cities and villages and repossess our homes, properties and lands. These rights, which are afforded to all other refugees, have, for example, been referred to as ‘destructive’ and an obstacle to a final agreement. Our basic right to fully understand the terms and details of any future agreement as it affects us has also been called into question”.

The political speech of BADIL’s documents and initiatives shows a clear drift towards the return to Palestine: To the lost Homeland in historical discourse. It is not a question of liberation or state-foundation. It is rather the individual and collective right of the refugees to return to historic Palestine no matter under which form of statehood, Palestinian, Israeli or both. The political demography is more important than the political geography, although the space of return is defined in terms of historical geography: The historic Palestine before the partition in 1984. The space of return is manifested beyond the recent political geography and has historical and moral structures. No matter if the refugees are going to return or not, their collective right to return documents the injustice of their historic deportation and the partition of Palestine without asking it’s native population. The right to return is a correction of the main Zionist argument about “a land without people” as well.

BADIL is not the single NGO which is active on the refugee scene. The already mentioned “Palestinian-Right-to-Return-Coalition“ includes hundreds of locally organised initiatives and organisations. The “al-Awda” and “Raji’un” networks are rapidly dominating the refugee communities in Europe and Middle East. It is a new quality of action that is manifesting in the work of the networks: High professional standards of organisation and argumentation by qualified personalities and specialists coming themselves from refugee communities. The refugees are no more a “case study”. They are articulating and representing their own case, not only as the main player in the liberation movement, but as the main issue of a possible durable peace.

2. The Lubya- Exhibition: Oral History and New Museographic Trends

Lubya - a small Palestinian village in the Galilee, North of Israel/ Palestine– was depopulated and demolished during the war of 1948. Before the expulsion the village had a population of around 3.000 inhabitants of which the majority were farmers and traders, at the same time the village had a rich cultural and social life, unique to the village but not dramatically different from the life found in most other smaller Palestinian village communities of the time.

After the 1948 war and the expulsion, the villagers from Lubya were scattered over more than twenty different countries around the globe and today the descendants from the village number around 45.000. Although often living thousands of kilometres apart the descendants of Lubya still have a common feeling of belonging to the same community and in their imagery and memories the features and characteristics of the village still exist but as time passes by these memories are fragmented and bound up to isolated events or singular objects kept by many refugees such as house keys, family portraits etc.

Dr. Mahmoud Issa, whose family comes from Lubya and who understands himself as an exile Lubyan, interviewed hundreds of exile Lubyans and gathered thousands of documents, pictures and other materials on the village and its people.[7] He filmed a documentary for the Danish television on the history of Lubya and a book is in publishing.[8]

The most impressive result of the whole project is an exhibition on Lubya with financial and logistic aid by the Moesgaard Museum (Aarhus, Denmark), The Carsten Niebuhr Institute (University of Copenhagen) and the Danish Refugee Council. The exhibition will present a Palestinian village life prior to the 1948 war; based on a large collection of documents, maps, photographs and memoirs describing the village of Lubya and other Palestinian villages. The intentions is to create a comprehensive picture of the rich cultural and social life found in the Palestinian villages up until the 1948 war and the creation of Israel.

More specifically the objects available are old and new photos of the villages and its inhabitants before and after 1948, agricultural tools, household articles, costumes for men, women and children, embroidery, maps, genealogical charts, and other older articles which may illustrate the different aspects of the social and cultural life of the village. A model of the village of Lubya will be made as an example of the outlay of a Palestinian village before the demolition. The exhibition is going to be open in Fall 2004 in Denmark and is planed to be shown in various European and Arab countries.

The applied oral history is playing a growing role in the socio-political research even in conservative institutions. For example, the “Refugees, Displaced Persons and Forced Migration Studies Centre” at the Yarmouk University in Jordan has launched a three year project for surveying personal eyewitnesses and testimonies on Palestine and the Palestinian Exodus by all “old” refugees in all the refugee camps in Jordan with the aim “to reconstruct lost spaces, a national memory and alternative history of political events and social life.”[9]

A special issue of “al-Jana” in 2002, published by the Arab Resource Centre For Popular Arts in Beirut documented the development and the importance of the Palestinian oral history.[10] A drift towards applied oral history and towards locations, sites and geography in general is to be noticed in the last decade. While the pioneer works of Palestinian oral history have been concentrating on reconstructing of the collective and individual memory of the deportation, the later works are more engaged with the places and spaces of deportation. The various projects on place studies by Birzeit University (Markez al-With a’ek wa al-Abhath) and Dar al-Shajarah in Damascus for example surveyed more than 25 destroyed villages in historic Palestine.[11]

Places and spaces of deportation are marks of places and spaces of return. The refugees are not only refugees from Palestine, they are refugees from Salameh, Lifta, Tiret-Haifa, Tantoura, Kufr Birim, Imwas, Kufr Qana etc. The documentation of places of deportation is a documentation of the Palestinian society before the expulsion: Of social and family structures, of houses and courtyards, of costumes and songs, of lifestyles and personalities, of a places and society that would have normally developed if the Zionistic invasion and the ethnic cleansing did not take place.

3. “In Search of Fatima”: Written Autobiographies and Memoirs

In Search of Fatima” is the title of Ghada Karmi’s book-memoir first published in 2002.[12] It is one of plentiful memoirs and autobiographies of Palestinian personalities published in different languages and countries during the last decade. Edward Said’s “Out of Place” (1998), Raja Shehadeh’s “Strangers in the House” (2002), Hana Ashrawi’s “I am Born in Palestine” (1996), Hala Alaiyan’s “Expulsion from Paradise” (2003), Nahlah Odeh’s “Palestinian Diary“ (2002) are just some of the most popular titles.

In the majority of these memoirs a return to Palestine in a way or another is present. Indeed two types of return are explored in the autobiographies: First, a memoiric historic return to pre-Israel mandatory Palestine, with its personal and collective experiences of life and with the documentation of events, spaces and society; Second, a “physical” recent return to Palestine/Israel which is faced by the current political situation, by the changed landscapes and spaces and is dominated by the occupation, in national terms and in personal/private terms.

Ghada Karmi’s family lived in Qatamon, a west-Jerusalem ethnic and religious mixed neighbourhood. Her father worked for the BBC, thus after 1948 the family lived in London. Beyond of the story of exile and displacement as well as the richness in details and human experience in mandatory Palestine, the physical return of Ghada to west-Jerusalem and her visit to the family’s house in Qatamon, in which East-European Jewish emigrants live, is a call for the right to return.

It is not the imagined return in Ghassan Kanafani’s “Back to Haifa” /a’ied ila haifa/ or in Sahar Khalifeh’s fictions, it is rather an interrupted by the policies of the state of Israel authentic physical and moral return. Kanafani’s return is a part of the justification of the liberation straggle. His characters in “Back to Haifa” return to Haifa to confirm the impossibility of return without liberation and that the military straggle is the only possible way of liberation. Dov/Khaldun is the son of Safiyeh and Said who was lost during the Nakbah and grown up as a Jewish Israeli by a Jewish-Polish immigrant Zionist family in Haifa. Khaled is an other son of Safiyeh and Said who wants to join the Palestinian militant liberation groups. Said legitimises the liberation movement by saying “Dov is our shame, Khaled is our present honor […]. I hope that Khaled had left (to join the militants) during our visit to Haifa.[13]

Ghada’s return is a peaceful return that seeks Israeli-Palestinian co-existence which is justified by the peaceful co-existence in the mandatory Palestine before the Nakbah. It is a current legitimated return to the historic homeland as well. The possible peaceful return and co-existence is prevented by the no-return policy of Israel, which is practically an up-dated extension of the deportation policy and ethnic cleansing in 1948. Ghada’s Fatima is the lost Palestine, but the lost of Fatima gives Ghada the strength to keep her memory in-place vital and alive through the current physical return and in the search of the lost Fatima. The search in-place is the return itself. The out-of-place research is either a mental exercise or a first step to the physical return. The return to the lost spaces and places is justified for individual and personal reasons as well. In the search of the individual roots and identity, beyond the direct political pressure, the return is legitimated.

4. From Chatila to Haifa: Visual Documentaries and Fiction Movies

Since 1988, the year in which Nathem al-Shureydi (born in Umm el-Fahm, 1951) shoot the documentary-trilogy “A Hot Palestinian Summer” which includes three separate films; First, “al-Deheisheh Ghetto”, about the life in the refugee camp al-Deheisheh during the First Intifadha, Second, “Between Dream and Memory”, a story of a 1948-refugee family from “Lifta”, a destroyed and depopulated Palestinian village to the west of Jerusalem, who (the family) suffers in the new established property in the West Bank from the confiscation of land for settlements; Third, “A City under Siege”, about the struggle of the Arab Israeli city of Umm el-Fahm against discrimination and land confiscation. Al least since then, the cinematic presentation of the right to return was clearly connected with international law and human rights issues inside and outside Israel as well as with spaces and places of return.[14]

May el-Masri (born in Amman, 1959) and Rashid Mashharawi (born in al-Shati’ Camp/Gaza, mid 1950s) are the best known and the most productive film makers in the last decade on the refugees’ and the right to return topics in the Palestinian documentary and fiction cinema. May el-Masri, an exile Palestinian woman who lives in Beirut, exercised a physical and cinematic return to her family’s hometown Nablus in 1989/1990 with the documentary “Children of the Fire Mountain / atfal jabal al-nar”. May documented the First Intifadha in Nablus as well as a lot of scenes and moments of the social life in the city. Especially, children (and women) in the discourses of occupation, exile and return have been always a major topic in the films of May. She shoot “Children of Chatila / atfal shatila” (1998, short version 2000) and “Dreams of an Exile / ahlam el-manfa” (2000) in the world-wide well-known Chatila refugee camp in Beirut (well-known due to the massacre that took place there in 1982). The first film ends with a clear call for return after showing the social, economic and legal segregation of the Palestinian refugees in the modern Lebanon. The second film compares the life of children-refugees in Chatila/Lebanon and Deheisheh/West Bank camps. Furthermore, May lets the children of Deheisheh visit the home-villages and the home-towns of the children of Chatila. The both groups meet at the Israeli-Lebanese boarder line in South Lebanon, where the children tells each other stories about home-villages, exile, camps, deportation and the forthcoming return. The transcendental visit of the Chatila children to their homeland through the physical visit of the Deheisheh children is a amazing documentation of exile identities and homeland-fixed culture.

Rashid Mashharawi’s mapping of exile and return is more focused on the dealing with the return to Israel as a part of the right to return. His short fiction “The Shelter / al-malja’” (1989) exposes the perception of Israel by a Palestinian illegal worker from the West Bank, who works and lives in Tel-Aviv. Tel-Aviv and al-Shati’ refugee camp in Gaza figured in two documentaries of Rashid; “One House, Many Houses / dar wa dur” (1990) and “Long Days in Gaza / ayam taweelah fi gaza” (1991), in which the dilemma of being a Palestinian refugee who is able to work in Israel, even in his lost home-town of Yaffa near his own left house, but never allowed to return to live there, is exposed. It is not only the personal that is highlighted, it is rather the national, he collective that is demonstrated, the unfair of expulsion and deportation of a whole nation.

In his two long fictions “Curfew / mana’ tajawol” (1993) and “Haifa” (1996) which both take place in al-Shati’ camp in Gaza, Rashid exposes the daily life of the refugees under the Israeli occupation in the first film, while he declares the right of return as a focus of the identity of the refugees. The main protagonist in Haifa is the fool of the camp, whose nick name is Haifa. He walks through the camps quarters, jumps over the roofs, runs on the beach while shouting continuously “Yaffa, Haifa, Acca”, the main three Palestinian cities on the Mediterranean. In a impressive dialogue in the film, while a refugee family is watching on the TV the Oslo-Accords signing ceremony, the son asks his father:

Daddy, do you know what are they going to give the refugees in the camps after the peace?

The father answers:

A new refugee camp. Believe me, such a peace takes place in Madrid and Washington, but here nothing is going to change.

In the following years Rashid directed several documentary films “Rabab” (1997), “Tensions” (1998), “Behind the Walls” (2000), “Snow” (2000) and “Season of Love” (2001) that all focus on the Israeli occupation of Palestine. “Tensions” discusses once more the being of refugee in man’s own land; the check points and the daily travelling between Gaza and Yaffa/Tel-Aviv. “Behind the Walls” highlights the so called “Jewdaisation” of East Jerusalem and the process of becoming de facto a Palestinian refugee in Jerusalem without ever leaving the city. From a geo-hermeneutic point of view, May and Rashid are re-locating the refugee question inside Israel. Doing this they are indeed highlighting the return question rather than the exile issue and the right-to-return-connected topics.

The cinematic geo-hermeneutic approach allows to understand which idea/ideology stands behind pictures and movies. On a previous research on the Arab-Israeli conflict in Egyptian Cinema, the author outlined this methodological approach:

The spatial representation of the Arab-Israeli conflict in Egyptian film reflects the different ideological attitudes towards Israel and the conflict in general. The spatial representation is based on a geo-ideological structure of landscapes, locations, text and symbols. Location (verbal and visual) plays the major part in understanding which ideological massage has a film. The landscape influences the ideological frame through how is the cinematic location presented in a film. The landscapes play a part as space, place, spectacle and metaphor[15]. For the identification of geo-cinematic elements plays the deconstructive criticism a central role by refusing the homogeneous film structure and by reconstructing the film spaces and elements, in order to re-read them semiotically.[16]

The historic Palestine is drifting into the focus of the New Palestinian Cinema. Virtual and physical returns are closing up locations, places and spaces of deportation/return. The cinema of liberation, in which the camps, the straggle and the exile in general were focused is losing its priority and importance. The different experiences of return are gaining the cinematic scene. It is the cinematic reflection of a culture of return that outlined the peaceful and justified return to the lost homelands. Representing Palestinian/Israeli cities and villages in different shapes and visions to the refugees, allows them to return in historical, virtual, emotional, memoric and ideological context. Nevertheless, it is a future return as well: To the lost/return spaces. The connection between memory and future visions in “pictures and motions” is very important in understanding the reaction of the refugees: Peaceful return to the lost homeland with a clear massage of possible co-existence is the massage of both sides, the filmmaker and the viewer.

III. Conclusions

The culture of return is an alternative political choice to the so called “pragmatic” and “constructive” approach in the refugee question, which practically ignores the right to return and is demonstratively shown by some Palestinian and Arab leaders, and adopted and highly appreciated by Israel and some Western countries as well.

The culture of return is a defensive culture that aims to articulate the position of the majority of the refugees by insisting on the implementation of the UN resolutions, international law and the human rights towards the Palestinian refugees. The culture of return, although is homeland-fixed and return-to-Palestine focused culture. It does not discuss yet neither the questions of the possibility and the personal choice of return nor the mechanisms of return.

It is interested in:

Keeping the memory of the historic Arab Palestine in all terms alive

Concentrating on the right of return as a base for further negotiations

Defending the social, political, economic and legal rights of the Palestinian refugees

Holding the refugee communities world-wide organised and networked

Re-constructing a return-focused exile Palestinian identity

The Palestinian culture of return is gaining the shape and form which the Jewish culture of return used to have: “Next year in Jerusalem/al-Quds”.

[1]     The Scotsman Newspaper ( 9/12/03 in

[2] See books by the Israeli „New Historians“, Benny Morris, Avi Shlaim, Ilan Pappe, Tom Segev

[3] Al-Hamarneh, A., 2003, “The Palestinian Refugee Camps in Jordan: Between National Identity and Socio-economic Integration”, Holy Land Studies, (forthcoming)

[4]     For more information about BADIL see:

[5]     Members of the General Assembly of BADIL: Adnan Abelmalik (Nur Shams RC/Nablus) Adnan Ajarmeh (Aida RC/Bethlehem) Afif Ghatashe (Fawwar RC/Hebron) Ahmad As'ad (Al-Far'ah RC/Nablus) Ahmad Muhaisen (Deheishe RC/Bethlehem) Anwar A. Hamam (Balata RC/Nablus) Anwar Abu Lafi (Jerusalem) Ashraf Abu Kheiran (al-Arroub camp/Hebron) Atallah Salem (Deheishe RC/Bethlehem) Ayed Ja'aysah (Al-Far'ah RC/Nablus) Bassam Abu 'Aker (Aida RC/Bethlehem) Bassam Na'im Hawamda (Camp No.1/Nablus) Bilal Shakhsheer (Nablus) Buthaina Darwish (Beit Jala/USA) Dr. Abdelfattah Abu Srour (Aida Camp/Bethlehem) Dr. Adnan Shehadeh (Arroub RC/Hebron) Dr. Nayef Jarrad (Tulkarem) Eyad Jaraiseh (Beit Sahour) Faisal Salameh (Tulkarem RC/Tulkarem) Fayyez H. Arafat (Balata RC/Nablus) Ghassan M. Khader (Balata RC/Nablus) Hassan al-Barmil (Aida RC/Bethlehem) Hussam M. Khader (Balata RC/Nablus) Ibrahim Abu Srour (Aida RC/Bethlehem) Imad Shawish (Al-Far'ah RC/Nablus) Ingrid Jaradat Gassner (Beit Jala) Issa Qaraq’a (Aida RC/Bethlehem) Issa Rabadi (Jerusalem) Jamal Ferraj (Deheishe RC/Bethlehem) Jamal Shati (Jenin RC/Jenin) Kamal al-Qeisi (Azza RC/Bethlehem) Khalil al-Azza (Azza RC/Bethlehem) Muhammad al-Lahham (Deheishe RC/Bethlehem) Muhammad Fdeilat (Aksar RC/Nablus) Muhammad Jaradat (Beit Jala) Mustafa Y. Shahab (Nur Shams RC/Nablus) Naji Odeh (Deheishe RC/Bethlehem) Najwah Darwish (Beit Jala) Rajeh al-Til (Dahariya/Hebron) Rifa’ Abu Rish (al-Am’ari Camp/Ramallah) Sahar Francis (Jerusalem) Salem Abu Hawwash (Doura/Hebron) Samir Ata Odeh (Aida RC/Bethlehem) Shaher J. al-Bedawi (Balata RC/Nablus) Tayseer S. Nassrallah (Balata RC/Nablus) Terry Rempel (Bethlehem) Wajih Atallah (Kalandia Camp/Jerusalem) Walid M. Ja’arim (Balata RC/Nablus) Walid Qawasmeh (Ramallah) Wissal F. al-Salem (Nur Shams RC/Nablus)


[7]     Mahmoud Issa, 2003, Historiography of the Destroyed Village of Lubya, Refuge, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 14-22

[8]     “Den Faedrene Jord”, 1995, a documentary by Mahmoud Issa,

[9]     Interview with Dr. Ali Zaghal, director of Refugees, Displaced Persons and Forced Migration Studies Centre at the Yarmouk University

[10]    Al-Jana, 2002, File on Palestinian Oral History (

[11]    See publications by Dar Al-Shajarah (1998-2001) and by the Centre of Documentation and Research at Birzeit University (Ist and 2ed series on Palestinian villages, 1986-1991 and 1994-1997)

[12]    Ghada Karmi, 2002, “In Search Of Fatima”, Verso Publishers, London and NY

[13]    Ghassan Kanafani, 1987, “a’ied ila-haifa”, forth edition, Mu’asasat al-Dirasat al-Arabiyeh, Beirut (in Arabic)

[14]    Bashar Ibrahim, 2001, “The PalesinianCinema in 20th Century”, Al-Muasasah Al-Ameh lil-Sinema, Damascus (in Arabic)

[15]    The typology is given in a paper presented by Chris Lukinbeal at the Second International Workshop on Cinema and Orient, Mainz, 2000 (not published)

[16]    Ala Al-Hamarneh, 2005, “The Arab-Israeli Conflict in Egyptian Film”, in Escher, A. and Koebner, T. “Mythos Ägypten”, Gardez! Verlag, Ramscheid; 99-122