Origins and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

By Ann M. Lesch; Dan Tschirgi | Go to book overview

Preface

This study of the Arab-Israeli conflict seeks to provide a succinct overview of the main issues and events since the late nineteenth century, when Zionist and Arab nationalist aspirations began to collide. It reflects on three principal themes. First, it traces the shifts between ideologically rooted policies and pragmatic approaches on the part of both Arabs and Israelis. Second, it examines the internal tensions within both sides over the nature of the conflict and the ways to resolve it. And third, it stresses the role that external actors have played in either bolstering ideological intransigence or encouraging pragmatic accommodation. In that sense, it is an extended essay on the interplay among the policies of Arabs, Israelis, and third parties as they promote confrontation or accommodation.

The book is structured to examine these issues by initially presenting a wide-ranging historical overview, followed by topical chapters. The first topical chapter considers the growth of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism during the period of British rule in the first half of the twentieth century, as the clash between the two peoples intensified to the point of all-out confrontation. The succeeding topical chapters look separately at Israel, the Palestinians, and U.S. policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict, in order to focus more precisely on the changing views and policies of key parties concerning the dispute. Finally, the conclusion evaluates the situation as of mid-1997, ending with an assessment of the issues that must still be resolved in order to obtain a comprehensive peace.

-xiii-

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Origins and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Advisory Board vi
  • Contents vii
  • Series Foreword ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Chronology of Events xvii
  • The Arab-Israeli Conflict Explained 1
  • 1 - Historical Overview 3
  • Notes 39
  • 2 - Contradictory Nationalist Movements 41
  • 3 - The Israelis 57
  • 4 - The Palestinians 71
  • 5 - The United States and the Arab-Israeli Conflict 91
  • 6 - Conclusion 107
  • Glossary of Selected Terms 157
  • Annotated Bibliography 165
  • Index 179
  • About the Authors 193
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