Diaspora (From the Greek Diaspora, Meaning "Dispersion")

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DIASPORA (from the Greek diaspora, meaning "dispersion")

Term used to designate the dispersion of the Jewish people, whose first real exile outside Palestine dates from 70 c.e.; the word refers as well to any national or religious community living abroad as a result of voluntary or forced migration. By 2004 the Jewish diaspora outside Israel numbered around 8 million persons, of whom approximately 6 million live in the United States. The Palestinian diaspora, living outside the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, numbered around 3.8 million persons, most of whom are in states neighboring Israel, particularly Jordan (1.6 million), Lebanon (370,000), and Syria (400,000). Some Palestinian sources assert that the population of the Palestinian diaspora is closer to 6.5 million, and that official figures do not reflect those Palestinians who are not registered as refugees. The Palestinian exile dates from 1948, following the creation of the State of Israel.