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THE MIDDLE EAST: Israel and Palestine

Siegfried Ramler comments:

"Following up on your postings relating to the Middle-East, let me recommend "The Iron Wall - Israel and the Arab World" by Avi Shlaim, professor of international relations at St. Antony's College, Oxford University. Published recently, it is a "revisionist" treatment of the conflict, skillfully documenting and analyzing the issues and the intransigeance on both sides. Barak's most recent initiative, accepting the establishment of a Palestinian state, based on the areas of agreement articulated at Camp David, but deferring the issue of Jerusalem, appears reasonable. Unfortunately it was rejected immediately by the Palestinians, labelled as a ploy for Barak's political survival. As other deeply rooted conflicts throughout the world, such as India-Pakistan and Ireland, the Arab-Israeli divide is not likely to disappear in the foreseeable future. The challenge, not only for the Middle East but for the world community, is to find ways to stop the violence and to prevent a dangerous escalation of the conflict. This issue may well be on the "front burner" of the next US administration, whoever its leader will be."

Ronald Hilton - 12/02/00