Monday, April 15, 2013

The Unmaking of Israel

Nearly every academic who studies the history of the State of Israel eventually takes a crack at trying to present a solution to Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  This is what Gershom Gorenberg lays out for us in his The Unmaking of Israel.

In both theme and content, this much smaller book is an extension of his larger The Accidental Empire, which chronicles how Israel fell into the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and through missteps and bad decisions, never had a clear and consistent policy on what to do with the occupied territories.  

In this book, Gorenberg lays out the case that the settlement activity is undermining the democratic nature of Israel.  It is bringing Israel back to its pre-state condition, when ethnic and ideological groups did not need to follow any rule of law, but only their best interests.

Gorenberg is probably correct in many of his conclusions, but his solutions, so boldly stated at the end of the book, would take a groundswell of popular support in Israel that would move out and beyond  the power every religious and political special interest to prevent them.  It simply seems impossible that Israel could, at this point, commit to the kind of program Gorenberg lays out.

It would take generations of change to make this come about.

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