Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict
[ Palestinian people in refugee camps cannot return to Israel ] [ Palestinian refugees stay in their towns ]


Palestinian refugees’ descendants are not refugees

Edward Said calls Palestinians “refugees,” but a refugee is someone forced to flee, not his third-generation descendant, no more than inner-city blacks are ex-slaves. Edward Said’s logic taken to its extreme would give the right of return to Palestine to the descendants of the Jews who fled in 70 and 135 C.E. More than half a century has passed since 1948. Palestinians born elsewhere are not refugees from Israel. Unlike the right to property, citizenship is personal and not inheritable.[1]


[1] Perhaps citizenship could be inherited if it were bought and sold, but states express nationality in metaphysical terms, making it a personal right, not an attachment.