The War of Return – Review

In a clear and concisely crafted work, The War of Return, co-authors Adi Schwartz and Einat Wilf, both of whom support the two state solution, explain in flowing prose why the Palestinians’ pursuit of the ‘right of return’ is as unjust as it is futile. They make the case that the Palestinian intransigent insistence on the right of return, supported by UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) has created a permanent refugee problem. They maintain, with cogent arguments, that the Palestinian demand for a right of return has no legal or moral basis and urge the world to recognize that fact.

For the casual visitor to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Schwartz and Wilf provide a brief history of events which led up to today’s the situation on the ground. On May 14, 1948 Israel, having accepted the UN partition plan, declared its status as an independent state. The Arabs refused to abide by international law and five countries: Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon initiated a war against the tiny nascent state of Israel and lost. As the result of the Arab-Israeli War, the number of Jews forced out of Arab lands, was approximately the same number of Palestinians who left Israel voluntarily, or if hostile to the state, were forced out of it.

The authors claim that by refusing to accept the new reality, the Palestinians have been mired in self-pity and delusional aspirations for over seventy years. If they fail to understand that the Jews are not going anywhere, neither will they. Their insistence on the right of return is a sure sign that they have no intention of doing anything other than ridding Israel of Jews.

Waxing poetic, Schwartz, and Wilf declare that for millennia, the world has gotten away with treating Jews as second-class citizens, but that is no longer the case today. The establishment of the modern State of Israel ushered in a paradigm shift on how the world regards the Jewish people. And because of that, the Palestinians need to awake to the realization that after 2,000 years in exile, the indigenous people of the Land of Israel, the Jews, have finally returned to their ancestral homeland.

About the Author
Since retiring from IBM as an IT Systems Analyst Steve Wenick has served as a freelance book reviewer for HarperCollins Publishing. His reviews have appeared in The Algemeiner as well as The Jewish Voice of Southern New Jersey and The Jewish Voice of Philadelphia. His articles on Jewish, Holocaust and Israel topics also have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Attitudes Magazine and Varied Voices. Steve and his wife are residents of Voorhees, New Jersey.
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