The Dark Side of Zionism: Israel's Quest for Security through Dominance arises out of the scholarship of the 'new historians,' a group of mostly Israeli scholars who have uncovered a history widely ignored in the popular media. Baylis Thomas argues that both the early Zionists and, later, the Israelis sought their security through the military domination of the indigenous Arab population of Palestine. This strategy required both avoiding negotiations with the Palestinian-Arabs and provoking the weak Arab states-opposed to the Israeli takeover of Palestine-into entering wars they would lose. The role of British imperial power was crucial in this early history, as was the later U.S. support of Israel, right or wrong. Thomas explores the larger context of this history in chapters on colonization, hegemony, weapons diplomacy, terrorism, nationalism, religion, Zionism, and prospects for resolution of the conflict. While students and scholars of Middle Eastern studies and international relations will find this book valuable, it is intended for the intelligent general reader who is curious about current events yet puzzled about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Israel's national identity, founded on the memory of being victims of the Holocaust, focuses on current events that seem consistent with the past, even as the nation uses force to thwart Palestinian national aspirations. The Dark Side of Zionism argues that peace for both Israelis and Palestinians can only come if Israel relinquishes military rule.