Flight into the Maelstrom: Soviet Immigration to Israel and Middle East Peace

By S, Michael | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May 31, 1999 | Go to article overview

Flight into the Maelstrom: Soviet Immigration to Israel and Middle East Peace


S, Michael, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


Flight Into the Maelstrom: Soviet Immigration to Israel and Middle East Peace

Beginning in the late 1980s, as the Soviet Union weakened and then collapsed, large numbers of Jews began to leave the several Soviet republics for various locales, chief among them, Israel. The consequences were far-reaching. Many of these new arrivals to the Jewish state came to feel that they were being used as pawns by those within Israel who wanted to tip the demographic balance within the West Bank decisively in favor of the Jews at the expense of the Palestinian population.

John Quigley addresses this complex topic in a very unique and engrossing style in Flight Into The Maelstrom. The book allows the reader to see the problems which developed within both Israel and the occupied territories through the eyes of a fictional Palestinian couple and a Soviet-Jewish immigrant family, both living in East Jerusalem, and the people who interact with them. Quigley notes that he based these characters on real people and their actual experiences, and that he employed this method to protect the identities of those who have suffered much pain and hardship over the years on both sides.

Quigley also writes in detail on the history of the Zionist conquest of Palestine from the late 19th century up until the present. He makes the case that the settling of Soviet immigrants in the West Bank at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian population was simply the latest in a long history of activities intended to solidify the hold of Zionist Jews on the homeland of the Palestinian people, and to make it increasingly difficult for any Israeli government to relinquish any part of that homeland to form a Palestinian state. …

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