I posted a question about how population transfers had been used to resolve wars, citing examples in Czechoslovakia, Finland and India, and the choice of nations not to go that route in the Arab-Israel conflict. A distinguished scholar had called the lack of population transfer to resolve the latter conflict unprecedented. I asked whether it truly is. That set off a firestorm I had not intended. But one interesting point was made that leads to a more fascinating issue -- if population transfer is a war crime, then, arguably, the resettlement of refugees to end a conflict, as was done in India/Pakistan, and more recently in the former Yugoslavia, as well as following several African tribal and ethnic wars, would be a war crime, too. Moreover, the Saudi Arabian proposal for peace in Palestine, as well as the aborted proposal at Camp David at the end of Clinton's administration, which would have forced Jews to leave their home, would also be war crimes. Is the alternative to keep refugees in camps until they have a home to get back to? Do we force Suni and Shiite neighbors who have been fighting tooth and nail with each other in Iraq to live together whether they like it or not, and whether their countries borders are redrawn creating a situation where they would be forced to live in a hostile environment. Would the UN and warring nations be barred from redrawing their maps to say "this side is for people of the X and that side is people of the Y" and de facto establishing incentives for the residents to leave homes they and descendants have lived in all of their lives.
Then it gets interesting when you ask, "how do we determine who are the people who cannot be forced to move?" Whose law would be used to determine this? Squatters rights means one thing in western society and is quite different under Islamic law. And finally, you have the touchy issue of the occupation by a nation of land that did not belong to anyone officially.
Easily, there is a Ph.d disertation here and certainly a good opinion question. But I have no idea if there is an appropriate question for this forum that can be brought out that my illuminate the issues I've raised above, and which I had hope to illuminate in my original quetion.
I'm open to ideas. If there are none, then I suggest that my original question be deleted.