In the essay, Israel-Palestine & the Aparthied analogy: critics, apologists & strategic lessons by Ran Greenstein, associate professor in the university of Witwatersrand, he writes:

First, the present absentees - about 25% of the Palestinian population in Israel itself who were removed from their original homes in 1948 but have become citizens - must be allowed access to their property and their confiscated land. This would have no demographic implications and would not involve changes in citizenship status.

  • What are the proportion of present-absentees now in 1948 compared to today? Are accurate figures actually available, or are there only estimated projections due to the political sensitivity of the nature of this information?

  • what rationale does Israel offer for not returning the property of present-absentees, given as Greenstein notes, that they are citizens of Israel?

  • has any property been returned, and if so - how much?

  • 1
    Is the first question really relevant as-is? I doubt that the numbers have changed much in 2 years. On the other hand, the essay is from 2010, not 2015 (and I doubt that the 25% refers to the exact numbers in that year; wikipedia has the same 1/4 claim, which is sourced to a number calculated using the original 30-40 thousand internally displaced people and the average Palestinian growth rate). Instead, you might want to ask for accurate numbers without restricting them to a certain year (it will make answering a lot easier). – tim Oct 5 '17 at 12:02
  • 6
    "about 25% of the Palestinian population in Israel itself who were removed from their original homes" - is there any proof that they were "removed" as opposed to left on their own decision (due to their Arab brethren starting a war of aggression to destroy the newly created state of Israel)? – user4012 Oct 5 '17 at 12:42
  • 3
    @user4012: isn't the original 'aggression' by the European Jews who formed a compact with the then British Empire to institute a 'National home for the Jewish People' in what was then the Ottoman province of Palestine? See the Balfour Declaration of 1919. – Mozibur Ullah Oct 5 '17 at 12:54
  • 1
    @user4012: feel free to answer the question using the resources you've identified... – Mozibur Ullah Oct 5 '17 at 12:55
  • 2
    Because the "absentees" chose to abandon that property, often so as to assist the planned genocide of Jews? – jamesqf Oct 6 '17 at 18:17

The absentee laws were enacted in 1950, at a time when Palestinians in Israel lived under a military government. So it wasn't a given that they should enjoy the same rights as other citizens.

Furthermore, many Palestinian refugees tried to sneak over the armistice borders to return to their former homes. This lead to violence on both sides of the border and Israel retaliated to try and discourage this infiltration.

In that situation, it simply would have been impossible for Israel to determine which Palestinians were internally displaced persons and which were infiltrators. Therefore the laws were written as they were.

Today, it is not politically feasible to revisit and try to rescind provisions of these laws. Because if it was not right to confiscate "present absentees" properties, was it right to confiscate "absent absentees" properties?

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .