9781627797092

The Only Language They Understand Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781627797092

  • ISBN10:

    1627797092

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2017-04-18
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Books

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Summary

In a myth-busting analysis of the world's most intractable conflict, a star of Middle East reporting, "one of the most important writers" in the field (The New York Times), argues that only one weapon has yielded progress: confrontation.

Scattered over the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea lie the remnants of failed peace proposals, international summits, secret negotiations, UN resolutions, and state-building efforts. The conventional story is that these well-meaning attempts at peacemaking were repeatedly, perhaps terminally, thwarted by the use of violence.

Through a rich interweaving of reportage, historical narrative, and forceful analysis, Nathan Thrall presents a startling counter-history. He shows that Israelis and Palestinians have persistently been marching toward partition, but not through the high politics of diplomacy or the incremental building of a Palestinian state. In fact, negotiation, collaboration, and state-building—the prescription of successive American administrations—have paradoxically entrenched the conflict in multiple ways. They have created the illusion that a solution is at hand, lessened Israel's incentives to end its control over the West Bank and Gaza, and undermined Palestinian unity. Ultimately, it is those who have embraced confrontation through boycotts, lawsuits, resolutions imposed by outside powers, protests, civil disobedience, and even violence who have brought about the most significant change.

Published as Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza reaches its fiftieth year, which is also the centenary of the Balfour Declaration that first promised a Jewish national home in Palestine, The Only Language They Understand advances a bold thesis that shatters ingrained positions of both left and right and provides a new and eye-opening understanding of this most vexed of lands.

Author Biography

Nathan Thrall is a leading analyst of the Arab-Israeli conflict. A former staff member of The New York Review of Books, he is a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group, for which he has covered Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza since 2010. He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, The London Review of Books, and The New York Times, and his analysis is often featured in print and broadcast media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Economist, The Financial Times, Time, the BBC, Democracy Now!, NPR, and CNN. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and daughters.

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