he more than 425,000 Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon, who yesterday received a qualified right to work in the country, have a long and complicated history in the country. Unlike those in their neighbors Jordan or Syria, Palestinians in Lebanon have never obtained significant political or social rights, such as citizenship, rights to work, or the ability to own property.
Somewhat ironically, the leadership of the many politico-religious communities in Lebanon are in largely in harmony on one element this issue: everyone agrees that the registered Palestinians refugees in Lebanon should not be given Lebanese nationality, nor the trappings of permanent residence, such as the right to own land or major property. It is for very different reasons, however.
From the outside, of course, it looks far more like political expediency: excluding an unwanted and marginalized community from the benefits that the majority enjoy, regardless of the rhetoric that underpins it.
Renard Sexton is FiveThirtyEight's international affairs columnist. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
* 1950 figure from UNRWA