Palestinian citizens of Israel and the discourse on the right of return, 1948-59

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5 Scopus citations


This article traces the evolving discourse on the "right of refugee return" among the Palestinian citizens of Israel during the first decade of Israeli statehood, with emphasis on the role of the local Arabic press in shaping and reflecting that discourse. More particularly, it focuses on al-Ittihad, the organ of the communist party (MAKI), which paid the greatest attention to the refugee issue. In tracing the party's shift from a humanistic/anti-imperialist stance on the issue to one emphasizing the refugees' inalienable right to return, the article sheds light on MAKI's political strategy vis-à-vis the Palestinian minority. It also illustrates the political vibrancy in the early years of the community, generally viewed simplistically in terms of a pre-1967 quiescence and post-1967 politicization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-60
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Palestine Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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