The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World

Avi Shlaim




W W Norton & Co Inc

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As it celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, the State of Israel could count many important successes. Its population, six million, was ten times that of 1948. One-third of the world's Jews lived in Israel, speaking the Hebrew language that was confined to liturgy when Zionism was born. In its central aim of providing the scattered Jews with a haven, instilling in them a sense of nationhood, and forging a modern nation-state, Zionism has been a brilliant success. These achievements were all the more remarkable against the background of the appalling tragedy of the Holocaust.
However, as Avi Shlaim points out in this political and diplomatic history of Israel, the conflict with the Palestinians, and with the Arab world at large, casts a long shadow over the history of the state. Israel's relationship with the Arabs has been marked by war and uneasy peace. What was promulgated as an "Iron Wall" strategy-dealing with the Arabs from a position of unassailable strength-was meant to yield to a further stage where Israel would be strong enough to negotiate a satisfactory peace with the Palestinians and its other Arab neighbors. How and why this goal remains elusive is the subject of this major new work.

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Other editions: Hardcover - 1999, Hardcover - 1999, Softcover - 1999, Softcover - 1995, Hardcover - 1994, Softcover - 1991, 1990, Softcover - 1989, Hardcover - 1988, 1978

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