Israel/Palestine

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 second 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 expanded edition also includes a new chapter on the so-called ‘fourth stage’ 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.