Magazine September 7, 2020, Issue

The Real Obstacle to Peace in the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

Palestinian students at a UNRWA school in Beirut, Lebanon, September 3, 2018 (Mohamed Azakir/Reuters)
The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace, by Adi Schwartz and Einat Wilf (All Points Books, 304 pp., $28.99)

Earlier this month, Israel achieved a stunning diplomatic breakthrough, agreeing to normalize relations with the United Arab Emirates in exchange for cashiering its plans to extend sovereignty to certain portions of the West Bank, which it conquered in a defensive war 53 years ago. The UAE accord undermined the claims by European Union factotums and Obama-administration foreign-policy veterans alike that Israel could attain regional peace only through territorial sacrifice dictated by the Israeli–Palestinian diplomatic process.

That process, however, has been on life support for more than a decade, and in The War of Return, Einat Wilf’s incisive and bracing revisionist look

This article appears as “The Blocked Path to Peace” in the September 7, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Max the Hamster

The pandemic, the shutdown, and the riots reveal, of the cities, the truth of that ancient bureaucratic adage: Don’t ever take a vacation.