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The Guests' Guests: Palestinian Refugees, Lebanese Civilians, and the War of 2006

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In the war between Israel and Hizbullah in 2006, 10,000 displaced Lebanese citizens were granted shelter and hospitality by Palestinian refugees in the camps of southern Lebanon. For the duration of the war, the Palestinian guests became hosts to their own hosts, and this temporary reversal of the usual relations of refuge set the scene for the rebuilding and renegotiation of relations between Palestinian refugees and their host country and its citizens. This paper addresses these events through a focus on the nature, politics and ethics of Palestinian hospitality and argues that hospitality was not simply a selfless act of giving, but also an instrumental act that had the potential to transform Palestinian–Lebanese relations in lasting ways.

Keywords: Israel; Lebanon; Palestine; hospitality; refugees; war

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Geography, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK;, Email:

Publication date: September 1, 2008


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