The conflicts between Israel and its Arab neighbors have lasted for more than half a century. How can they be ended? In this important book, a noted expert goes beyond the old formulas to suggest new ways to normalize international relations in the Middle East.
Itamar Rabinovich considers the issues in all the relevant contexts: the core conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, a classic dispute between two national movements claiming title to and vying for possession of the same land; the broader political and cultural-and occasionally religious-conflict between Israel and Arab nationalism; the many bilateral disagreements between Israel and its various Arab neighbors; and the international structure in which colonial and postcolonial power rivalries, geopolitical factors, and talk about the "Holy Land" all play a part. His vivid account of the hopeful peace processes of 1992 to 1996 and the more dispiriting record since then points the way to the crucial matters that will be addressed in 1999 and 2000. Will Arafat declare Palestinian statehood? Are hostilities to be expected? With his shrewd assessments of the major players (and the striking differences in how each "tells the story") and his realistic understanding of the possibilities, Rabinovich offers real hope for an intelligent achievement of enduring peace....Continua