- Recent Publications
Prepared with assistance from Jarron Bowman and Rachel Wilson.
The Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History, by Ian J. Bickerton. London: Reaktion Books, 2009. 221 pages. Refs. to p. 234. Bibl. to p. 237. Index to p. 244. $24.95. In this work, noted military historian Ian J. Bickerton chronicles the Arab-Israeli conflict from the British Mandate period to the present day. The book approaches the history of the conflict first by delving into the current situation, then by providing a chronological record of how the contemporary conditions evolved. Bickerton posits that the intractability of the conflict can be traced to the distorted perceptions of the past, present, and future of the situation held by both sides. He further argues that military force simply cannot resolve the issues at the core of the conflict. (JB)
A Wall in Palestine, René Backmann, New York: Picador, 2010. 211 pages. Chron. to p. 234. Notes to p. 246. Bibl. to p. 249. $16. This work, translated into English by A. Kaiser, is an historical account of the West Bank Barrier that Israel has been building since 2002. It discusses the strategy, logic, and politics behind the barrier’s inception, and its ramifications for the future of the conflict. Backmann also shares the stories of Palestinians who have been directly impacted by the barrier, as well as Israeli citizens, policymakers, and military personnel in order to provide a diverse illustration of the impact of the barrier on both sides. (JB)
Lords of the Land: The War Over Israel’s Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967–2007, by Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar. New York: Nation Books, 2009. xxiii + 451 pages. Notes to p. 509. Bibl. to p. 515. Index to p. 531. $19.95. Written in the context of the 40th anniversary of the 1967 war and the beginning of Israeli occupation and settlement activity in the West Bank and Gaza, Lords of the Land tells the story of the settlements, the movement that prompted them, and their regional impact. This updated US edition, translated from Hebrew, includes an epilogue which focuses primarily on Ariel Sharon’s role in the settlement issue, including the withdrawal of settlements from Gaza and the building of the separation barrier. The epilogue also discusses the “hilltop youth” — a new generation of settlers whose extreme ideology and violent actions express a disdain for Palestinians and the state itself, which they consider to be under foreign rule. (JB)
The Iraq War: Origins and Consequences, by James DeFronzo. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2010. xii + 280 pages. Gloss. to p. 288. Major personalities to p. 292. Chron. to p. 298. Sel. documentaries to p. 304. Index to p. 323. $32. This volume analyzes the 2003 Iraq War from historical, political, and social perspectives. The first half of the book traces the historical context of the war, stretching back to Ancient Mesopotamia and covering the British Mandate, the rise of the Ba‘th party, and the reign of Saddam Husayn. The second half of the book delves into US foreign policy in Iraq and its effects on the Middle East. At the end DeFronzo offers an assessment of the requirements for peace and the possible outcomes and far-reaching implications of the war. (JB)
Contemporary Israel: Domestic Politics, Foreign Policy, and Security Challenges, ed. by Robert O. Freedman. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2009. xviii + 353 pages. Appendix. to p. 355. Bibl. to p. 365. Index to p. 382. $40. Fourteen scholars contribute to this textbook, offering descriptions and analysis of various facets of Israeli political life. Contemporary Israel is divided into three main subject areas: domestic politics (with a primary interest in Israel’s political parties), foreign policy (regarding the Palestinians, the Arab World, Turkey, India, and the US), and security challenges (including terrorism, domestic demographics, Iran, and the 2006 war with Hizbullah). An introduction by Robert O. Freedman serves as a brief primer on Israeli history, politics, and society. (JB)
Iranophobia: The Logic of an Israeli Obsession, Haggai Ram. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2009. 134 pages. Notes to p. 185. Bibl. to p. 209. Index to p. 220. $19.95. Initially intended as an...