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.
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.