Waging Peace: Israel and the Arabs, 1948-2003

Waging Peace: Israel and the Arabs, 1948-2003

Waging Peace: Israel and the Arabs, 1948-2003

Waging Peace: Israel and the Arabs, 1948-2003


Considerably expanded to include the impact of the 2003 war in Iraq and its aftermath, this new edition of Waging Peace provides a unique insight into the critical debate on the future of peace in the Middle East. A former chief negotiator for Israel, noted scholar-diplomat Itamar Rabinovich examines the complete history of Arab-Israeli relations beginning in 1948. He then gives a vivid account of the peace processes of 1992-1996 and the more dispiriting record since then. His updated analysis on Iraq, Ehud Barak, and Ariel Sharon--and on the expanding role of the United States in the Middle East--sheds new light on the long and tumultuous history between Arabs and Jews.

As Rabinovich brings the conflict into this century, he widens the scope of his proposals for achieving normalized and peaceful Arab-Israeli relations. While he considers the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians--a classic dispute between two national movements claiming the same land--Rabinovich also studies the broader political, cultural, and increasingly religious conflict between Israel and Arab nationalism and discusses the region in an international context.

Rabinovich's firsthand experiences as a negotiator and an ambassador provide an extraordinary perspective on the major players involved. The result is a shrewd assessment of the past and current state of affairs, as well as a hopeful look at the possibilities for a peaceful future.


During the years 1992–96 I was privileged to serve as Israel's ambassador in Washington (February 1993–September 1996) and also as its peace negotiator with Syria (July 1992–November 1995). in this dual capacity, I was especially active on the Syrian track of the Israeli-Arab peace process and also took part in most of its other aspects. This unique opportunity to acquire a much deeper understanding of both the Arab-Israeli conflict and the peace process was grafted onto more than two decades of academic study of and writing on Israel's relationship with the Arab world. So when I returned to Tel Aviv University in September 1996, I decided to write two books: a specific account of Israel's relationship with Syria (this was published in 1998); and an overview of Israel's relationship with the Arab world, which was published originally by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1999.

The original manuscript was completed in March 1999; much happened in the next four years—Barak's brief tenure as Israel's prime minister, the collapse of the peace process in both the Syrian and Palestinian tracks, the outbreak and unfolding of the Palestinian-Israeli war of attrition, the formation of George W. Bush's administration and Ariel Sharon's two governments, the terrorist . . .

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