1948 Versus 2008

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As we approach the fifth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, it is worth putting certain facts into perspective. Until the 2003 invasion, it was assumed that the 1948 Arab-Israeli war had created the region’s largest and most significant refugee crisis, sending an estimated 750,000 Palestinians into exile.

According to figures made available by news agencies, over the past five years, the US occupation of Iraq has turned over 4 million of the country’s citizens into refugees. In an article published by the Associated Press on Monday, it is estimated that two million of these refugees are internal, with the rest spread around the region.

Separated by 60 years, and different national contexts, there are as many reasons to not assimilate these events as there are for comparing them. From an Israeli perspective, however, given the tragic legacy that the Palestinian refugee crisis has bequeathed the region, the Americans would be well advised to learn from precedent.

This post is also published on allvoices.com