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Life Lived in ReliefHumanitarian Predicaments and Palestinian Refugee Politics$
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Ilana Feldman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520299627

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520299627.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

No Exit

No Exit

Politics and Refugee Status

(p.35) Two No Exit
Life Lived in Relief

Ilana Feldman

University of California Press

This chapter explores the definition, history, and experience of the refugee category. It considers the apparently paradoxical fact that a category that is not meant to provide political status—that is intended rather to hold politics in abeyance—is a starting point for politics in the humanitarian condition. It looks at the specific challenges of the Palestinian refugee category—delineated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to determine eligibility for assistance, not to account for all who suffered losses in 1948. The chapter traces operational changes in the category over decades. It also considers how Palestinians, of multiple generations, have lived with and sometimes against the category. It describes tensions about the political meaning of refugee status.

Keywords:   refugee, definition, generation, UNRWA, political status, meaning

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