In this excellent collection of essays a variety of opinions are communicated to the reader, each sharing the one common theme, that a Palestinian state is a danger to Israel and the region. What is most extraordinary is the wide range of views presented and the depth of analysis that can be found here. Some of the examples include viewpoints expressed throughout the years by various experts and what truly dazzles the reader is just how prescient they are in light of current events in the region.
Yacov Hazan's assessment of the dangers, published in 1978 illustrate a number of these points. First he is far-sighted and his ideas timeless, but we also see just how much he, as a member of the left wing Mapam party, is permeated with the idea that "industrialization with solve everything." He makes the important point that every nation has differences between nomads, farmers and city-dwellers, but that this would not preclude the creation of a Palestinian state in Jordan.
Mordechai Nisan, an expert in minorities in the Muslim world, develops his view that by allowing the PLO to form a government in the West Bank Israel has invited the `Lebanonization' of Israel. Arieh Stav sheds light on the Palestinian state as Trojan horse, used by Egypt to prepare for a new war while forces of Islamic extremism cheer.
There are other articles as well illustrating the nature of the PLO covenant that is copied from Mien Kampf, the impact on America's role in the Middle East and the de-stabilizing nature of the Palestinians in the wider Arab respect.
There are other articles as well detailing some `solutions' to the problems facing Israel in a post-Oslo or post-Road Map world. Two of these by Raphael Israeli paint a grim picture of the realities now facing Israel, in fact showing the lack of a good solution. All the solutions are either short term of in the long term destructive to the state of Israel. Perhaps no one in this book considered the fact that those who crafted Oslo, such as Yossi Beilin do not even desire that an Israel exist as a Jewish state, that in fact they wish for the realization of `bi-nationalism' and in fact hope for a `greater palestine' so that there will be three Palestinian states: one in Jordan, one on the West Bank and Gaza and one in Israel under the name of a non-Jewish Israel. Therefore in the end this is an important and eye-opening book by shedding light on a number of reasons why a Palestinian state is a true danger.
Seth J. Frantzman
There is an outstanding review of this book already on this site by M.D. Roberts. I will only add a few words as the book was published in 2002 , and it is four years later.
It seems to me that the process which many of the writers in this anthology feared of a Palestinian state coming into being with Israel's agreement and under international auspices is much less likely today than it was four years ago. The election of Hamas to head the Palestinian Authority means that the Palestinians have rejected all former agreements with Israel, and all possibility of making real peace. Thus the Bush road-map plan to peace which would have led to a Palestinian state is finished.
As to the fundamental premise of this work that any Palestinian state within the land West of the Jordan would constitute, a great and perhaps , mortal danger to Israel, this seems to me difficult to deny.
Yet had there been conditions in which the Palestinians would have truly disarmed terrorists, halted their vicious propaganda war against Israel(So effectively described in this book by Itamar Marcus) and agreed to a demilitarized state living in peace alongside of Israel I believe a great majority of Jews would have accepted it. That is they would have gone against most of the experts in this book.
But that seems like a distant dream now.
And it is difficult to know where and how to look for anything like true peace in the situation we are now in.
on February 15, 2004
This is an extremely interesting, well written study of the ongoing Middle East conflict from both a historical & political context, providing much information not readily revealed through the secular media.
Through a collection of essays, leading political analysts examine the question as to what kind of "strategic threat" any future Palestinian state would pose to the existence of the Jewish state of Israel. The reader is accorded a gripping study which will hold their attention throughout and a presentation that is recommended reading irrespective of the individual's stance on the subject.
The book investigates what it describes as the "debacle" of the Oslo Accords of 1993 and how they are cited as having fallen flat on their face when the Palestinians allegedly undertook to achieve by violence what they could not attain through negotiations.
Many issues are addressed including how the Israel public, which are portrayed as for the most part as having supported the "peace process" until that time but are now - through the ensuing death, misery & destruction - less and less inclined to allow the rise of what is cited here as a "rogue" Palestinian state in their midst.
The book begins by outlining the initial hope in Israel & amongst the International community, that once the PLO was recognised by Israel and the Palestinians were allowed to gradually gain control of "autonomous" territories, the Palestinians would behave like what the book calls a "responsible people", encourage dialogue, build requisite trust and embark upon a new road relinquishing terrorism and embracing negotiations & peace.
The book analyses how to the contrary, even after the "Gaza & Jericho first" phases of the "peace process", new terrorist operations were launched by the Palestinians against Israel. The reader is shown how these incidents were primarily denied by the Palestinian leadership and even blamed upon Israel as mounting the attacks themselves. Amidst mounting Israeli casualties, the reader is presented with an illustration of how the attacks escalated under the frequent exhortations of Yasser Arafat to pursue Jihad. The book citing how the Israelis began to discover that a Palestinian "Trojan Horse" had been allowed into their midst.
Also addressed here is how further Israeli withdrawals were not reciprocated with any cessation in violence or incitement of hatred, but with what is cited here as a riotous "intifada". The book outlines how, from the start, the Palestinians allegedly aspired to increase the numbers of Israeli civilian casualties in order to break the Israelis resolve by sowing "death and demoralization" through "Islamikaze" attacks named suicide bombings. A comparison being drawn to the "surgical attacks" and arrests by Israeli forces amongst the Palestinian terrorists allowed the freedom to operate totally unhindered in Palestinian areas by any Palestinian security forces.
This aspect being further illustrated with reference to the vast proportion of Israeli/Jewish casualties in the conflict being amongst civilians, including women and children, whilst the larger proportion of casualties on the Palestinian side have been amongst those engaged in acts of violence against Israeli forces.
One of the political analysts, Mordechai Nisan, (cited as a foremost expert on minority affairs in the Arab world), draws a disturbing, frightening parallel with the situation in Lebanon. Another analyst, Arieh Stav, predicts the outright destruction of Israel should a Palestinian state evolve.
Itamar Marcus illustrates that the systematic cultivation & indoctrination of racial hatred against the Jews practiced amongst Palestinian society has so de-humanised the Jewish people that this rhetorical denigration has so lent legitimacy to the killing of Jews that any Palestinian state would be no less dangerous to Israel than a neighbour armed to the teeth. The full cases of these and other debates will absorb the reader.
Another issue addressed is how the Arab armies which have invaded Israel since it's re-birth are cited as having done so at the behest of Arab leaders who had no intention whatsoever of building any Palestinian state, but only in furthering what are described as their own stature & territorial holdings.
These and other secular arguments debate whether under the present circumstances and ongoing enmity, it is wise for any territorial assets to be relinquished that could prejudice the very survival of the Jewish state with many adamant in their views here that such land would become a terrorist base operating against Israel's very existence. The alleged politically expedient support for the creation of a Palestinian state from other nations also receives some attention. All in all this is a very timely and detailed investigation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict which I highly recommend.