· The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace
(St. Martin’s Press, available April 28). 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.
· Dr Wilf is a leading intellectual and original thinker on matters of foreign policy, economics, education, Israel and Zionism. She was a member of the Israeli Parliament from 2010-2013, where she served as Chair of the Education Committee and Member of the influential Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. She is considered one of Israel’s most articulate representatives on the international stage.