Compiled by: Dr. S.H. Abu-Sitta, Ph.D.
All rights reserved
The Palestinian Return Centre
Revised Second Edition
September 2000

Published by: The Palestinian Return Centre

Crown House North Circular Road London NW10 7PN U.K.

Tel: +44-20-8453 0919

Fax: +44-20-8453 0994



ISBN. 1 901924 25 4

Occasional Return Centre Studies No. 4, September 2000


The Palestinian Return Centre

The Palestinian Return Centre was founded to serve as a forum of discussion and monitor issues pertaining to the Palestinian Diaspora. The Centre carries out research on these issues, documents its findings, and conducts an on-going publicity campaign.

It aims:

  • To promote the right of the Palestinian to return to their ancestral land, Palestine.
  • To preserve the Palestinian identity and resist attempts to resettle the Palestinian of the Diaspora.
  • To increase general public awareness of the facts and issues concerning the plight of the Palestinian people.
  • To introduce the general public in Europe especially Britain to the true dimensions of the Palestine Question and the rights of the Palestinians.

Cover Photograph:

Horseman overlooking his Palestinian village: Daburiyyah (Nazareth sub-district) on the slopes of mount Tabor, Galilee, ca 1890.
(From the collection of the famous Jerusalem, Khalil Raad, in “Before Their Diaspora” by Walid Khalidi.)

I still possess the key to my family home in Jaffa. It shall pass to my children and grandchildren till our return. -Khamis Hamid In a refugee camp in Gaza
There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab Population.-Moshe Dayan
Galilee is revealed to me in its splendor, its hidden places and folds, it crimson smile and its green softness and its desolation. It was always bustling with man and beast. A strange stillness lies over all the mountains and is drawn by hidden threads from within the empty village. An empty village; what a terrible thing! Fossilized lives! Lives turned to fossilized whispers in extinguished ovens’ a shattered mirror; moldy blocks of dried figs and scrawny dog, thin-tailed and floppy-eared and dark-eyed. At the same time–at the very same moment–a different feeling throbs and rises from the primordial depths, a feeling of victory, of taking control, of revenge, and of casting off suffering. You see empty houses, good for the settlement of our Jewish brethren who have wandered for generation upon generation. -From the dairy of Josef Weitz, Land official of the Jewish National Fund and Chairman of the first Transfer Committee, After his tour of depopulated villages late in 1948
I have seen maps from 1948, where hundreds of villages and towns which have disappeared are noted on maps distributed by Palestinians in the Diaspora. These maps are more dangerous than any bomb. -Uri Avner
Forgetfulness leads to exile, while remembrance is the secret of redemption. -Baal Shem Tov (inscription at Yad Vashem)