Cover

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Title, Copyright Pages

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pp. i-iv

CONTENTS

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p. v

LIST OF MAPS

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p. vi

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PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

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pp. vii-xiii

Is there a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Was there ever one? Can one be found in the future? These questions usually lead to thoughts about the partition of historic Palestine, meaning division of the territory in order to create one state for Jews and another for Arabs. This "two-state solution" was proposed by a British Commission of Inquiry as early as 1937, when Palestine was still under the British Mandate. It was proposed again by the United Nations in 1947, six months before Israel declared its independence...

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PREFACE

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pp. xiv-xix

THIS BOOK SEEKS not only to provide an objective history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also to encourage an engaged and sympathetic understanding of the parties to this continuing dispute. The aim of this approach may be described as objectivity without detachment. Many on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict find it difficult to take the opposing side seriously, not in military or political terms, of course, but as a people with legitimate rights and valid aspirations...

A NOTE ON TRANSLITERATION

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p. xix

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Part I: Jews and Arabs before the Conflict: The Congruent Origins of Modern Zionism and Arab Nationalism

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pp. 1-6

THERE ARE SEVERAL reasons to begin a study of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a general survey of Jewish and Arab history. One is to dispel the common misconception that the current struggle in Palestine is an extension of an ancient blood feud, fueled by ethnic or religious antagonisms dating back hundreds of years. This view is not only inaccurate, it is also potentially damaging; it promotes distorted judgments about both Jewish and Arab behavior while at the same time diverting attention from considerations ...

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1 Jewish History and the Emergence of Modern Political Zionism

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pp. 7-68

It is INADEQUATE to describe the Jews as a religious group in the modern-day sense of the term. Like Muslims, they are more appropriately regarded as a national community of believers. The Jews' sense of peoplehood is extremely well developed, inextricably bound up with their collective historical experience, with the Land of Israel where they built their ancient kingdoms, and with the sociological and political content of their law...

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2 Arab History and the Origins of Nationalism in the Arab World

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pp. 69-122

THE PALESTINIANS ARE descendants of two ancient peoples, the Canaanites and the Philistines. The former are the earliest known inhabitants of Palestine, which in the Bible is in fact called the Land of Canaan. It is believed that they entered the country around 3000 B.C.E. Canaanite society was not united but rather was composed of autonomous principalities, each ruled by a king who apparently had religious as well as political duties. Jerusalem was one of the cities ruled by the Canaanites, until it fell to the ancient Israelites ...

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Part II: Emergence and History of the Conflict to 1948

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pp. 123-126

BY THE END of the nineteenth century, Zionists and Arabs had come into contact, and the results included instances of both cooperation and conflict. On the one hand, Jews were visible as they passed in increasing numbers through Beirut and other Arab cities on their way to the Holy Land, and inside Palestine the small but growing Zionist presence could hardly escape the notice of the indigenous Arab population. Indeed, many Jewish settlers took the initiative in establishing relations with Palestinian Arabs, ...

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3 The Conflict Takes Shape

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pp. 127-184

AGAINST THIS BACKDROP may be seen the Arabs' early response to Zionism and Zionist attitudes toward the Arabs in the years before World War I. The record does not lend itself to simple generalizations. On the one hand, there were instances of dialogue, cooperation, and a recognition of mutual interests. On the other, there was indifference followed by suspicion and, eventually, active mutual antagonism. Relations between the first Jewish settlers and neighboring Arab peasants appear to have been reasonably...

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4 The Dual Society in Mandatory Palestine

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pp. 185-268

CONFLICT WITH THE Arabs was a fact of life for the Yishuv during the period of the mandate. Deteriorating relations with the British, whose policies sought without success to strike a balance between Jewish and Palestinian demands, was another political concern of the Jewish colony. Nevertheless, the Yishuv expanded and matured in the years between the two world wars, increasing in size and self-sufficiency and creating most of the social and political institutions that would later serve the independent State...

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Part III: Routinization of the Conflict, 1948–1967

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pp. 269-272

THE ARAB-ISRAELI War of 1947-48 resulted in the establishment of an independent Jewish state, one which, moreover, had proved capable of defending itself against the combined military might of the Arabs of Palestine and of neighboring Arab countries. As one Israeli leader later declared with pride, the military victory which secured Israel's independence resulted from the self-sacrifice and determination of a people fighting for its national existence.1 Further, the new state received diplomatic recognition from ...

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5 The Palestinian Disaster and Basic Issues after 1948

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pp. 273-335

THE 1947-48 WAR was a watershed event in the history of Palestine's Arabs, as well as its Jews. The war's meaning for the two peoples was completely different, however. With their nationalist aspirations thwarted, the results filled Palestinians with despair, rather than with hope and anticipation. Indeed, Palestinians refer to the defeat of 1947-48 as al-naqba^ "the catastrophe" or "the disaster." To begin with, ceasefire lines in place at the beginning of 1949 left Israel in control of much of the territory that the United Nations had in 1947 allocated for an Arab state in Palestine. As can be seen from a ..

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6 Israel and the Arab States through June 1967

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pp. 336-398

THE PALESTINIAN ARABS did not occupy center stage in the Arab-Israeli conflict between 1948 and 1967. The most significant patterns of interaction and confrontation were those involving Israel and neighboring Arab states, and in this connection the relationship between Israel and Egypt was particularly critical. Moreover, the relationship between Jerusalem and Cairo underwent important transformations in the years after ...

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Part IV: The Palestinian Dimension Reemerges: From the June War through Camp David

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pp. 399-406

THE IMPACT OF the war of June 1967 cannot be overstated. It introduced critical new elements into the Arab-Israeli conflict, including a revival of concern with its central Palestinian dimension. It also had far-reaching consequences for the internal political dynamics of both the Arab world and Israel, and many of these consequences continue to be felt more than a quarter-century after the war. Since Israel's victory left it in possession of land that had previously been part of Egypt, Jordan, or Syria, or controlled ...

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7 Postwar Diplomacy and the Rise of the Palestine Resistance Movement

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pp. 407-464

THE JUNE WAR gave the world community new determination to address the Arab-Israeli conflict, and international activity involving consultation and efforts at mediation began within days of the cessation of hostilities. On June 19, for example, the American president, Lyndon Johnson, delivered an important speech in which he set forth five general principles for peace in the Middle East. Among these principles were the right of every nation in the area to live in peace with its neighbors, assistance to the homeless and justice for the refugees, freedom of legitimate maritime passage...

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8 Israel, the Palestinians, and the Occupied Territories in the 1970s

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pp. 465-532

DURING THE COURSE of the 19705, the central focus of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict gradually shifted to the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territories that had been administered by Israel since the war of June 1967 but which in the early 19708 were inhabited by approximately 700,000 and 360,000 Palestinians respectively. Given the failure of postwar diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict, or even to foster negotiations between Israel and the Arabs, Jerusalem retained control...

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Part V: The High Price of Stalemate: Confrontations and Futile Diplomacy in the 1980s

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pp. 533-534

THE CAMP DAVID accords of 1978 held out the hope of movement toward a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and there was indeed significant progress with respect to the important relationship between Israel and Egypt. A peace treaty was signed in 1979, and plans for the completion of Israel's phased withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula were proceeding on schedule in 1980 and 1981. There were also expanding contacts ...

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9 Violent Confrontations in the Early 1980s

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pp. 535-599

THE PLO ESTABLISHED itself on the international scene during the 19708, and by the end of the decade, in the aftermath of Camp David, it was increasingly recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. In the summer of 1979, for example, Chancellor Bruno Kreisky of Austria and West German socialist leader Willy Brandt both met with Yasir Arafat, chairman of the PLO, thereby extending the visibility and...

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10 Futile Diplomacy in the Mid-1980s

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pp. 600-676

ON SEPTEMBER i, 1982., the day that the last PLO guerrillas were departing from Beirut, U.S. President Ronald Reagan introduced a peace initiative designed to build on what he believed to be the momentum created by Israel's military victory in Lebanon. Called simply "September i" by many U.S. officials, the Reagan Plan was presented in a televised address to the nation, with the president telling the American public, "I want to report to you on the steps we have taken and the prospects they can open...

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Part VI: Efforts to Break the Stalemate: From the Intifada through the Oslo Peace Process

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pp. 677-678

FUELED BY CONTINUING Israeli settlement activity and the "iron fist" policy of the Israeli military administration, as well as by the failure of diplomatic efforts aimed at moving the parties toward territorial compromise, Palestinian anger gave rise in late 1987 to widespread protest demonstrations. Spontaneous outbursts and efforts at resistance then coalesced into a coordinated uprising embracing virtually all sectors of Palestinian society, a rebellion that some compared to the revolt of 1936-39 and that ...

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11 The Intifada and Beyond

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pp. 679-754

While there had been predictions during 1986 and 1987 that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza were exhausted and would soon lose the will to resist Israel's continuing drive into these territories, spontaneous and widespread protest demonstrations erupted in December 1987, showing that Palestinians under occupation had in fact lost neither the will nor the capacity to challenge Israeli government policies. Assessm...

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12 The Oslo Peace Process

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pp. 755-818

AFTER MORE THAN four years of sustained unrest in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as the peace initiative launched by the PLO and then the crisis in the Persian Gulf region, it remained to be seen whether there would at long last be movement toward a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or whether the 19908 would instead witness a replay of the violent confrontations and diplomatic failures that had characterized the 19805. Neither scenario was implausible, and in the first yea...

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Epilogue: The Post-Oslo Period

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pp. 819-848

THE ELECTION OF Ariel Sharon to the Israeli premiership, as well as Bill Clinton's departure from the White House, brought an end to the intense negotiations and diplomacy that had marked the Oslo peace process, especially during its last year. The new U.S. president, George W. Bush, refused to involve his administration in Arab-Israeli affairs, seeing neither the prospect of a meaningful contribution nor, and perhaps ...

NOTES

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pp. 849-960

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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pp. 961-994

INDEX

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pp. 995-1018

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About the Author

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MARK TESSLER is Samuel J. Elderveld Collegiate Professor of Political Science, Director of the International Institute, and Vice Provost for International Affairs at the University of Michigan. He is author (with Ann Lesch)...