Israelis and Palestinians: Why Do They Fight? Can They Stop?

In This Review

Israelis and Palestinians: Why Do They Fight? Can They Stop?

By Bernard Wasserstein
Yale University Press, 2003
240 pp. $25.00

Wasserstein systematically examines the demographic, socioeconomic, environmental, and territorial dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In doing so, he deftly debunks the myths and misrepresentations held by both sides and shows that, over time, changes in these areas may create the objective conditions for a negotiated settlement. Demographic reality, for example, will force Israel to realize that in order to maintain a Jewish majority, it will have to accept a return to its pre-1967 borders. The Palestinians, meanwhile, must realize that although they can press Israel to withdraw from territories taken in 1967, they cannot realistically do more. With 9 figures, 21 maps, and an integrated chronology, Wasserstein's readable text is a solid primer on Israelis and Palestinians for experts and neophytes, characterized by a hardheaded realism that is fair to both sides.

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