Palestine and the Palestinians

Palestine and the Palestinians

Palestine and the Palestinians

Palestine and the Palestinians

Synopsis

"Recommended." Library Journal "A tour de force. This is by far the best single work on Palestine before its destruction & the Palestinians since that tragedy. It should be required reading for everyone concerned with understanding the background & future of the seemingly intractable question of Palestine." Cheryl Rubenberg Florida International University

Excerpt

Palestine is a small territory, and the Palestinians--the indigenous Arab people of Palestine--are a relatively small population, numbering 6.8 million in 1996. Yet the Palestinian problem has loomed large on the international scene for at least fifty years, with tangled roots nearly a century old. Since 1948, the Arab-Israeli conflict has been punctuated by a major war nearly every decade and countless invasions, incursions, clashes, and skirmishes, producing regional and global tensions and even threatening world peace during the cold war. Indeed, since the advent of the nuclear age, the only known nuclear war alert was issued by the United States during the fourth major Israeli-Arab war, the October War of 1973.

The question of Palestine and the Palestinians continues to be central in international affairs, as the United States, the Pacific Rim, and the European Union (EU) compete for economic domination in the emerging world order. The hegemony of industrialization depends upon oil, a commodity entangled in the volatile conflict over Palestine. The 1973 Arab oil embargo, a result of the Arab-Israeli war of that year, is a potent reminder of the political and economic linkages of the issue, as is the 1991 Gulf War. Middle Eastern oil, which consists of the largest reserves and productive capacity on earth, and the derivative "military hardware" market are a lucrative prize for contemporary rival economic powers. As Simon Bromley argues, control of world oil has been pivotal in the United States' post-World War II global hegemony. Thus the problem of Palestine has been a hidden side of the global political economy.

At the political level, the question of Palestine manifests itself in the United Nations (the Palestinian conflict is the single issue that has generated the largest number of resolutions) and in international organizations such as the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Movement of the Non-Aligned States, and the Islamic Conference. Lord Caradon, the British . . .

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