Saturday, September 03, 2011

Palestinians in Central America

Manzar Faroohar, "Palestinians in Central America: From Temporary Emigrants to a Permanent Diaspora." Journal of Palestine Studies 40, 3 (Spring 2011): 6-22.


The article presents an in-depth examination into the diaspora of Palestinians in Central America throughout the 20th century. An overview is presented citing data from interviews and government documentation evaluating the scope of the Palestinian population in Honduras and El Salvador. Accounts are given mapping two major immigration movements, one in the 1910s and 1920s and the other spanning in the post-1967 era. Details are provided noting the economic success of the Palestinians in Central America, their struggles with discrimination, and their eventual cultural assimilation. The extent to which Palestinians engage in Central American politics is also analyzed.

This is particularly relevant given all the discussions about Latin American governments recognizing the Palestinian State.  As Mike Allison very recently noted, El Salvador just did so.  One interesting point the article makes is that the Palestinian community is mostly conservative and supportive of U.S. policy in the region.  In other words, they may disagree about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but likely agree with the U.S. on most everything else.  Unfortunately, alarmists in the U.S. tend to view them as a threat.


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