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216 × 138 mm
248 pages
01 Jul 2009
Contemporary Worlds
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The Arab-Israeli Conflict A History Ian J. Bickerton

Though more than sixty years have passed since the signing of the proclamation of the State of Israel, the impact of that epochal event continues to shape the political policies and public opinion of not only the Middle East but much of the world. The consequent conflict between Arabs and Israelis for sovereignty over the land of Palestine has been one of the most bloody, intractable and drawn-out of modern times. It continues today in cycles of aggressive violence followed by temporary and tenuous ceasefires that are marked and complicated by resolute opinions and fractious religious ideologies. In this timely analysis, noted military historian Ian J. Bickerton cuts through the complex perspectives in order to explain this struggle in objective detail, describing its history from the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire following World War I to the present day.

In concise and clear prose, Bickerton argues that the present problem can be traced to the fact that each side is trapped by visions of their past from which they seem unable to break free. This attachment and reaction to history has negatively influenced the decision-making of Arabs and Israelis since 1948. Ultimately, Bickerton insists that the use of armed force has not, and will not, resolve the issues that have divided Israelis and Arabs.

The Arab-Israeli Conflict is a plea for reasoned diplomacy in a situation that has been dominated by extreme violence. This book will appeal to a wide general audience seeking a balanced understanding of this enduring struggle that still dominates headlines.

‘If you want to understand the historic background to the Arab-Israeli conflict this is a well-researched overview., underpinned by Bickerton's belief that reasonableness and diplomacy will eventually lead to an enduring and peaceful resolution.’ – Sydney Morning Herald

‘This book on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict is a little treasure, containing some very interesting observations . . . I find Bickerton's analysis of the conflict to be fair and balanced . . . beautifully written . . . it is its eloquent - indeed, passionate - call on the parties to come to their senses, abandon war and instead talk peace that turns it into such an exciting read.’ – Journal of Contemporary History

‘Ian Bickerton's accessible primer, The Arab-Israeli Conflict, delves deeply into this tangled dispute and covers the British mandate, the wars, the skirmishes and the diplomacy. His sensible message is that the dispute cannot be resolved by military means.’ – The Canadian Jewish News

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Ian J. Bickerton is Associate Professor of History at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. He is the author of many books, including Unintended Consequences: The United States at War (2007), also published by Reaktion.