Author(s): Yossi Alpher
Yossi Alpher, a veteran of peace process research and dialogue, explains how Israel got into its current situation of growing international isolation, political stalemate, and gathering messianic political influence. He investigates the inability of Israelis and Palestinians to make peace and end their conflict before suggesting not "solutions" (as there is no current prospect for a realistic comprehensive solution), but ways to moderate and soften the worst aspects of the situation and "muddle through" as Israel looks to a somber bi-national future.
A thoughtful and compelling analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conundrum by one of Israel's most astute and veteran political and security analysts. Alpher doesn't leave us with much hope but his trenchant shattering of illusions is worth the ride. A must-read for anyone interested in the problem of the much too promised land. -- Aaron David Miller, vice-president at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington and a former Middle East analyst and negotiator in Republican and Democratic Administrations A sober account by one of Israel's premier security analysts and peace activists. Going beyond the conventional distinction between "doves" and "hawks," Alpher recognizes that there are at the moment no realistic chances for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to put an end to the conflict. Nonetheless, he suggests a number of possible options for partial steps, unilateral or negotiated, to avoid the continuing stalemate which he realistically views as endangering Israel's long term perspectives. Both Israelis and foreigners should listen carefully to Alpher's measured and wise suggestions. -- Shlomo Avineri, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, former Director-General of Israel's Foreign Ministry This well written and carefully presented book should be read both by the non-proliferation wonks and those interested in a careful analysis of the key elements of the future of the Middle East. It takes a deep historical look at Arab-Israeli differences and conflicts and seeks to discover and elucidate clearly and openly the reasons for failure and as well the central questions that must be tackled by both sides to achieve success. Alpher opens new ground in presenting 5 options for the future along with the challenges in making them work. His bottom line: efforts to maintain a status quo or to set the issue aside will only lead to more damaging consequences. -- Thomas R. Pickering, former US Under Secretary of State and Ambassador to Israel, Jordan, Russia and the United Nations
Yossi Alpher was an officer in Israeli military intelligence, followed by twelve years of service in the Mossad. Until 1995, he was director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. In July 2000, he served as Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Israel during the Camp David talks. From 2001 to 2012 he was coeditor of the bitterlemons.net family of internet publications. He is the author of Periphery: Israel's Search for Middle East Allies (Rowman Littlefield, 2015).
Preface Acknowledgments Introduction Maps: 1. Israel, Palestinian territories, surrounding states; 2. Areas A, B and C in the West Bank; 3. Jerusalem West and East (as defined by Israel's 1967 annexation) Chapter 1: Rachel, or the Arab-Jewish divide Part I: Contemporary Israel Chapter 2: After nearly 50 years of occupation: how the world increasingly sees Israel Chapter 3: The emerging social-political-demographic challenge to Israeli internal cohesiveness Chapter 4: The global Jewish factor: the Diaspora, anti-Semitism Chapter 5: The region: dealing with a bad neighborhood Chapter 6: Resolving the Palestinian issue 1936 to 2009: a dynamic of failure Chapter 7: Lessons from Kerry's failure and the American role Part II: Israel Tomorrow Chapter 8: Are there alternative ways to muddle through? Chapter 9: On the slippery slope toward a bi-national Israel Chapter 10: Summarizing the strategic ramifications of the quasi-apartheid schemes Chapter 11: Are there radical alternative realities?