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Middle East Peace: “Tour d’Horizon”

Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto
ACPR Policy Paper No. 163, 2006


February 2006

Avant Propos

This paper attempts to provide the reader with a number of history related pieces of information, the perception of whose interaction is needed to create a knowledgeable grasp of the tragic, over a century old Jewish-Arab conflict in Palestine.

It is neither news, nor detailed history. It is, rather, the information needed to form an opinion.

The paper is dedicated to the readers who wish to come to their own conclusion, rather than to those who already have acquired a firm, politically correct, mainstream opinion and do not want to be confused with facts.

Although the views expressed are personal and subjective, I attempted to present them as logically and truthfully as possible. I would appreciate reading my opponents’ views when presented in a similar way. Maybe we shall be able to find a common denominator.

Stories and books on the Arab-Israeli conflict abound. Middle East Quarterly Review, Fall 2004, introduces its readers to 15 new books, some of high value, released during Autumn 2004.

Examining these publications, one realizes that many are either pure academic studies of a particular event, plain current media reporting, political defensive or offensive statements related to a detail/issue, or reports on a particular event. Most of these writings are valuable, well worth reading.

However, as an active participant in over 60 years of struggle for the establishment of a “Jewish National Home in Palestine”, I believe, to paraphrase George Orwell in reverse, that “Ignorance is By No Means Bliss”. Insufficient historical perspective, lack of careful analysis of the intense ongoing interaction between various regional events, especially US and Israeli policy/war aims in the ME coupled with insufficient attention paid to global geopolitical changes over time, do lead many erudite and diligent people to wrong conclusions. Were these conclusions to relate to historic trivia, it would not matter. But where ME political issues are concerned, one deals with matters of life and death of the region and for about 60% of the world’s oil reserves. Hence this paper, whose purpose is to cast some more light on politics and media-blurred notions, vectors closely interacting in a complicated matrix.


For the complete text of this paper in English, click here.