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Beschreibung des Verlags
Two prominent Israeli liberals argue that for the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians to end with peace, Palestinians must come to terms with the fact that there will be no "right of return."
In 1948, seven hundred thousand Palestinians were forced out of their homes by the first Arab-Israeli War. More than seventy years later, most of their houses are long gone, but millions of their descendants are still registered as refugees, with many living in refugee camps. This group—unlike countless others that were displaced in the aftermath of World War II and other conflicts—has remained unsettled, demanding to settle in the state of Israel. Their belief in a "right of return" is one of the largest obstacles to successful diplomacy and lasting peace in the region.
In The War of Return, Adi Schwartz and Einat Wilf—both liberal Israelis supportive of a two-state solution—reveal the origins of the idea of a right of return, and explain how UNRWA - the very agency charged with finding a solution for the refugees - gave in to Palestinian, Arab and international political pressure to create a permanent “refugee” problem. They argue that this Palestinian demand for a “right of return” has no legal or moral basis and make an impassioned plea for the US, the UN, and the EU to recognize this fact, for the good of Israelis and Palestinians alike.
A runaway bestseller in Israel, the first English translation of The War of Return is certain to spark lively debate throughout America and abroad.
Palestinian refugees' claims to a "right of return" have prevented a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to this clearly articulated but less-than-convincing polemic from a pair of self-identified members of the Israeli left. Wilf, a former Labor Party politician, and Schwartz, a journalist, argue that Jewish leaders had no plans to expel Palestinian Arabs prior to the 1947 1949 war of independence, and that there were no systematic efforts to do so during the conflict though hundreds of thousands did flee to neighboring Arab territories. Postwar objections to their assimilation back into Israel were in line with international norms and meant to prevent further conflict, according to the authors, who blame the UN for legitimizing the "nonexistent" right of return, "vastly inflat" the number of refugees by including all descendants of Palestinian males displaced during the war, and operating schools that indoctrinate children in "the illegitimacy of the Jewish state." Schwartz and Wilf don't address how the evolution of Israeli settlement policies may have contributed to Palestinian revanchism, and their claim that invalidating the right of return will lead to peace seems farfetched. This one-sided argument appears destined to spark debate rather that change minds.