- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: Polity; 3 edition (June 11, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0745656129
- ISBN-13: 978-0745656120
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Israel / Palestine 3rd Edition
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"Simply the best book available for undergraduates. In my many years of teaching I have never received such universal praise for a textbook on course evaluations."
Israel Studies Review
Acclaim for previous editions:
"An excellent analysis of the issue at the core of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, stripped of the 'subjective' accretions of emotions and passions, prejudice and ethnic hatred. It is the book to which scholars and belligerents should return in the heat of battle to remind themselves of the real issue at stake."
Australian Journal of Political Science
"Presents clearly the facts that underscore the tragedy for both sides of this conflict."
Journal of Contemporary Religion
"A veritable joy for the average Middle East academic connoisseur."
Political Studies Review
"Alan Dowty’s book now receives pride of place at the top of my list of concise, illuminating histories of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict to recommend. This will be a leading contender to be the textbook of choice in basic courses on the conflict."
Middle East Journal
About the Author
Alan Dowty is professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame.
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Top Customer Reviews
The one drawback for me is that the author omitted a lot to avoid certain murky topics, leaving me with the sense that there is a lot more going on than this book suggests. For instance, Dowty downplays the extent to which Palestinians have relied on terrorism to further their "resistance." There is no mention of the 1972 Olympics, for instance.
I think I can provide a reasonable defense of that omission, and similar ones, on behalf of the author. The aim of the book is to give the best argument on each side. The most credible Palestinian point of view would not endorse terrorism, so it serves only to distort the debate. In addition to that, Israel hasn't behaved angelically either. They recently admitted to running a eugenics program against Ethopian women. Terrible though this is, it has little to do with the arguments related to Israel's right to exist. Best, then, to leave all such misdeeds out of the picture to avoid the charge of bias.
Another thing left out of the book that would have been nice is a more detailed explanation about why feelings run so high about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict globally. Few Americans get into heated arguments at coffee shops about the Kashmir dispute, for instance. Why does the American right, even those who are not particularly religious, identify so much with Israel? Why does the Arab world and the Western academic left identify so much with Palestine?
Finally, I would have liked to have seen two side-by-side guest writers, say by Alan Dershowitz and Tariq Ali, arguing it out for real in articles at the end of the book. It's not necessary, but it would have been a nice touch.
In the interest of full disclosure, let me end by putting the cards on the table. I was pro-Israel before reading this book, and I am pro-Israel now. It's hard to say if I'm filtering the evidence presented in this book through a distorting, preconceived lens, or if my views turned out to be better supported by the evidence than I had thought, or if this author is biased in the same way that I am. Naturally, I opt for the second option, but a pro-Palestinian might prefer an alternative explanation.