Yearning for a Home: Peter Bergson and Hannah Arendt on the Palestinian Refugee Problem

Ayala Paz, Rebecca Kook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents the findings of an international Symposium held in New-York in 1958, organized by the Institute for Mediterranean Affairs aimed at producing a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem. The Symposium included a panel of seventeen independent scholars that included political theorist Hannah Arendt. In this paper we examine the ways in which the proposed solution reflects Arendt's notion of human rights and her criticism of the universal dangers embedded in statelessness. We then examine the political thought of Hillel Kook (Peter Bergson), founding member of the Institute, and the ways it informed the basis for the solution—particularly his notions of liberal nationalism and civic identity. In light of the enduring relevance of the Palestinian Refugee Problem today, we suggest that the main theoretical elements of the proposal offer guidelines for a potential resolution.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)244-268
Number of pages25
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Yearning for a Home: Peter Bergson and Hannah Arendt on the Palestinian Refugee Problem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this