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Walid Khalidi

Walid Khalidi
Born 1925 (age 94–95)
Jerusalem, Mandatory Palestine
Occupation Historian

Walid Khalidi (Arabic: وليد خالدي‎, born 1925 in Jerusalem) is an Oxford University-educated Palestinian historian who has written extensively on the Palestinian exodus. He is General Secretary and co-founder of the Institute for Palestine Studies, established in Beirut in December 1963 as an independent research and publishing center focusing on the Palestine problem and the Arab–Israeli conflict.

Khalidi's first teaching post was at Oxford, a position he resigned from in 1956 in protest at the British invasion of Suez. He was Professor of Political Studies at the American University of Beirut until 1982 and thereafter a research fellow at the Harvard Center for International Affairs.[1] He has also taught at Princeton University.

Khalidi was co-founder of the Royal Scientific Society of Amman. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Life and career

Khalidi was born, one of 5 children, in Jerusalem. His father, Ahmad Samih Khalidi, was dean of the Arab College of Jerusalem, and hailed from a family with roots in pre-Crusader Palestine. Khalidi's early tutor was the director of Education in Mandatory Palestine, G. B. Farrell.[2] His brother is the Islamic historian Tarif Khalidi. Khalidi graduated with a B.A. from the University of London in 1945, then studied at the University of Oxford, gaining an M.Litt. in 1951. He then taught at the Faculty of Oriental Studies in Oxford, until he resigned, after the trilateral British, French and Israeli assault on Egypt in 1956, to take up teaching at the American University of Beirut. Under his guidance the Institute of Palestine Studies, established in 1963, produced a long series of monographs in English and Arabic and several important translations of Hebrew texts into Arabic: 'The History of the Haganah', David Ben-Gurion and Shertok's diaries—texts that still await translation into English.[3] He has also produced ground-breaking work on the fall of Haifa and Deir Yassin. His best known works are Before Their Diaspora, a photographic essay on Palestinian society prior to 1948 and All That Remains, the encyclopedic collection of village histories which he edited. He became a senior research associate at the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard in 1982.[2]

Position on the Palestine question

Khalidi's stated position on the Palestine question is for a two-state solution.[4][5] From Foreign Affairs: "A Palestinian state in the occupied territories within the 1967 frontiers in peaceful coexistence alongside Israel is the only conceptual candidate for a historical compromise of this century-old conflict. Without it the conflict will remain an open-ended one."[6]

Khalidi is a Palestinian representative to the Joint Palestinian–Jordanian delegation to the Middle East peace talks. He holds no office in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) or any of its bodies.[7]


At the Palestinian Heritage Foundation's 15th Anniversary banquet, Khalidi was presented with an award for his commitment to the Palestinian cause, the Arab-American community, and the Arab nation.[8]

Published works

See also


  1. ^ Hirsch & Housen-Couriel, 1995, p. 98.
  2. ^ a b Rashid Khalidi, 'Walid Khalidi,' in Philip Mattar (ed.),Encyclopedia of the Palestinians, Infobase Publishing, 2005 pp.280-284.
  3. ^ See for example See translation by Walid Khalidi here
  4. ^ Khalidi, Walid (Jul 1978). "Thinking the Unthinkable: A Sovereign Palestinian State". Foreign Affairs (Council on Foreign Relations) 56 (4): 695–713. JSTOR 20039986. doi:10.2307/20039986.  edit
  5. ^ Hirsch, Moshe; Housen-Couriel, Deborah; Lapidoth, Ruth (1995). "44". Whither Jerusalem?: proposals and positions concerning the future of Jerusalem (Mekhon Yerushalayim le-ḥeḳer Yiśraʼel ed.). The Hague u.a.: Nijhoff. p. 98. ISBN 90-411-0077-6. Retrieved 4 October 2013. Proposal by Dr. Walid Khalidi Date: 1978, 1988 Source: W. Khalidi, "Thinking the Unthinkable: A Sovereign Palestinian State," 56 Foreign Affairs 695, 1978. idem, "Toward Peace in the Holy Land," 66 Foreign Affairs 71, 1988. Background: Walid Khalidi was professor of Political Studies at the American university of Beirut until 1982 and currently is a Research Fellow at the Harvard Center for International Affairs. In the past he was a member of the Palestinian national Council and carried out various political missions for the Palestinian Liberation Organization. National Aspirations # East Jerusalem will be the capital of "Arab Pastine," and west Jerusalem of Israel. # The two states would agree to arrangements for "freedom of residence between two capitals." # Both parts of the city would be "demilitarized in part or wholly for essential internal security forces." Holy Places # Extraterritorial status would be granted to the Holy Places of Jerusalem in east Jerusalem, and freedom of access to them should be guaranteed. # An "interfaith ocuncil" would be set up, composed of senior representatives of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The council will be chaired by a representative of the U.N. or by rotating chairmanship among the members. # The council "could oversee the special interests, Holy Places and institutions of each religion and act as an arbitration and conciliation body for disputes or claims arising with regard to them." Municipal Administration # Two "separate minicipalities of each sovereign state" would provide services to the city's residencts. # "A joint inter-state great municipal counil would operate and supervise certain essential common services." 
  6. ^ Khalidi, Walid. "Toward Peace in the Holy Land", Foreign Affairs, Spring 1988.
  7. ^ Hansard Records, 13 April 1983 vol 40 c407W.
  8. ^ Palestine Heritage news letter


  • Hirsch, Moshe and Housen-Couriel, Deborah (1995). Whither Jerusalem?: Proposals and Positions Concerning the Future of Jerusalem. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 90-411-0077-6

External links

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