Fifty Years War Tie In: Israel And The Arabs (BBC Books)

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9780140268270: Fifty Years War Tie In: Israel And The Arabs (BBC Books)

Since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, the region has been the scene of fierce power struggles, injustice and tragic events - a situation which persists to this day. Now for the first time, an Israeli-Arab author collaboration is tackling one of the world's most controversial situations. Published to accompany a six-part BBC television series by the makers of the award-winning DEATH OF YUGOSLAVIA, this myth-breaking book draws on candid interviews with key protagonists in the struggles - many of whom have never before spoken out - to reveal behind-the-scenes events and put the record straight. This is a definitive insiders' account of war and peace in the Middle East.

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About the Author:

Ahron Bregman was born in Israel but has lived in England since 1989. He has written for various academic journals and also writes for the Daily Telegraph. His book WAR AND ISRAELI SOCIETY 1948-1990s is forthcoing. Jihan El-Tahri was born in Helsinki where her father an Egyptian diplomat was posted. She has spent a number of years working as a journalist and is the co-author of LE DESTINE D'ARAFAT.

From Publishers Weekly:

This companion guide to the PBS series of the same name illustrates how difficult it is to present a balanced work on the contentious Middle East. Full of interviews with key players, the book offers a convincing behind-the-scenes look at Israeli-Arab peacemaking efforts during the past half-century, debunking the myth that this process began with the signing of the Oslo peace accords in 1993. Its strength lies in its recounting, with the help of eyewitnesses, little-known stories regarding contacts between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Most notable are the details of the periodic meetings between Israel and representatives of Egypt's nationalist leader Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1950s and '60s. The book tends to portray the violence so prevalent in the Middle East during the last 50 years as the result of missed diplomacy instead of historical inevitability. But the authors, Bregman an Israeli-born Jew and El-Tahri a Lebanese Arab, occasionally fail to provide the unbiased history they claim to present. For example, a 1988 move by the Palestine Liberation Organization to recognize U.N. resolutions supporting the land-for-peace principle is described like this: "They had finally broken the taboo and recognized the right of Israel to exist." There is no mention of the fact that many IsraelisAand some PalestiniansAdidn't view the PLO's move as full recognition. This is a cleanly written book that any reader will learn from, but it should be read with an eye toward its subtle prejudices and its tendency to minimize the root causes of the conflict. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Bregman, Ahron, El, Tahri Jihan
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