Those who get their news from the mainstream media (or the Guardian) could be forgiven for believing that there are nearly 5 million Palestinian refugees from the 1948-49 Arab-Israeli War.
So often is that figure bandied around that most don’t understand that it only reflects the number of Palestinians qualifying for “refugee” benefits under the bizarre formula of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency by which thechildren, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren (ad infinitum) of actual refugees continue to inherit this status. This designation is even bestowed upon those Palestinians who are already citizens of other countries.
(Using such demographic calculus, one could argue that – based on the number of Israelis whose ancestors fled Europe during the Holocaust, or fled Arab countries due to antisemitic persecution – the majority of Israeli citizens are “refugees”.)
Indeed, the number of actual Palestinian refugees from the Arab-Israeli War, out of…
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