Synopses & Reviews
Suicide bombings continue remorselessly to traumatize the Israeli people as the worlds media, on each occasion, bring dramatic pictures of the terror and carnage caused. Much less wellknown, and very little publicized, however, is the daily fear, poverty and anger of West Bank and Gaza Palestinians as a result of the continuing presence of over 300,000 Jewish settlers in their midst, as well as the ongoing Israeli military occupation, economic sanctions and constant retaliations. This is what this book is about.
Equally important, Nicholas Guyatt examines the Oslo Peace Accords which, when the Israeli Government and the PLO signed them in 1993, raised such high hopes of a permanent settlement of the Palestine Question. He shows the problem to be not just incomplete implementation of the Accords (although Israel is frequently procrastinating), but their very conception. There can be no economically viable Palestinian state, nor one which can command the respect and enthusiasm of Palestinians, so long as its territory remains fragmented by a growing number of Jewish settlements, the Palestinian Authority becomes a surrogate policeman for the Israeli government, and the Palestinian enclaves are dependent on Israel for access to the outside world, for electrical power, for jobs and so many of the other necessities of life.
This book needs to be read by all those who are puzzled by why the Oslo process, from which so much was expected, now seems to be making so little contribution to peace on the ground, and who wish to understand whether there may be alternatives holding out more hope of a permanent and just settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The real story why the handshakes on the White House lawn in 1993 did not create peace in the Middle East
Why does the Israeli army still occupy the vast majority of the West Bank?
Why has the Palestinian standard of living declined dramatically since the beginning of the Oslo peace process?
Why do suicide bombers attack Israel's cities?
Fifty years after Israel's founding, why is there no peace between Israelis and Palestinians?
The Absence of Peace offers an answer to all these questions, combining an analysis of the political events surrounding the Oslo process with an account of life on the ground in the West Bank and Gaza Strip under the 'peace' regime. Nicholas Guyatt explains the historical context of the latest peace efforts and the motives and interests of the various players, regional and international, who are party to the agreements. This book also plots the disastrous course on which the present peace process is headed, towards a greater Israel, a series of Palestinian reservations and even more violence between the two sides. Most importantly, The Absence of Peace rejects the suggestions that there is no solution to the conflict, and offers practical ideas for a more stable and enduring agreement between Palestinians and Israelis.
About the Author
is a Cambridge historian and Visiting Fellow in the Department of History at Princeton University, New Jersey.
Table of Contents
1. Greater Israel
3. Peacemaking and Politics
4. Life under Oslo
6. The 'permenant status' of Palestine
7. Alternatives to Oslo