Description: The 1994 Oslo accords between Israel and the Palestinians were hailed as the start of a process that would bring about resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Five years later, Oslo must be judged a failure. For the Arab and Islamic world, Israel remains what it was at the outset of Oslo — a pariah state illegally occupying Arab lands.Gaza-based journalist Graham Usher witnessed many of the pivotal events of the peace process, and his insightful new book gives voice to the people of Palestine. In addition to presenting the views of ordinary individuals on the street, the book includes interviews with many of the leading commentators and figures from Palestinian Hamas and Fatah, Lebanese Hezballah, and Shas (the Sephardic Jews within Israel). Among the key figures interviewed are Azmi Bishara (Arab activist/Israeli citizen running for President), Yossi Beilin (former Israeli Labour Cabinet member) Aryeh Deri (Shas), Marwan Barghouti (Fatah), and Ibrahim Ghoshah (Hamas). The collection also contains longer, analytical pieces that describe the rise of Hamas in the occupied territories; the growing authoritarianism of Yassar Arafat’s Palestinian Authority; the politics of Hezballah in Lebanon; and the causes behind the nihilistic violence of the Gamaa Islamiyya in Egypt. Dispatches from Palestine offers the contemporary history of a process that has irreversibly changed the nature of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict — and one whose failure is bound to leave its mark on the region and the world in the future.
Description: At the very heart of the modern world is the idea that all people are born equal. Yet the Jewish religion teaches that people of Jewish faith are special before God, and Jewish fundamentalism passionately defends this belief. This book considers the consequences of this belief in the light of the considerable political influence and power of Jewish fundamentalism. The authors make a clear distinction between the fundamentalist ideology of Israel’s Ashkenazi Jews and that of the Sephardic Jews, examining the growing impact of these two movements on Israel’s political processes and their effects at a grassroots level through the armed forces’ relations with the Palestinian population. Shahak and Mezvinsky argue that Israeli Jewish fundamentalism is closely associated with a new form of national religious Messianism which has its origins in the settling of the conquered territories during the war of 1967 and which vehemently opposes the peace process. Focusing on the consequences for Israel of these ideologies, the authors examine in particular the activities of fundamentalist groups and individuals. Shahak and Mezvinsky conclude by analyzing the possible scenario of civil war in Israel between religious fundamentalists and secularists.
Description: This study assimilates diverse interpretations of the origins of the Middle East conflict with emphasis on the fight for Palestine and its religious and political roots. Drawing largely on scholarly debates in Israel since 1980, which have become known as “historical revisionism”, the collection presents developments in the Arab-Israeli conflict’s historiography and a critical reassessment of Israel’s past.
Few fields can claim to be more energized than the study of the Arab-Israeli conflict. For decades after the founding of Israel, scholars associated with the fledgling state wrote works that defended its every aspect. For example, such historians claimed that Arab states encouraged Palestinians to evacuate the contested areas in 1948. Thus, in these versions, the Arabs caused the refugee problem. This volume focuses on the tremendous outpouring of recent studies that reinterpret the history of this struggle by depicting the Palestinians’ perspective in a far more supportive light. Arguing that they have consulted the archives much more carefully, these scholars have shown, among many other findings, that efforts at solidarity among Arab and Israeli workers went awry because of limits on both sides. Likewise, the 1948 exodus relates significantly to Israeli policy.
Throughout this work, responsibility is more equally shared, and the Palestinians receive more direct attention. Indeed, this volume collects a series of essays with which any serious student of the period will have to grapple before making conclusions.