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The Case Against Israelargues that Zionism was responsible for the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians and that Israel is responsible for its perpetuation. The argument rests on widely accepted factual claims and impeccable sources. It avoids rhetoric and gratuitous moralizing. There is no attempt to blacken Israel through association with colonialism, imperialism, or racism. Instead, Neumann’s argument emphasizes the fateful Zionist quest for Jewish sovereignty in Palestine. This quest—not the massacres or plans for transfer or other blots on Zionist history—made violence inevitable and compromise impossible. The prospect of Zionists gaining the power of life and death over all inhabitants of Palestine had to be seen by the Palestinians as a mortal threat. They responded accordingly.
The tragic consequences of the quest for sovereignty did not follow all at once, but in two stages. The Zionists established a sovereign Jewish state in 1948. Had they been content with that, peace might have followed the 1967 war, when Israel could have backed the creation of a Palestinian state in the occupied territories. Instead, Zionists pushed to extend Jewish sovereignty, this time through the settler movement. The settlements were a renewed mortal threat to the Palestinians and once again necessitated a violent response. The only solution is for Israel to withdraw, unilaterally, to its 1948 borders.
Michael Neumann was born in 1946, the son of German Jewish refugees. He graduated from Columbia University with degrees in European history and English literature, followed by a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Toronto. He teaches moral and political philosophy at a Canadian university. He has written What’s Left?, a critique of 1960s radicalism, and numerous articles relating to the Israel/Palestine conflict. His academic work includes The Rule of Law: Politicizing Ethics as well as articles on utilitarianism, rationality, and rights.
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Born 1946, the son of German Jewish refugees working for the US State Department. Graduated from Columbia University, followed by a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Toronto. He teaches moral and political philosophy at a Canadian university. He has written What's Left?, a critique of sixties radicalism, The Rule Of Law: Politicizing Ethics and numerous articles relating to the Israel/Palestine conflict.
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