Academic journal article Arab Studies Quarterly

Indecision Points: George W. Bush and the Israeli- Palestinian Conflict

Academic journal article Arab Studies Quarterly

Indecision Points: George W. Bush and the Israeli- Palestinian Conflict

Article excerpt

Zoughbie, daniel e. Indecision Points: George W. Bush and the IsraeliPalestinian Conflict. Cambridge, MA: the Mit Press, 2014. 208 pages. Cloth $24.95

The title of this book obviously signifies a disagreement with George W. Bush's autobiography, Decision Points, at least with regard to the question of Palestine. The book does not investigate the Arab-Israeli conflict, its roots, and/ or consequences. Rather, an account of the Bush administration's approaches to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict are based on what 45 global leaders (including Condoleezza Rice, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Kofi Annan, Colin Powell, Tom DeLay, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Leon Panetta, Chuck Hagel, Shlomo Ben-Ami, and Salam Fayyad) have said about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

George W. Bush, the account indicates, was not a decider when it came to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Examples of indecision are what transpired beginning with the speech at the UN General Assembly November 2001, in which Bush mentioned Palestine, to the June 24, 2002, speech that placed "the onus for change on the Palestinians, calling for a sequence of steps to be taken, which included the removal of Yasser Arafat, the dismantling of all terrorist organizations, and the organization of democratic elections as a precondition for peace negotiations" (p. 2). However, the speech that led to describing George W. Bush as the "first Jewish president," along with his "freedom and democracy" hypothesis would be challenged on the morning of January 26, 2006, with Hamas' landslide victory in the Palestinian elections.

The book focuses on the Bush policies relating to the peace process, in which the USA played a central role. The book states that the "United States has been involved in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians" for over 45 years. Bush's intervention and policies "were unprecedented in that they permanently changed the face of the conflict for the worse during a critical period in Middle East history" (p. …

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