The Palestine-Israeli Conflict: A Beginner’s Guide

by Cohn-Sherbok, Dan

Amazon Review

Of all the intractable and inflammatory world conflicts, those of the Middle East must rank fairly high. Cohn-Sherbok and El-Alami’s Palestine-Israeli Conflict: a Beginner’s Guide must be equally highly ranked as one of the best introductory guides to the issue. Author of a number of key titles on Judaism and Jewish issues, Dan Cohn-Sherbok uses the first half of theBeginner’s Guide to give an overview, from his perspective, of the modern history of Israel/Palestine. Immediately the reader, through the unique dialogic format of this excellent title, is reminded that all history is a matter of perspective, not least in the Middle East when the name of the very country under discussion cannot be agreed upon. Cohn-Sherbok is a clear, unfussy writer. He explains the growth of Zionism through the late 19th century until its “victory” in the creation of a Jewish National Home called Israel in 1947 and then details the wars that have dogged the Jewish state since its inception.Dawoud El-Alami then takes over and reviews the same period as his colleague but from the perspective of a Palestinian. From the legally questionable British Balfour Declaration of 1917 up until the first Intifada (1984-1992) and 1993’s Oslo Peace Accords (so forcefully critiqued by Edward Said in his recent book The End of the Peace Process) and beyond. El-Alami describes the Palestinian struggles with the first Jewish settlers and then the State of Israel herself, the creation of the PLO and the troubled relationship with the rest of the Arab world.

The book ends with further debate between the two writers in response to each other’s contributions. It would be idealistic to expect all the answers from such a book and the two writers certainly do not end the book on some forced, unrealistic meeting of minds. But the intrigued reader will learn from both sides and the publishers are to be congratulated for presenting such a difficult topic in such an eminently useful format.–Mark Thwaite –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The Middle East is in deadlock There are two sides in this conflict This is the only book that allows both sides to be heard

THE PALESTINE PERSPECTIVE – DR DAWOUD EL-ALAMI “The creation of the state of Israel was at the expense of the Palestinians. The indigenous Arab population of Palestine has been systematically discriminated against since the Balfour Declaration in 1917, which created Israel for the Jews at the expense of a native population, which has been denied its own nationhood and become a dispossessed, marginalized people.”

THE ISRAELI PERSPECTIVE – RABBI PROFESSOR DAN COHN-SHERBOK “Over the centuries, the Jews have been exposed to hatred and violence in many of the countries where they have settled. What could be more justified than the creation of a homeland for the Jews in the land of their origins, Israel – a state where Jewish national identity can be recognized, and where the inhabitants can finally be safe from persecution?”

With coverage of all the most recent events, this fully-updated edition of the essential bestselling guide to the Palestine-Israeli conflict explores the history, motivations and people behind a dispute that has been setting the Middle East ablaze for over sixty years.

About the Author

Rabbi Professor Dan Cohn-Sherbok is currently Professor of Judaism at the University of Wales, Lampeter.
Dawoud El-Alami is a lecturer on Islamic Studies at the University of Wales, Lampeter.