Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Recent Publications

Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Recent Publications

Article excerpt


One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon at War, by Bing West. New York: Random House, 2015. 320 pages. $18. Reporter Bing West's latest work of frontline journalism follows the experiences of 3rd Battalion 5th Marines (3/5) during the Americanled war in Afghanistan through a narrative account of the numerous patrols, firefights, and casualties endured by the battalion's 3rd Platoon. 3/5 was stationed in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, and suffered the highest casualty rate of any unit during the war. By following the stories of both officers and enlisted during the platoon's tour, West attempts to discern what drove these men to continue to go beyond the wire in spite of the numerous dangers awaiting them each day. (FW)


The Arab-Israeli Conflict in American Political Culture, by Jonathan Rynhold. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 311 pages. $29.99. In this book, scholar Jonathan Rynhold charts the various shifts in American public perception of Israel over the past two decades through a combination of surveys and analysis of media trends. Using these data, Rynhold argues that the divisions concerning American popular perceptions of Israel have become increasingly partisan. Throughout his book, he uses history and ideology to explain the views of various segments of American society regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict, starting with the United States' conservative-liberal divide and ending with an exploration of the opposing perspectives on the conflict that exist among America's Jewish population. The book's unique contribution to the already extensive body of literature regarding the issues is its analysis of general public perceptions, as previous works on the unique US-Israel relationship have tended to focus on policy-makers and political elites. (FW)

Fragmented Borders, Interdependence, and External Relations: The Israel-Palestine-European Union Triangle, edited by Raffaella A. Del Sarto. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 216 pages. $90. In this collection, eight scholars explore how borders, both physical and abstract, have shaped the European Union's reaction to and ability to influence the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of this triangular relationship, creating a multifaceted approach to the relations of power between the EU, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority. Key issues such as disputed borders, the overlapping of jurisdictions between the three entities, and the ambiguous economic status of Israeli settlements are all explored through the lens of EU policy. This volume is an important and detailed analysis of the numerous legal, political, and economic interactions that define the relationship between the European Union and the Israel/Palestine issue. (FW)

The Gatekeepers: Inside Israel's Internal Security Agency, by Dror Moreh. New York, Skyhorse Publishing, 2015. 440 pages. $24.99. In 2012, Israeli director and cinematographer Dror Moreh interviewed six former heads of the Israel Security Agency (better known as the Shin Bet), which is responsible for domestic security in Israel and the Occupied Territories, and transformed those interviews into the documentary The Gatekeepers. This book serves as a companion to that Oscar-nominated film, and expands upon the documentary's already powerful impact. This unprecedented collection of interviews unflinchingly sheds light upon the highly secretive operations of the Shin Bet from the 1967 Arab-Israeli War to the present day, and explores the human tragedies that have resulted from the emotional and physical strain of the occupation since the beginning. Not only do these six spymasters discuss the tense deliberations and life-or-death decisions that accompanied each day of their service with the Shin Bet, but their statements also reveal the damage that the conflict has inflicted on the Israeli psyche and its national identity over the past several decades. …

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