It has become increasingly common for politicians, academics, and journalists the world over to blame Israel for the absence of peace between Israelis and Palestinians, with a nearly obsessive focus on Israeli “settlements” in the West Bank as the alleged root of the conflict. A problem with this viewpoint is that it ignores other important obstacles to peace that the Palestinians themselves have created, for example their demand for the “right of return” of the Palestinian “refugees.” This issue is not widely understood and deserves more attention than it gets from the mainstream media in the West. An effective way of enhancing our understanding of the Palestinian “refugee problem” is to compare and contrast it with similar refugee problems in other parts of the world. In this article, Spoerl compares and contrast the very different approaches taken by Palestinians and Germans to the painful dislocations that avoidable wars of their own causing inflicted on these two peoples in the 1940s.
Joseph S. Spoerl is Professor of Philosophy and Chairman of Philosophy at Saint Anselm College. His research interests include Ethics, Business Ethics, Modern Philosophy, Critical Thinking, Formal Logic, and more, and teaches classes in those subjects.