The Lingering Conflict: Israel, the Arabs, and the Middle East, 1948–2011

In This Review

The Lingering Conflict: Israel, the Arabs, and the Middle East, 1948-2011
By Itamar Rabinovich
Brookings Institution Press, 2011
340 pp. $32.95

This book was first published in 1999 with the title Waging Peace: Israel and the Arabs at the End of the Century. An updated edition, Waging Peace: Israel and the Arabs, 1948–2003, appeared in 2004. Now, Waging Peace has given way to The Lingering Conflict, and the conflict it describes pits Israel against not just the Arabs but the entire Middle East, a reflection of the country’s increasingly fraught relations with Iran and Turkey. Like the earlier editions, the latest one concentrates on the Israeli side of the story but is dispassionate and fair in appraising the attitudes and actions of others. Rabinovich, an eminent Israeli scholar and diplomat, paints a picture of the domestic and foreign policy crosscurrents confronting all the parties and inhibiting momentum toward peace. In his conclusion, he expresses a hope that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might still adopt bold new policies, as did earlier right-wing governments led by Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon. Otherwise, it is likely that the next edition of this book will still have the title The Lingering Conflict.


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