- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press; Revised ed. edition (April 18, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691119821
- ISBN-13: 978-0691119823
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,282,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Waging Peace: Israel and the Arabs, 1948-2003 - Updated and Revised Edition Revised ed. Edition
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Rabinovich offers a masterful overview without wasting a word. (Foreign Affairs)
A keen strategic mind is at work in Waging Peace--dovish but tough, focused on the big picture yet ever attentive to particulars. This eloquent book is essential reading for anyone following the Arab-Israeli peace process.---Mitchell Cohen, New York Time Book Review
[Waging Peace] is calm, dispassionate, impersonal, unusually well-informed. . . . Rabinovich is not a polemicist given to flourishes of rhetoric. . . . [He possesses a] keen strategic mind.---Amos Elon, New York Review of Books
In Waging Peace, Itamar Rabinovich offers a good diplomatic history of how the Israeli-Palestinian peace process unraveled. Ultimately, the former ambassador believes not only that Arafat 'failed the test of leadership' but that the broader Arab world's rejection of normal ties with Israel keeps the door of war perpetually open. (Jerusalem Post)
"In this updated edition of Waging Peace, Itamar Rabinovich once again brilliantly combines the firsthand insight of a diplomat with the analytical rigor of a scholar. I can think of no better guide to lead us through the political imperatives at the root of the Israel-Palestine conflict."―Henry Kissinger
"Itamar Rabinovich brings to this topic both the experience of a veteran participant and the skill of a distinguished historian. The result is a fascinating and illuminating narrative and analysis. His added coverage of the events of the last four years is particularly valuable."―Bernard Lewis, author of What Went Wrong
From the Back Cover
"In this updated edition of Waging Peace, Itamar Rabinovich once again brilliantly combines the firsthand insight of a diplomat with the analytical rigor of a scholar. I can think of no better guide to lead us through the political imperatives at the root of the Israel-Palestine conflict."--Henry Kissinger
"Itamar Rabinovich brings to this topic both the experience of a veteran participant and the skill of a distinguished historian. The result is a fascinating and illuminating narrative and analysis. His added coverage of the events of the last four years is particularly valuable."--Bernard Lewis, author of What Went Wrong
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That's why this book, which does have quite a few facts in it, seems to be less than what one would hope it to be.
There are a couple of places where the author had a chance to make a statement that would help put blame where it belongs and thus promote peace. At one point, Rabinovich quotes some folks who blamed Israel for the collapse of the 2000 Camp David "peace" talks. According to the quote, the Arabs "were more resigned to the two-state solution than they were willing to embrace it; they were willing to accept Israel's existence but not its moral legitimacy."
Well, this is just the place to say something strong against some extremist attitudes. Aggression is a crime. Obviously, to get it to stop, it will not suffice to convince a criminal that he or she ought not attack one particular victim for a little while and ought to concentrate on others instead! If it is legitimate for any human to exist, it is legitimate for Israelis and Israel to exist. If there is a complaint with some Israelis or with some Israeli action, those individuals and particular actions need to be questioned, not the right of humans to exist in general.
Agreement on moral legitimacy is a key and essential element of peace.
Moreover, I think we need to ask ourselves about the wisdom of a "two-state" solution that everyone wants except the combatants. Israel is small. It is land-poor. Why should it be forced to cede land? Shouldn't it be forced to buy it instead? Why should we force another Arab state on the world, one whose only purpose is to attack a neighboring state? If people want to live together, we ought to allow it. If not, we ought to help draw a border between them, not maliciously decide how much land to steal from an already land-poor minority. A minority that will be banned from living on the wrong side of the border!
But the author let all this pass, not seeming to realize that an insistence on having a right to slander, rob, ban, evict, and kill Jews is unacceptable, whether that "right" is enforceable or not. A "colorblind" approach to the problem was needed, where people would have rights no matter who they were. But that was unthinkable to the peacemakers as well as to the author.
Rabinovich had another chance to try to make a case to me. After all, I am a liberal and I am very open-minded. He did say that Ephraim Karsh, a noted historian, had said that accepting Arafat as a peace partner was "the single gravest strategic error committed by an Israeli government since the establishment of the state." The author disagrees. I suspect that Karsh is correct. Still, Rabinovich had a chance to make a case against Karsh. And I found the author quite unconvincing.
Read something else. I recommend Sharansky's book.