Friday, April 15, 2011

How Many Palestinian Refugees Were There?

Jewish Ideas Daily recommends we read Efriam Karsh on this question.


Victor said...

Yaacov, I used to see google adds under your first three posts, but I don't see them anymore. Instead, there are big empty spaces. Not sure if you're aware that the page is being rendered this way.

Anonymous said...

I expect that Benny Morris will eventually review this article and that he will disagree, as he has previously estimated the number of refugees as between 700,000 and 750,000. It will be interesting to see what he has to say. If Yaacov or anyone who reads this sees such a review, it would be nice if they posted a link.

David E. Sigeti

AKUS said...

Karsh compiled this list for his outstanding book, "Palestine betrayed". Probably the most authoritative book on the events upto and including 1948.

Anonymous said...


Before you go too far out on a limb recommending Karsh's book "Palestine Betrayed", have a look at Benny Morris' review

Of course, Morris and Karsh hate each and have for some time, so that is worth factoring into your considerations.


You are a professional historian. Do *you* have any opinions on this controversy? They might be worth a bit more than ours.

David E. Sigeti

Anonymous said...

There were millions and they all must return.

Morey Altman said...

When I was writing a piece on massacres during the 1948 war, I came up with around the same figure although Karsh, not surprisingly, has much better sources. In any event, it's important to also keep in mind two things: according to UN sources, at least half the refugees (300,000-350,000) left the country before the Deir Yassin attack (mostly from Haifa and the northern Galilee), which is most often cited as precipitating the exodus (no Passover pun intended); and Palestinians themselves have said in interviews that numbers were inflated to increase UNRWA funding. Millions, anonymous? There weren't 'millions' of Arabs living in Palestine in 1948 (The combined Muslim and Christian - not all of whom were Arab - population of Palestine in 1947 was around 1.3 million and not all fled). But by all means, continue to make things up if it makes you happy.