The issue of the permanent settlement of Palestinians in Lebanon ( tawteen ) has great political and social resonance for all Lebanese, regardless of their sectarian background. To understand the processes by which the issue is articulated in Lebanese political discourse, this article examines two cases-a proposed housing project for displaced Palestinians, and the aftermath of Libya's expulsion of Palestinians-on which Lebanese attitudes to the Palestinian presence, their recollection of the civil war, and their concerns for the future converged. The author critically examines how these issues came to have such great, perhaps disproportionate, importance in Lebanon and explains how opposition to tawteen has become a political stand on which the Lebanese public is united

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