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Israel and the Arabs

Book Description
For the first time, Israeli and Arab authors collaborate in Israel and the Arabs (TV Books; November 2000), providing an unbiased account of one of the worlds’ most complex and controversial situations from both sides of the firing line. Although the conflict between Jews and Arabs can be traced back over 2,000 years, the current conflict and its cycles of war, terrorism, negotiation, and hope can be dated back to the creation of Israel in 1948.

For more than four years, Ahron Bregman and Juhan El-Tahri interviewed heads of state, prime ministers, foreign ministers, defense ministers, intelligence chiefs, soldiers, guerrilla leaders, journalists and academics from sixteen countries to accumulate a wealth of new, rich, and surprising detail. Updated with a new afterword for this paperback edition, this definitive account of war and peace in the Middle East, explores Israel’s earliest attempts to establish itself.

Israel and the Arabs includes a never-before-published transcript of a conversation between Jordan’s late King Hussein and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir taped ten days before the 1973 war, and an interview with Shams el-din Badran, Egypt’s Minister of War in 1967, which provides new insights into the role of the Soviet Union in provoking the Six-Day War. The book it encompasses the Camp David Accords in 1978, the Lebanon War of 1982, the start of the Intifada in 1987, and the recent attempts to consolidate a shaky reconciliation.

Israel and the Arabs


  1. This is an excellent, even-handed history of the modern state of Israel’s relations with its Arab neighbors. It loses a star, however, for not even mentioning the USS Liberty, the US intelligence ship that was deliberately attacked by Israel during the 1967 war, killing 34 American sailors and injuring 171 others. The attack was downplayed and covered up by the Johnson administration, which saw in Israel a powerful new ally. But why do the authors of this book choose to ignore it?
    Rating: 4 / 5

  2. Israel and the zionists would have you believe they are poor little innocent children terrorized by the mean ol arabs for no reason. This is the party line of our imperial emperor, Herr Bush and co. However, it’s a bunch of crap and proven wrong throughout history. The palestinan people have a legitimate beef and this book details in great detail the various players that created the invasion of israel’s arab nation by the displaced jews from the holocaust.

    It focuses on how europe and the USA used Israel as a chesspiece in a deadly game of cold war foolishness that has left a legacy of confusing hatred and murder for many more centruies to come.

    Do you wonder why we are in Iraq and making up false stories to justify invading Iran and Syria next?

    Well, the knowledge in this book will open your eyes to some of the ulterior motives of these global players.

    It reads like a history book, but the details are not listed in any american news report so this is probably the only place you will get the straight scoop on how Israel was created and why there are so many problems with this artificial state thrust upon an indigenous population of arabs.

    Rating: 4 / 5

  3. If anyone wants to really discover the reasons for the conflict in the Middle East, they need to read this book. It’s objective, well researched, and, most of all, finally provides a clear outlook from the Palestinian point of view as well as the Israeli. Written by an Israeli and an Egyptian, the book digs into the real issues dividing two people who were promised one land. The reader will finish reading the material and wonder why the BBC program wasn’t touted in the US and understand why Americans are so ignorant of the facts surrounding the establishment of the state of Israel and the loss of the nation of Palestine.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. This book is fascinating and engulfing. Most importantly, however, it is extremely illuminating. The authors usually present both the Israeli and Arab viewpoints on every important issue and decision made over the past 56 years. They paint very human pictures of the sometimes larger-than-life personalities that have shaped recent Middle Eastern history, including Yasser Arafat, Anwar Sadat, David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Rabin. The book also includes glimpses into the vital role the Soviet Union and, especially, the United States have played in the formation of the present-day region. This book should be read by people who want to look beyond the sensational and provocative headlines the region creates and take a peek at the motives behind the actions. Although this book is fairly lengthy, it is definitely a page-turner that a voracious and interested reader may find easy to read in a single sitting.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. I’ve read many, many books about Middle East politics and the players involved. This book was okay, but I found it very superficial in the treatment of the people involved. One reviewer asked about the USS Liberty incident. How about the Munich Massacre and Yasser Arafat’s involvement? There’s very little written about exactly who Mahmoud Abbas is and his involvement in the hijacking of a cruise ship and subsequent murders of the Jewish tourists. There is, in fact, very little written regarding sins on either side of the table.

    Perhaps this book is good for people who have had no other introduction to Middle East politics, but is not so good for those of us who have been well versed in it. In order to fully understand every little niggling detail regarding Middle East politics and history, one must make a concerted effort to read lots of books regarding it. But this is an excellent beginning. If you do buy or read this book, please read many other books regarding this subject.
    Rating: 3 / 5


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