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Tackling the Intractable

Palestinian Refugees and the Search for Middle East Peace

Michael Chiller-Glaus

Finding a solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees has remained the main hurdle for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement. This book represents a comprehensive political analysis of the Palestinian refugee issue. It tackles the matter on four dimensions. First, the historical context of the Palestinian exodus in both 1948 and 1967 is reviewed. Second, the question is traced whether there exists a Palestinian right of return according to international law. Third, an examination is presented regarding how and why the issue of refugees has remained a stumbling block during the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Fourth, the main part of the book analyses potential solutions to the refugee question, complementing the existing proposals with models developed by the author. What are their implications for both sides? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each proposal to Israelis and Palestinians, respectively? What is the relevance of each proposal as a mutually acceptable solution? Finally, a set of recommendations and guide-lines for future Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on refugees is presented. Overall, this study constitutes a valuable reference for anyone interested in a solution of the most intractable aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Contents: Reviewing the historical context of 1948: The various stages of the Palestinian exodus – Comparing Israeli and Palestinian narratives – Presenting the current situation on the ground of Palestinian refugees – Evaluating differing definitions of a Palestinian refugee – Legal analysis of whether there is a right of return – Examining the issue of Palestinian refugees as a stumbling block during Israeli-Palestinian negotiations – Categorizing potential solutions – Analysing the implications of each solution for Israelis and Palestinians, respectively – Recommendations and guide-lines for future Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on the issue of Palestinian refugees.