A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Magill Book Reviews)
At a time when Israelis and Palestinians have agreed to halt their warfare, recognize each other as individuals and as nations, and begin a dialogue for peace, Mark Tessler provides an in-depth study of the origins of their conflict. A HISTORY OF THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT has not only met well with literary critics but also has had the fortune of being lauded by Israelis and Palestinians on the one hand, and by Jews and Arabs on the other, as a fair and objective account.
As Tessler explains in his preface, the book aims to provide a framework for thinking about the cumulative meaning and eventual resolution of the lingering dispute. He approaches the Israelis and Palestinians as people who both have legitimate and inalienable rights. These rights and aspirations cannot be understood properly if seen exclusively, or even primarily, from the perspective of the present-day struggle. Tessler asserts that the past—full of violence—need not determine the future and that the Israeli-PLO accord signed in September, 1993, confirms that a basis for peace exists.
Tessler cites attitudes, perceptions, fears, and symbols—rather than the incompatibility of existential interests—as the most important obstacles to the achievement of peace. He gives evidence supporting his belief that the success of peacemaking efforts will primarily depend on finding ways to address the psychological and emotional dimensions of the dispute.
(The entire section is 331 words.)
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