Palestinian refugees in the Levant alternate theories for disparity in treatment
Krueger, Stephanie L.
Baylouny, Anne Marie
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This thesis presents an analysis of factors contributing to the disparity in treatment of the Palestinian refugees in the Levant. Each case study presents a basic overview of the historical background for the Palestinian refugee migration to the state before highlighting seven factors affecting the Palestinians. The factors of legal framework, economics, politics, space within the state, relationship of the PLO, Islamists, and Palestinians, and identity are evaluated to determine their relevance for the state's treatment of the Palestinians in the Levant. Two factors emerged as the main influencers for treatment of the Palestinians. The research shows that each nation's economic situations drove the level of integration into the state. The research shows that Jordan needs the Palestinians refugees' economic provision to support their rentier economy. Syria has absorbed the Palestinians into their economy, but was not willing to afford the refugees the same rights as their citizens. Lebanon does not seek to disrupt its confessional balance through integration of the Palestinians economically. Economics also affects the second factor, the politics surrounding the Palestinians. All three cases demonstrated a willingness integrate the Palestinians only to a level that would maintain political power for the ruling party. Lebanon again uses confessional politics to justify its lack of integration. The Syrian Alawi elite seeks to maintain their political monopoly pacifying the Palestinians enough to prevent action. Jordan's authoritarian regime also seeks to maintain its political power. They seek to minimize Palestinian political action through repressive measure that ensure the authoritarian regime's survival. While all the factors bore some relevance to the treatment of the Palestinians, economics and politics emerged as the principal factors affecting the treatment of the Palestinians in the Levant.
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