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Entitlement to Land and the Right of Return: An Embarrassing Challenge for Liberal Zionism

Marmor, Andrei
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In, Lukas H. Meyer, ed., Justice in Time: Responding to Historical Injustice. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft. Pp. 319-333.

In practical terms, it often appears that “might is right�? when it comes to controversies and conflicts within and between nations about claims to land. Yet, contends Andrei Marmor, it must not be conceded that this is the case. The claims and actions of peoples and nations regarding territorial possession should be subjected to moral scrutiny. Claims of entitlement to land should be justified by moral considerations, not just by virtue of actual possession and might. Upon these moral bases, Marmor evaluates the legitimacy of Israel’s holding of certain territories – during its war for independence and then after the 1967 war – and the Palestinians’ right of return to those lands. In particular, Marmor assesses the perspectives of Liberal Zionism with respect to the legitimacy of territorial holdings by the state of Israel. Marmor argues that Liberal Zionism faces irresolvable conflicts in its perspectives about entitlement to land and its moral claims to support those perspectives.


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