Israeli and Palestinian Narratives of Conflict

Israeli and Palestinian Narratives of Conflict

History's Double Helix
Edited by Robert I. Rotberg
Distribution: World
Publication date: 8/15/2006
ISBN: 978-0-253-11228-6
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Description

“An exciting and wide-ranging exploration of the myths and narratives that lie behind the unresolved Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts. . . . Anyone dedicated to the fullest possible understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will want to read this volume cover to cover.” —Neil Caplan, Vanier College, Montreal

Why does Hamas refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the state of Israel? Why do Israeli settlers in the West Bank insist that Israel has a legitimate right to that territory? What makes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so intractable? Reflecting both Israeli and Palestinian points of view, this provocative volume addresses the two powerful, bitterly contested, competing historical narratives that underpin the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Compelling contributions by Israeli and Palestinian authors show how the intertwined reckonings of the historical past—history’s double helix—provide powerful ammunition for current battles. Just when a resolution of the conflict might seem to be on the horizon, the gulf of history resurges to separate the contenders. Palestinians and Israelis remain locked in struggle, tightly entangled and enveloped by a historical cocoon of growing complexity, fundamental disagreement, and overriding miscalculation.

This book creates a dialogue among Palestinian and Israeli authors, who examine opposing versions of the historical narratives in the context of contemporary Israeli-Palestinian relations. In hard-hitting essays the contributors debate the two justifying and rationalizing constructions, laying bare the conflict’s roots and the distorted prisms that fuel it. Israeli and Palestinian Narratives of Conflict is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to make sense of today’s headlines.

Contributors are Sami Adwan, Dan Bar-On, Mordechai Bar-On, Daniel Bar-Tal, Nathan J. Brown, Saleh Abdel Jawad, Eyal Naveh, Ilan Pappe, Dina Porat, Robert I. Rotberg, Nadim N. Rouhana, Gavriel Salomon, and Mark Tessler.

Author Bio

Robert I. Rotberg is Director of the Belfer Center’s Program on Intrastate Conflict and Conflict Resolution at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is also President of the World Peace Foundation. His many books include Battling Terrorism in the Horn of Africa and When States Fail: Causes and Consequences. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Reviews

"For about 20 years, I have been teaching a course at Brandeis University called The Sociology of the Israeli–Palestinian Confrontation. As I began moving toward seeing conflicting narratives as a central issue, I looked for a book that would present the narratives issue clearly, directly, and compellingly. My search is over. The book is Robert Rotberg’s edited collection that discusses the role of narratives in establishing legitimacy claims, presents varied Israeli and Palestinian narratives, and considers whether these narratives are reconcilable. Rotberg takes no stand on this final issue. He simply offers many views of it." —Society

". . . [The book's] main contribution is to see the tension as historically produced and contingent, revealling the dynamic interplay between narratives of hegemony and resistence. The key issue is what and who is acknowledged or denied, and how stories are told and re-told, reified and contested, a problem which is at the heart of violence in the Middle East and North Africa." —Human Rights and Human Welfare

". . . an in-depth study of the Arab-Israeli conflict." —Abdur Raheem Kidwai, Aligarh Muslim University, India, Muslim World Book Review , 29.3 2009

". . .
Israeli and Palestinian Narratives of Conflict presents a number of useful and pertinent perspectives on Israeli and Palestinian remembrances of the past." —Marwan Hanania, H-Levant , Sept. 2009

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Table of Contents

Contents
Preface
Map of the Middle East

1. Building Legitimacy through Narrative Robert I. Rotberg
2. Israeli—Jewish Narratives of the Israeli—Palestinian Conflict: Evolution, Contents, Functions, and Consequences Daniel Bar-Tal and Gavriel Salomon
3. Forging Zionist Identity Prior to 1948—Against Which Counter-Identity? Dina Porat
4. The Arab and Palestinian Narratives of the 1948 War Saleh Abdel Jawad
5. Zionism's Encounter with the Palestinians: The Dynamics of Force, Fear, and Extremism Nadim N. Rouhana
6. Conflicting Narratives or Narratives of a Conflict: Can the Zionist and Palestinian Narratives of the 1948 War Be Bridged? Mordechai Bar-On
7. Narratives and Myths about Arab Intransigence toward Israel Mark Tessler
8. The Bridging Narrative Concept Ilan Pappe
9. The Psychology of Better Dialogue between Two Separate but Interdependent Narratives Dan Bar-On and Sami Adwan
10. Contesting National Identity in Palestinian Education Nathan J. Brown
11. The Dynamics of Identity Construction in Israel through Education in History Eyal Naveh

List of Contributors
Index