A Survey of Arab-Israeli Relations

By Parsons, Nigel | The Middle East Journal, Summer 2007 | Go to article overview

A Survey of Arab-Israeli Relations


Parsons, Nigel, The Middle East Journal


A Survey of Arab-Israeli Relations (3rd edition). London, UK and New York: Routledge, 2006. ix + 538 pages. Select bibl. to p. 55 1 . $230.

A he unsteady course of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations up to 2000, the acceleration of Israeli colonization in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the fitful, contingent progress of Palestinian Authority (PA) capacity-building all reinforced doubts among Palestinian and external observers alike as to the outcome of the political process initiated in Oslo in 1993. Received wisdom had suggested that negotiations between me Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Israeli government, however fraught, would lead to the emergence of an independent and viable Palestinian state. But the experience of Palestinian semi-autonomy raised questions that challenged this assumption. In light of accelerated colonization, cantonization, and closure in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), what exactly would the territorial basis of the prospective Palestinian state be? Given the pronounced external constraints on Palestinian institutional autonomy, what would the Palestinian state actually be able to do? Considering the PA's lack of control over ingress, egress, and residency, to whom would Palestinian citizenship finally extend? At the time of writing there is little semblance of a process whereby these questions might be answered constructively.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak first asserted that Israel had no partner with whom to negotiate. His successor, Ariel Sharon, cheerfully upheld this axiom, notwithstanding the Roadmap for Peace developed by the United States in cooperation with Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations (the Quartet) in 2003. Ehud Olmert was elected Prime Minister in May 2006 on the platform of realizing "convergence" through unilateral disengagement. The PLO leadership has had little input into public proceedings since early 2001. Meanwhile, on the ground in the OPT, the al-Aqsa intifada brought about military reoccupation and a sharp deterioration in living conditions. In the West Bank, Israeli colonial assets are consolidated behind the separation barrier. In the Gaza Strip, unilateral withdrawal has not signalled an end to occupation. The Hamas-led government in place since early 2006, under pressure of an Israeli and international boycott, has overseen a descent into anarchy and the rise of vicious intra-Palestinian violence. Small wonder, then, that at a juncture such as this, scholarship should reappraise the outcome of a process once taken for granted.

The works considered here address the issue from multiple perspectives, among them history, economics, sociology, political economy, and discourse analysis. Contributions include archival research, findings from a range of fieldwork, personal reminiscences, policy recommendations, and a counter-hegemonic narrative. Almost all of them share, in one form or another, a common emancipatory impulse, a concern for the outcome of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. The PLO, Israel, and the Quartet all officially subscribe to statehood as the desired outcome of that struggle. The scholarship under review reflects a range of positions, from an assumption of statehood through qualified expectation to real doubt. The matter of whether or not independent statehood remains an ideal or even a viable means of realizing Palestinian national aspirations is up for debate.

The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood by Rashid Khalidi opens with a reflective essay that poses one principal question: how to account for the enduring failure to establish a Palestinian state? By way of addressing this, a series of secondary questions emerge. Can the failures of Oslo be usefully compared to those of the mandate era? What is the utility of examining the role of Palestinian agency given the immensity of the structural constraints acting upon them? Perhaps most importantly of all, is statehood now the inevitable, or even appropriate, end-point of the process that it once have appeared to be? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Survey of Arab-Israeli Relations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.