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Israel / Palestine, 3rd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-7456-5612-0
280 pages
June 2012, Polity
Israel / Palestine, 3rd Edition (0745656129) cover image


What explains the peculiar intensity and evident intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Of all the "hot spots" in the world today, the apparently endless clash between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East seems unique in its longevity and resistance to resolution. Is this conflict really different from other ethnic and nationalist confrontations, and if so, in what way?

In this fully revised and updated third edition of his highly respected introductory text, Alan Dowty demystifies the conflict by putting it in broad historical perspective, identifying its roots, and tracing its evolution up to the current impasse. His account offers a clear analytic framework for understanding transformations over time, and in doing so, punctures the myths of an "age-old" conflict with an unbridgeable gap between the two sides. Rather than simply reciting historical detail, this book presents a clear overview that serves as a road map through the thicket of conflicting claims. This newly expanded edition updates the analysis to include the latest developments, and also integrates into the analysis a fuller account of the regional and international context of the conflict.

In this account the opposed perspectives of the two sides are presented in full, leaving readers to make their own evaluations of the issues. The book thus expresses fairly and objectively the concerns, hopes, fears, and passions of both sides, making it clear why this conflict is waged with such vehemence -- and why, for all that, there are some grounds for optimism.
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Table of Contents


1 Introduction: Two Worlds Collide
Dispelling Myths
Defining the Conflict
The Setting: Ottoman Palestine

2 The Jewish Story
A Fossilized Relic?
The Theme of Persecution
"Come, Let Us Go"
Herzl and the Second Aliya
First Encounters

3 The Arab Story
The Glory of Islam
The Rise of the West
Palestine and Palestinism
First Encounters
The Debut of Arab Nationalism

4 The Emergence of Israel
The British Mandate
A Mischievous Pretence?
Holocaust and Partition
The War of Independence/An-Naqba:
The Second Stage of the Conflict
Nasser and Nationalism

5 The Re-emergence of the Palestinians
The War that No One Wanted?
The Peculiar Legacy of 1967
The Decade of Sadat: Entering the Third Stage of the Conflict
The Lebanese Tangle
Shaking Things Up: The First Intifada

6 The First Pass at Peace
The Oslo Breakthrough
The Rocky Road to Peace
What Went Wrong?
The Roof Falls In

7 The Fourth Stage of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The End of the Arafat Era
Israel Turns to Unilateralism
A Turning Point: Ideology Prevails

8 The Impasse that Remains
The End of the Two-State Solution?
Territory and Settlements
Security Issues
A General Prognosis

9 The Perfect Conflict
Right against Right?
A Practical Solution
Building Foundations: Extremists and Illusions


Further Reading

Internet Links



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Author Information

Alan Dowty is professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • A fully revised and updated new edition of Alan Dowty's authoritative account of the Israel / Palestine conflict.
  • Unpicks the complexity of the region's conflicts by putting them in broad historical context.
  • Fully updated to include the latest developments both within the region and in the wider international context
  • Will be essential reading for students of politics and cognate disciplines, as well as the interested general reader
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"Simply the best book available for undergraduates. In my many years of teaching I have never received such universal praise for a textbook on course evaluations."
Israel Studies Review

Acclaim for previous editions:

"An excellent analysis of the issue at the core of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, stripped of the 'subjective' accretions of emotions and passions, prejudice and ethnic hatred. It is the book to which scholars and belligerents should return in the heat of battle to remind themselves of the real issue at stake."
Australian Journal of Political Science

"Presents clearly the facts that underscore the tragedy for both sides of this conflict."
Journal of Contemporary Religion

"A veritable joy for the average Middle East academic connoisseur."
Political Studies Review

"Alan Dowty’s book now receives pride of place at the top of my list of concise, illuminating histories of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict to recommend. This will be a leading contender to be the textbook of choice in basic courses on the conflict."
Middle East Journal

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