Synopses & Reviews
If you have ever wondered "Why is there so much violence in the Middle East?," "Who are the Palestinians anyway?," "What are the occupied territories?" or "What does Israel want?," then this is the book for you. With straightforward language, Phyllis Bennis, longtime analyst of the region, answers basic questions about Israel and Israelis, Palestine and Palestinians, the US and the Middle East, Zionism and anti-Semitism; about complex issues ranging from the Oslo peace process to the election of Hamas. Together her answers provide a comprehensive understanding of the long-standing Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Revised and updated in a 6th edition that addresses recent developments through early 2015 this slim handbook from Bennis (Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror: A Primer) uses the Socratic method to present a broad overview of the history of conflict in the Holy Land Israel's illegal military occupation and the moribund peace process. Bennis covers a great deal of background information in an efficient easily digestible format; the book is divided into brief thematically arranged question and answer sections that allow readers to quickly locate topics of interest. While supportive of the boycotts divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement Bennis remains ambiguous on potential solutions to the conflict though she makes clear that the idea of a "two state arrangement—dividing the total land of historic Palestine now entirely under Israel's control—was never ultimately based on justice." Throughout she contends that the United Nations and ideally the General Assembly should take center stage in negotiating a lasting settlement. Occasionally sloppy Bennis confuses the minor right wing Israeli parties Tsomet and Moledet and makes a clumsy analogy between the consequences of NAFTA and a possible future Middle East arrangement. Despite its minor flaws Bennis's book is useful for readers looking to boost their knowledge of this contentious topic. Maps. (Oct.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
A fully updated edition of a timely primer