The Israeli Peace Movement: A Shattered Dream

Cambridge University Press
Free sample

This book discusses the predicament of the Israeli peace movement, which, paradoxically, following the launching of the Oslo peace process between Israel and the Palestinians in 1993, experienced a prolonged, fatal decline in membership, activity, political significance, and media visibility. After presenting the regional and national background to the launching of the peace process and a short history of Israeli peace activism, the book focuses on external and internal processes and interactions experienced by the peace movement, after some basic postulates of its agenda were actually, although never explicitly, embraced by the Rabin government. The book concludes that, despite its organizational decline and the zero credit given to it by the policy makers, in retrospect it appears that the movement contributed significantly to the integration of new ideas for possible solutions to the Middle East conflict in the Israeli mainstream political discourse.
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About the author

Tamar Hermann is a Professor of Political Science and Dean of Academic Studies at the Open University (OU) of Israel. She also serves as a Senior Research Fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute and a co-director of the Peace Index project at Tel Aviv University. Her present research examines the growing estrangement of citizens in many representative democracies from politics and the politicians and is meant to assess the potential outcomes of this process in terms of democratic governability and stability.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
Sep 14, 2009
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Pages
319
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ISBN
9781139483445
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Righteous Victims, by the noted historian Benny Morris, is a comprehensive and
objective history of the long battle between Arabs and Jews for possession of a land they both call home. It appears at a most timely juncture, as the bloody and protracted struggle seems at last to be headed for resolution.

With great clarity of vision, Professor Morris finds the roots of this conflict in the deep religious, ethnic, and political differences between the Zionist immigrants and the native Arab population of Palestine. He describes the gradual influx of Jewish settlers, which was eventually fiercely resisted by the Arabs during the decades of  British Mandatory government following World War I.

The establishment of the State of Israel in 1947 - 48 gave the Jews a homeland in the wake of the Holocaust, but the ensuing flight of the Palestinian Arabs shattered their society and led to the birth of a festering refugee problem. Morris describes these epic events and the Arab onslaught that followed, as he does each of the subsequent wars (in 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982 - 85); the Intifada of 1987 - 91, when the Palestinian populace of the West Bank and Gaza Strip rebelled against Israeli rule; and the rise of fundamentalist religious movements on both sides of the barricades. Tracing the successes and failures of politicians, generals, and diplomats in both camps, he regards their actions and plight with accuracy and empathy, drawing on archival materials, memoirs, and secondary works to give a vivid account of each major military encounter--and of the vicissitudes of peace efforts from the post-1948 negotiations through the Camp David (1977 - 79), Oslo (1993 - 95), and Wye River Plantation (1998) accords. Mr. Morris offers sharply etched portraits and illuminating anecdotes about the charismatic leaders who have been the chief protagonists of this contentious history, including Theodor Herzl, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, David Ben-Gurion, Anwar Sadat, and Menachem Begin, to name only a few.

Righteous Victims ends with Mr. Morris's analysis of the current state of play, when the election of Ehud Barak as prime minister (May 1999) has opened the door to a renewal of negotiations between Israel and its Palestinian and Syrian neighbors. As the denizens of the Middle East set out to write the next chapter in this long and difficult struggle, Righteous Victims is essential reading: a monumental work of narration and explication for all who seek to understand the history of the conflict and the prospects for peace.
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