The Palestinian refugees issue is at the core of the Arab-Israeli multi-faceted conflict. This paper relies on a study which investigated the multi-level complexity of the Palestinian refugees case to identify the causes and consequences, and some prospects for its resolution. The study analyzed and compared frames and narratives used by the different parties at several stages of the investigated case, and also integrated lessons from two kinds of involuntary migration. During the Israeli/ Arab peace process, a transformation from exclusionary narratives and one dimensional “either/ or” solutions into a multi-optional synergistic environment was evident. The parties’ frames changed again while this protracted conflict re-escalated. This paper focuses on the Palestinian refugees claim for repatriation, and portrays a process of framing and reframing, of narrative co-creation and re-creation, and to a lesser degree of the creation of alternative options and solutions. The essay links insights from conflict analysis and resolution, and regional planning and development. It introduces an interactive model regarding the interconnections between reframing processes and transformation of intractable conflicts, and concludes with some lessons for this and other population displacement cases with regard to prospects for conflicts mitigation and for voluntary resettlement.

Author Bio(s)

Ariella Vraneski is the head of the Conflict Resolution Research Group of the Center of Urban and Regional Studies at the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, and a research affiliate of the Institute for Conflict Resolution & Analysis at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Her dissertation (Technion, highest honors, 1994), focused on the transferability and applicability of conflict analysis & resolution concepts and tools within different organizational and cultural settings. Dr. Vraneski, has received many research and teaching awards and fellowships from organizations in Austria, Italy, Israel and the United States. She is the author or co-author of eight books and numerous articles, chapters and reports on topics that combine between conflict transformation, comprehensive planning, social & environmental justice, community participation and sustainable development. Her more recent work aims at a synergistic inclusion of selected regional planning concepts and tools into the conflict resolution curriculum and practice. Dr. Vraneski is currently working on a book aimed to link between creativity, conflict analysis & resolution and peace building.


Arab-Israeli conflict, conflict analysis and resolution, Deir Yassin, Israeli-Arab peace process, Palestinian refugees, repatriation

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