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Intimate Enemies: Jews and Arabs in a Shared…

Intimate Enemies: Jews and Arabs in a Shared Land

by Meron Benvenisti

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0520085671, Hardcover)

As Israelis and Palestinians negotiate separation and division of their land, Meron Benvenisti, former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, maintains that any expectations for "peaceful partition" are doomed. In his brave and controversial new book, he raises the possibility of a confederation of Israel/Palestine, the only solution that he feels will bring lasting peace.
The seven million people in the territory between Jordan and the Mediterranean are mutually dependent regarding employment, water, land use, ecology, transportation, and all other spheres of human activity. Each side, Benvenisti says, must accept the reality that two national entities are living within one geopolitical entity--their conflict is intercommunal and will not be resolved by population transfers or land partition.
A geographer and historian by training, a man passionately rooted in his homeland, Benvenisti skillfully conveys the perspective of both Israeli and Palestinian communities. He recognizes the great political and ideological resistance to a confederation, but argues that there are Israeli Jews and Palestinians who can envision an undivided land, where attachment to a common homeland is stronger than militant tribalism and segregation in national ghettos. Acknowledging that equal coexistence between Israeli and Palestinian may yet be an impossible dream, he insists that such a dream deserves a place in the current negotiations.
"Meron Benvenisti is the Middle East expert to whom Middle East experts go for advice . . . the most oft-quoted and oft-damned analyst in Israel."--from the Foreword by Thomas L. Friedman

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:55 -0400)

One hundred years of life-and-death struggle between Jew and Arab over exclusive possession of Jerusalem and the Holy Land culminated in terrible blood baths and supreme acts of reconciliation, occurring during a short span of time: October 1990 to September 1993. Meron Benvenisti begins his excavation of this primordial struggle with the massacre on the Temple Mount in October 1990. Through this tragic lens, he brilliantly analyzes the entangled status of Jerusalem. He ends his book with the handshake of the Peace Accord in September 1993, a symbol of the promised peace. These are the two images of the intimate enmity between Israelis and Palestinians. Which image, he asks, represents the true nature of the conflict? Will a century of bloodshed prevent peace or will the future forgive the past? Is the conflict really over or have the rules of engagement simply shifted?… (more)

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