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An Excellent Piece Of Objectivity
on 4 October 2016
The Middle-East crisis is now almost a quarter of a century old. It started after the Second World War when Harry Truman enforced much more Jewish immigration into Arabic regions than any other international body had suggested, meaning that the understandable need for a new Jewish homeland became a gross imposition on Arabs. Predictable Palestinian rebellion against this imposition led to disproportionate Israeli aggression (something that would become a long-term pattern), and extremists such as Gamal Abdul Nasser and Yasser Arafat rose to power – the poorly-planned Suez conflict only strengthened Nasser’s position. The Six Day War in 1967 was manipulated by Israel so that they could occupy Palestinian territories without granting indigent citizens any voting or political rights; only the rise of the peacemaker Anwar Sadat helped to restrain Palestinian terrorism. In the 1970s, Henry Kissinger and especially Jimmy Carter showed that specific peace settlements could be achieved in the Middle East, but during the 1980s Ronald Reagan increased ties to the Jewish lobby while Shimon Peres advanced Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, thereby undermining previous peace efforts. The Oslo Accords of the 1990s achieved little progress, and while Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak negotiated some peaceful breakthroughs, Arafat’s uncompromising attitude and Ariel Sharon’s belligerence created further violence. A conciliatory approach by Mahmoud Abbas was undermined when Palestinians foolishly voted for the terrorist organisation Hamas, and recently Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel has been as disproportionately bellicose as ever, meaning peace in the Middle-East is as far away as ever.
This book covers all of these subjects in good detail, as well as other countries in the Middle-East such as Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. It is well-researched, authoritative and as objective as any book can be about this region in history; it should be read by all who want to educate themselves further. My only criticism is that the index is quite poorly put together, so if you want to find a particular section of the book you have to flick through the main text yourself to find it.