In This Review

Politicide: Ariel Sharon's War Against the Palestinians
Politicide: Ariel Sharon's War Against the Palestinians
By Baruch Kimmerling
Verso, 2003, 234 pp.

Kimmerling, an Israeli sociologist and a specialist in Palestinian history, defines "politicide" as a process designed to eliminate Palestinian political existence. The implicit message of his book is that this goal has always been present in Israel's confrontation with the Palestinians. For Kimmerling, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon embodies politicide in Israeli thought and action, from the 1948 war to the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and the virtual war against the Palestinian Authority carried out by Sharon since 2001. Politicide is by definition incompatible with a two-state solution and in its extreme form could lead to partial or total ethnic cleansing. It should be emphasized that Kimmerling's little book on Israel's "politicidal" temptation, although far from the mainstream of Israeli and U.S. thought, is insightful, informative, and, yes, judiciously balanced.