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The End of the Peace Process: Oslo and After [Paperback]

Edward W. Said
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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The End of the Peace Process The End of the Peace Process 5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

8 Sep 2000
A collection of essays by literary and cultural critic, Edward W. Said. It provides a commentary on the peace process in the last six years of the 20th century, in which Said has been virtually a lone voice in the West supporting the rights of the Palestinian people. Said questions the efficacy of Yasser Arafat's leadership, which has done nothing to stop illegal land expropriation and house demolitions; and regards the Oslo Accords as a false "breakthrough" for the Palestinians, as they include no mention of self-determination and sovereignty, or of an end to the expansion of Jewish settlements. But the author is not without hope: taken together, these essays comprise a vision of how peaceful reconciliation between Palestinian and Israeli can be taken forward.

Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books; Re-issue edition (8 Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862072922
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862072923
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,270,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Edward Said was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He was the author of more than twenty books, including Orientalism, Culture and Imperialism and On Late Style and his essays and reviews appeared in newspapers and periodicals throughout the world. Edward Said died in September 2003.

(Photo credit: Brigitte Lacombe)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly remarkable, thought-provoking. 2 May 2001
If you are hungry about the truth, if you are angered by injustice and political crime then, this is the book for you to read.
I did not regard this book as historic or even political. This book has been written by a intellectually strong author who is writting out of personal experience and personal tragedy.
He writes about the trouble of his people, how they suffered and still are. He attacks the current regime and suggests solutions. He criticises the Oslo Peace Treaty in a concise and clear manner and explains why there will never be peace in either Israel or Palestine unless human and political perceptions change and the human rights (of both sides) are recognised.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Edward Said's book is a powerful, thoughtful statement from a committed Palestinian nationalist and highly respected academic. I do not agree with all he says but, nevertheless, I found the book thought provoking and engaging. Read it and understand the need for a just peace, rather than simply a 'peace process' which amounts to little more than surrender by the Palestinians and the formalisation of their almost total dispossession.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real call for peace 20 Feb 2001
I loved this book, Professor Said's writing is interesting, informative and a joy to read. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about what is happening in Ireal/Palestine and why the 'peace process' has broken down. You may not agree with everything but it's guaranteed to give fresh insight and make you think again about the issues. He paints a very different picture than the mainstream media, his view on Yassir Arafat is particularly interesting... But Edward Said does more than just criticise, his analysis and vision ofers a glimmer of hope for a real peace.dublin
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boy, has he been proven to be right! 16 April 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Said wrote this book when the "peace process" had a momentum that meant that anyone who so much as dared critisise Oslo and what followed, was labelled an extremist or militant, by the Israelis, the Americans and the Palestinian Authority, in unison.
Read the book now and you will see that Said's analysis of the Oslo agreement, why it was bound to fail and how it was likely to create a violent reaction is so spot-on that even if you are one who routinely disparages everything that Said does and everything he says, it is impossible to conclude anything other than that his reading of Oslo and where it would end was amazingly prescient.
If you want to understand how a “peace process” which was meant to offer so much to both Israelis and Palestinians could have ended in the slaughter at Jenin, read this book.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master Hammers Home The Realities Of The Peace Process 19 Nov 2000
By Chris - Published on Amazon.com
Edward Said opposes the "peace process" because it has been deliberately designed to confine Palestinians to cantons which are isolated from one another, over which Israel controls overall sovereignty, water , exits and entrances, overall security and so on. The "peace process" has allowed Israel to extend its military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip, with arrangements lest costly than the old direct military rule, letting the Palestinian Authority have "limited autonomy" in Palestinian population centers, the cantons, while it retains all the best land and continues expropriating Palestinian land and building more settlements, most fervently under the "moderate" Labor governments, contrary to much illusion. Israel currently retains direct rule in about seventy two percent of the West Bank and about fourty percent of the Gaza Strip. Said makes very clear that he believes the "peace process" to be similar to the effort in apartheid South Africa to establish batustans,"homelands" for the blacks. Doubtless, he says, the Palestinian cantons will one day be declared a "Palestinian state" but it will actually be no more than a caricature of the bantustans of South Africa.
He was on close terms with Arafat and many of the top PLO leaders before 1993. He offers an utterly scathing critique of Arafat and the PLO leadership. He portrays them as unbelievable morons and unbelievably corrupt and brutal. He says the main reason the PLO succumbed to Israel's offer in 1993 was that Arafat and his goons were facing an internal rebellion within the PLO because of their corruption, stupidity and lack of democracy. So they jumped at an agreement that made them Israel's collaborator and gave them protection. Their main duty is to round up, and often torture and sometimes murder all people whom Israel believes to be a threat to its always threatened "security" a very elastic concept which includes a great many non-violent persons
Since 1993, Arafat has spent all of the Palestinian Authority's money funding twelve or thirteen secret police agencies and buying off his enemies, real or potential, often with salaries for government jobs that entail absolutely nothing. He graphically portrays Arafat's incredible stupidity as he has endlessly begged the Israelis for more crumbs, and is always hoodwinked. Probably the best chapter in the book (and by far the longest) is "On Visiting Wadie" where he describes, among other incidents, an interview he was granted with the acid tongued PA minister Yasser Abd Rabbo, that was very cordial. Several months later Rabbo, on Arafat's orders, sent goons to all bookstores under Palestinian jurisdiction to seize Said's books and carry them away.
A point that he constantly reiterates throughout this book is something that he says that he has been making to Arafat and other Palestinians for years. He says that Palestinians need to try to emulate the international educational efforts, lobbying and other forms of activism of the old anti-apartheid movement of South Africa. The Arab world, he notes, is currently run by dictatorships of varrying degrees of brutality, most of them propped up by the West, and is at an all time low. Arabs, he says, especially the various kept intellectuals of the pro-Western regimes, are immensely ignorant of Israel. They focus all their attention on the Labor party, but not on any genuine elements of peace in Israel like Israel Shahak or the late General Matti Peled or his daughter who expressed sympathy for the Palestinians after her daughter was blown up by a Hamas suicide bomb. Or the composer Daniel Barenboim, with whom Said has developed a friendship. Or Israel's revisionist historians like Benny Morris, Illan Pappe, Zeev Sternhell, Tom Segev, etc. who were interviewed about their findings on Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestians in 1948 on Israel's fiftieth aniversary special on Israeli TV (of all places) in 1998.
In the rest of the book, among other subjects, he has some interesting things to say about the late Sir Isiah Berlin (especially Berlin's relationship with Noam Chomsky),the difference between Labor and Likud, comparing Shimon Peres and Bibi Netanyahu, with some rather amusing anecdotes about his encounters with Bibi in the late 80's and the great labor party fraud Yossi Beilin, from whom he takes two very pertinent quotes about the true nature of the peace process (page 170).
80 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful voice for Palestinian statehood and sovereignty 21 Oct 2000
By Orchard Gate - Published on Amazon.com
Some critics have chosen to question what Edward Said means by 'real peace' and claim that, in truth, he seeks the destruction of Israel. No one who reads this book can be left in any doubt as to what he believes are the conditions necessary for a just and lasting peace.
For decades Edward Said has been a powerful advocate of a two-state solution, preserving the state of Israel within its pre 1967 borders. In this book he again and again condemns those who continue to argue for the elimination of the state of Israel and urges his fellow Arabs to accept the reality of the Jewish state. Indeed, he even goes as far as to brand those who refuse to have any dialogue with Israelis as racist. Anyone who was under the slightest illusion that Said is in any way making a case that even approximates to the destruction of Israel can be left in no doubt by the articles republished in his latest book.
Said argues very powerfully that the Israelis must recognise the wrong that has been done to the Palestinians, and that those who have been forced from their homes at gunpoint, dispossessed, their houses seized or bulldozed should either be permitted to return to their homes or should be compensated (not that all should have an automatic right or return). The Jews have been very vociferous in their campaign to see compensation paid to Jews for losses and suffering inflicted by the Nazis. Why then should they refuse to compensate those who have been dispossessed by Israel, the victims' victims, the Palestinians whose only crime was to live in Palestine?
Although some may think it is absurd to allow the native inhabitants of the land of Palestine the right to return to the land from which they have been expelled over the past fifty years, it is hard for Jews and their supporters to maintain such a position. After all, the principal of the Jewish Right of Return - which says that the land of Israel belong to Jews, wherever they live and that all Jews have an automatic right to 'return' - is the very cornerstone upon which the state of Israel was founded..
Said makes clear the historical context in which the dispute over Jerusalem must be seen. Israel has illegally occupied East Jerusalem since 1967. Its annexation is not recognised by any country in the world and the United Nations has consistently resolved that Israel must withdraw from all illegally occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, which has an overwhelmingly Arab population. The fact that Jews have lived their throughout history has no bearing on matters: Jews have also lived in a great many cities for a great many centuries - are we to allow Israel to annex any city with an ancient Jewish presence?
Then, of course, there is violence. Said's very simple point, which has been amply borne out by recent events in Israel and Palestine, is that if there is to be any hope for a lasting peace it must be founded upon a genuine settlement of the conflict, not some phony 'peace deal' which amounts to little more than formalising the Israeli dispossession of the native population. This is not threatening anyone but rather making plain the simple idea that peace must be made and not taken for granted. Peace must be based on mutual respect and an agreement reached between two parties treating each other as equals, something which Israel has consistently refused to do. (for example, the Palestinians are repeatedly required to 'recognise' Israel and guarantee the security not only of Israelis but also illegal Jewish settlers, but Israel refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Palestinians claim to statehood and refuses to guarantee the security of Palestinians).
Edward Said's book is a powerful, thoughtful statement from a committed Palestinian nationalist and highly respected academic. I do not agree with all he says but, nevertheless, I found the book thought provoking and engaging.
27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eloquently Written, Powerfully Argued 17 Oct 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is a magnificent collection of essays that Edward Said originally published in newspapers and magazines like al-Ahram and al-Hayat. All of the essays are eloquently written and powerfully argued to expose the injustices of the so-called peace process. Too few intellectuals (unfortunately) have the moral courage and insight of Edward Said.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth may be dark and depressing, and yet true 11 May 2004
By Zeeshan Hasan - Published on Amazon.com
This book starts where Said's "Peace and its Discontents" ends, so read that book first. It's indeed a gloomy picture. Arafat's puppet administration sinks deep into corruption whilst steaming in impotent helplessness, as the so-called peace process becomes a transparent tactic to block all real Palestinian aspirations for a viable state in the occupied territories. The Israelis and the US continue to block all real statehood negotiations until 'violence stops', overlooking the crucial fact that Palestinian violence is largely a reaction to the brutal Israeli occupation, and is impossible for Arafat to control while the Israeli settlement and occupation policy continues. So things remain in a deadlock. And meanwhile Said's health deteriorates. Sad indeed, but unfortunately it's the truth of the situation.
25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Said lays it all out for you 6 Mar 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Edward Said, renowned scholar of the modern Middle East, is at it again, exposing the truth of the current situation in Israel/Palestine. Read this book if you would like an honest antidote to the ridiculous half-truths and prevaricating poison that is the American media establishment.
Said incisively dissects the true nature of the Oslo so-called "peace process". His exhaustive research, expertise in the field, eloquence, and intellectual rigour will impress and convince you.
If you would like a sharp, clear look at what is really going on in Israel/Palestine today, look no further than this book.
-Hila Rosenfeld, from Israel
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