No refuge: Palestinians in Lebanon
Jaber Suleiman, Nisrine Mansour, Nasser Yassin
Suleiman’s paper sets out the restricted legal, political, economic and social conditions within which Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are forced to live. More than any of the other four populations under the UNRWA mandate, Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are deprived of basic civil and human rights. In the aftermath of the Nahr el-Bared debates regarding its rebuilding and the possible association with tawteen, Suleiman maintains that Palestinians in Lebanon do not wish to be naturalised or integrated; they do not wish to give up their claims to Palestine but simply seek to “mitigate their destitution and alleviate their day-to-day suffering.” The paper by Mansour and Yassin places the rebuilding of the Nahr el-Bared camp within the current concerns on the ‘global war on terror’ and the securitisation debates which link refugees to threats to national security. The paper asks whether post-conflict reconstruction is designed to restore refugee protection - as the state claims - or to implement greater control, confinement and exclusion. Using Foucault’s framework of governmentality, it analyses the Lebanese state’s protection and reconstruction policy and practice over Nahr el-Bared camp. It concludes that, while the reconstruction plan for the camp in strictly technical terms is a model of innovation, it has serious implications for the rights and protection of refugees.