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Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2007

    In the Minds of Many

    The book Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli Arab Tragedy started with onset of the Zionist movement and documented the political and personal transitions faced by the two factions from the days of colonialism to the modern democratic exception. As a student of history, I found the book to be very informative, detailed yet maintaining uncomplicated use of idiom. Its structured timeline helped to guide me in an understanding of the uniformed fashion that develops political structure. This book sparked my interest in a way that could be relative to past occurrences. It set into light a different point of view that as a student changed my overall perspective on the situation governing the Middle East. Ben-Ami allowed the insight of both factions to play apart in his dictation of the facts that set into motion the current situation in Israel and Palestine. He also made a point to reflect on the way outside political struggles become the focus over the relevant issues between the PLO¿s intention verses the intention of the Israeli government. Scars allowed me to explore the ¿backdoor¿ approach to resolutions of situation that were less than voiced which in my opinion shines a light on the true order of world politics. It also brought to the forefront the grandeur possibilities that can occur when compromises and hands are forced. Overall, I recommend this manuscript for those who are not well versed in the larger scheme of the Middle Eastern Conflict. It made me more aware of the relations between governments all over the world and the full affect of such relationships. It also helped to prepare my mind for the reality of world affairs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    A reviewer

    Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy was written by Shlomo Ben-Ami. The book was published in 2006 by the Oxford University. This book was written to give a broad overview of Israel¿s ups and downs in the peace process with her Arab neighbors. Ben-Ami, as a former Prime Minister, offers a unique view and insight of Israeli policies. Taking into consideration that Ben-Ami is a former Prime Minister of Israel, the author does a fairly good job at hiding his bias. At times, the author even criticizes the Israeli government for it¿s mishandling of foreign affairs. However, it should be stated that in the preface of Scars of War, Wounds of Peace, Ben-Ami clearly states he is an ardent Zionist. He does not make any excuses for this and his bias does show through. Scars was absolutely packed with a lot of great information about the Arab-Israeli conflict, however the presentation of the information could have been presented clearer. I often found myself re-reading paragraphs and wondering where we were in time. The author does not take the stereotypical chronological approach to the conflict as a whole, which could be bothersome to many people as it was to me. I would not recommend this book as a starting point for a student of the Arab-Israeli conflict. As I stated earlier, the book is packed with great information, but the fragmented approach makes it difficult to follow at times. This book would better benefit someone with an intermediate knowledge of the subject. As a beginning student wishing to learn more about the conflict, this book was not as beneficial as I had hoped. However, do not discount this book if you are looking for something to supplement your current knowledge of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book contains a multitude of useful information. Anyone that is interested in learning about the Arab-Israeli conflict would do well to read this book. Shlomo Ben-Ami has a very in-depth knowledge of this subject from not only the Israeli side, but also from an international side while working with President Clinton during peace talks. Prior to reading this book, I had high hopes for the background and history of the Arab-Israeli conflict that I was going to learn. This is the one subject that, from its inception has been shrouded in propaganda and mystery. I am sad to report the information contained in the book continues the cycle of weighted information. I felt that book was very pro-Israeli and did not give full credit to the Arab side of the story. Weather in book or article, I have found that this one-sided view is very common. People have such a strong conviction towards one side or the other it is very hard to separate themselves and write an unbiased history of events. Rather than ¿bash¿ Mr. Ben-Ami for his one-sided approach to writing, I instead have chosen to praise his writing as very in-depth and accurate. Ben-Ami shows a very high knowledge of the material and true resolve on the issues. From early on in the Zionist movement, to today¿s most recent attempts at peace in the Middle East are well documented in this book. As President Clinton¿s foreign minister of Israel, Mr. Ben-Ami gives a unique perspective that one would normally not get just by reading the documents that come from such international meetings. While the information contained in Scars of War, Wounds of Peace is accurate and in-depth, the transmission of these facts to pen and paper were not well planned. I found myself having to read the same passages two to three times in order to really grasp the information that the book contained. I will admit that prior to reading this book I had a very limited knowledge of the conflict. What got me tripped up in the book were mainly the names and places that I was not familiar with. I also felt that Mr. Ben-Ami took for granted that some of the people, places, and events were known to all people and did not go into detail to explain them which meant that I had to do further research in order to understand what he was talking about. I would recommend this book to anyone that already has an understanding of the events within the book. I do not feel that this book would be of much use to a person with entry-level knowledge though and would find the book gathering dust on a bookshelf.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2007

    A reviewer

    The Book 'Scars of War Wounds of Peace' will encite strong feelings regarless of which side of the Israeli-Palestianian crisis one may find themselves siding with. Those feelings will also run the entire gambit as Shlomo Ben Ami gives a very clear, seemingly unbiased, look into the conflict from a very important figure in the peace talks. Shlomo Ben Ami was the foreign minister of Israel at the time of the Oslo Accord, and The Camp David Talks. The MAin focus of the book is from the 1980's and specifically covers the Oslo Accord and the failed Camp David talks. While this book may not be inspiring, Shlomo Ben Ami gives a very real and personal view of the process, and the major players involved. From Yaser Arafat to president Bush, Shlomo Ben Ami does not shy away from the mistakes made by all side involved. Shlomo Ben Ami gives the reader a very rare glimpse, especially for students, into the real and disaterous conflict which led to war and the ongoing search for peace, that continues to this day. I think Ami gives a critical insight into not only the processes of negotiations but the reasons for this particular failure. His opinion comes across as unbiased and factual and gives the reader a knowledge of the key players in these talks, their roles and their shortcomings. He showed the reader what happens when people let their own agendas and short-sighted ideas take precedence over realistic and mutually-satisfying resolutions. I would recommend this book to others who want an honest look into this crisis.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2007

    A reviewer

    The book Scars of War: Wounds of Peace was written by the author Shlomo Ben-Ami, who was born in Morocco in 1943. His family is Jewish and so they decided to move to Israel in 1955. In Tel Aviv Ben-Ami studied and eventually earned his PhD in History. His then has an impressive career and was Israel¿s ambassador to Spain and in 2000 he was appointed Minister of Internal Security, and then Foreign Minister of Israel, and served until he resigned 2002. His political career has been astonishing and he managed to write several books. The book Scars of War describes what happened historically between the Zionist movements up until the Clinton administration. The book gives lots of information about the Arab-Israeli conflict and is very informative. However, the book is not an easy read. The reader must pay attention too lots of details and should probably take notes as well. It doesn¿t mean the book is bad, it just means you have to already know about the subject before you read. I did like that he presented the information fair, and without too much biases. And I am sure this was probably difficult for him since he is Jewish so I thought that was well done. The author gives lots of historical details and needs a basic understanding of the conflict or it will not make much sense to the reader. It is well written with medium sized chapters and this helps the reader to stay focused and not for what they have read. I did not have a lot of prior knowledge about the subject so it was a little difficult for me to follow. It reminded my of a mono-tone high school history teacher, the one who made you tired in class. So I definitely recommend it for anyone who is a history major, who would like to know the depths of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Ben-Ami believes that the Arabs and Israelis will only solve the conflict when there is absolute desperation for both, and they realize there are no other options besides a peace treaty. He seems pretty optimistic about both sides coming to a resolution they can both agree and stop the violence. He has a positive vision for the countries becoming at peace with each other after hundreds of years of war.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    A good Starting point

    Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy was written by Shlomo Ben-Ami. The book was published by the Oxford University Press in 2006. It is a non-fiction book that gives an overview of Israel¿s political history in regards to its Arab neighbors. The book begins with the height of the Zionist movement and ends with the Clinton Administration¿s attempts at establishing peace. As a student without any knowledge of Israel¿s politics and as someone was not born or old enough to understand the political tension of the time, the book provides a very clear overview of history. It helped to give an understanding of the source of the conflict. The book also helped explain the fears and feelings of the Israeli people. Although the book was written with a slant more toward Israel¿s political standpoint, the author did a good job of giving an unbiased view of events. It is especially evident when he writes about the Sinai Campaign and Egypt¿s role. At no time while reading Scars of War, Wounds of Peace did it feel like an argument was being made for support of either side. Being ignorant of the subject and the events as they took place in chronological order did make the book difficult to understand at times. The author¿s tendency to compare a conflict with a future event with the assumption the reader knew which order they came in caused some confusion. One example of this is when he talks of the 1948 war and compares it to the Yom Kippur war. He refers to war often but only names the Yom Kippur war making it hard to know which one he is talking about. He does this again with the Six Day war and the Sinai Campaign. As a student with no knowledge of the topic before reading Scars of War, Wounds of Peace the book was very educational and helped give an understanding of the topic and the political history of the Israeli people. This book is a good starting point for anyone who wants a better understanding of the conflict between the Israeli people and their Arab neighbors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book was packed with valuable information, but was dryly written, making it hard to follow. It starts with the beginning of the Zionist movement and ends at the Clinton Administration as they attempt to negotiate peace between the Arabs and Israelis. The author of the book has a slightly Israeli stand on some points, but is essentially fair in the way he describes the conflicts and wars during the entire history of Israel and the Zionist movement. Many key facts that have been left out of the media and school curriculums regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict are carefully organized and fully supported in this book. Several instances can be found that show how the schools of America are neglecting to teach the entire story of the Arab-Israeli conflict. One example would be the fact that the Palestinians had fought to have Israel partitioned into two nations to help alleviate the tensions amongst the two nations. However, Israel would not settle for anything less than all of Israel and has repeatedly rejected calls for partitioning which would lead to peace. As for the style of writing, this book comes across rather dry and dull. It is skillfully written with all the information it contains, but it seems to drag on and have little excitement in it. The way the author has written the book seems to lack an enthusiasm about the subject, leaving the reader to attempt and follow along. If this is the first book on this subject a reader is going to undertake, it is highly recommended to get a general knowledge on the subject and then follow up with this in-depth text. The overall outcome of this book is that it is highly developed and well-written. This text is not for a beginner, but for a person that has a basic, if not well-founded understanding of the Arab-Israeli Conflict who is looking to further understand and become an expert in that area of study. The book has more information than most other books and is a great read for someone that has the time to take and re-read anything he or she does not understand.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2007

    A Successful Look at the Israel-Arab Conflict

    The book ¿Scars of War, Wounds of Peace,¿ is a very in-depth look at the Israeli-Arab conflict. The author describes many events taking place throughout the conflict. The writer of the book describes the happenings from a very personal account. The discussion in the book covers a very large time span and thoroughly provides the reader with a lot of information regarding the disagreements between Israel and the Arabs. ¿Scars of War, Wounds of Peace,¿ was written by Shlomo Ben-Ami and published by the Oxford University Press in 2006. The book is a non-fiction account of someone who experienced the Israeli-Arab tragedy first hand. The book begins as far back to include the Zionist movement and spans to cover Bill Clinton¿s presidency in the United States. Ben-Ami gives a very in-depth and personal description of the events taking place throughout the tragedy. In the book, he covers a large deal of information. Some of the information provided deals with events taking place such as all out battles as well as discussions of peace. Ben-Ami also informs the reader of different leaders in power for each country during the conflict. He also goes outside of the focus area of Israel and Palestine to discuss the roles played by other countries in the tragedy as well. Ben-Ami¿s accounts of the battles, discussions, and disagreements between Israel and Palestine are very descriptive and in-depth. The author is very successful in providing a large sum of information to the reader. However, since Ben-Ami was so directly involved in the conflict, some of the information goes over the reader¿s head. Ben-Ami often assumes that the information discussed will be easily comprehended by the reader. Unfortunately, he takes for granted the fact that most people have not been properly educated on this topic in the past. Therefore, many of his discussions about certain people and events are straight to the point and do not provide background information on the person or event he happens to be covering. This personal account of the conflict makes it difficult for the reader to interpret the entirety of the information as there are some dark spots in the discussions since it is assumed that the reader knows exactly who and what the author is talking about. The book is a very good historic account of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The information provided comes from a factual source and the author does a good job of providing his opinion, while making sure it is backed up with supported proof. In it¿s entirety, the book is informative concerning the Israeli-Arab tragedy. Since the author had a personal involvement with the tragedy, he took the writing of the book very seriously. Taking into consideration that the topic is one that most people are unfamiliar with, this book provides the reader with enough information to get a good understanding of what truly took place between the Israelites and Arabs. Ben-Ami created a very successful and informative book in ¿Scars of War, Wounds of Peace.¿ The book covers a great deal of happenings between Israel and Palestine over a large period of time. The author goes past the initial conflict to include leaders and other events happening in each country as well as the problems with each other. After reading this book, someone would have a much better understanding and concept of the reasoning behind the conflict as well as the progress that has been made to this point.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2007

    A reviewer

    Although this book written well as far as factual historical information is concerned, it is a difficult read. For many years, the author has been close to the negotiations and the leaders involved in the Middle East conflict. His first hand accounts of the meetings described in the book give us a unique insight to the private side of the leaders involved. The difficulty comes when the reader, with no prior knowledge of the conflict, begins to read this book. The author¿s constant reference forward and back in time as he references events that take place, makes it difficult to follow the events. Having a prior understanding of the Middle East conflict is essential before beginning this book. Although reading might be difficult, Mr. Ben Ami has packed this book with a wealth of information for the educated reader, Historical events described in-depth by the author tend to give the reader a sense that he is there listening into the conversations. I would recommend this book to the educated reader interested in gaining a better understanding of events that have occurred in the Middle East. Stepping into this book with no prior knowledge will only discourage the reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2007

    A reviewer

    Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy was written by Shlomo Ben-Ami. The book was published in 2006 by the Oxford University. This book gives an overview of the Arab-Israeli conflict that starts with the Zionist movement and ends with the Clinton Administration. This book gives a lot of information on the subject but it is rather dull and hard to read. The author makes it clear early in the book that he is a Zionist and at times his bias does come through. Still, the author does a great job of relating the facts and does a good job of presenting both sides of the issue fairly. I would not recommend this book to someone that did not have some understanding of the conflict, though it is filled with great information, at times it is hard to follow and understand. However I feel that this book gives great information for someone that has the basics of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The area that is best described I feel is the historical content. The author gives an excellent account of the events leading up to and surrounding the conflict. He goes into great detail about the predicament that the Arabs and Israelis find themselves. The book leans toward a political point of view especially Israel¿s although the book did not seem to give support to either side but rather presents both sides leaving it to the reader to take sides. However the author does go back and forth in time and events that are hard to follow, he writes the book as if the reader already has an understanding of the conflict. Although I do not recommend this book to a first time reader, I do recommend the book to someone who has a basic understanding of the conflict and wants to learn more. This book is very educational and has a lot of great information for someone wanting to build their knowledge of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2007

    A reviewer

    Shlomo Ben-Ami is an Israeli diplomat, politician and historian. He was born in Tangier, Morocco in 1943 and immigrated to Israel in 1955. Ben-Ami was educated at Tel-Aviv University and Oxford University (England) from which he received a Ph.D. in History. Prof. Ben-Ami headed the School of History of Tel-Aviv University (1982-86). He has published several books in English, Spanish and Hebrew, which include: Those Were The Generations, 2000: Jewish History, Ethnic Challenges To The Moder, Israel - Entre La Guerra y La Paz, and Ethnic Challenges To the Modern Nation State. Ben-Ami a former Israeli Foreign Minister was inspired to write about the Israeli-Arab Conflict because being a key figure in the Camp David negotiations and many other rounds of peace talks, public and secret, with Palestinian and Arab officials. He felt that he could offer his firsthand knowledge of the major characters and events and let the world know that Palestine should not bare all the blame for the failure to reach a peaceful solution. Ben-Ami book Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy is very unique. His work takes you on a journey throughout the Arab-Israeli conflict that ranges from the birth of Israel to the present day and points out the mistakes committed by the Israelis and Palestinians. This book is an inspiring and honest representation of the history of the Arab-Israeli Conflict and will anger both parties involved. The author let you know at the very outset of the book that he is pro Israeli and a Zionist. This is what makes this book so creditable and set it apart from other books written on the conflict he discusses the mistakes Israel made over the years. Ben-Ami book begins by reviewing the Zionist movement and finish with failed attempts at establishing peace by former president Bill Clinton. The author covers the episodes from the late nineteenth century to the present, but it focuses on Arab-Israeli relations since the 1980s, and the negotiations in which he was a part of such as the first direct face-to-face agreement between Israel and Palestinians the Oslo Accords of 1993 and the 2000 Camp David talks. The author gives an incisive review on some of the major players involved in the conflict and peace negotiations. David Ben-Gurion the first Prime Minister of Israel who led the Israelis to victory in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and his vision of territorial conquest. He discussed Yasser Arafat making several political and tactical mistakes and his rejection of the peace plan at Camp David. He is extremely critical of Ariel Sharon as well. Ben-Ami clearly states that it was hard line Israeli actions that compelled the Arab world to reconcile itself to the Jewish state. He adequately highlights the historical connections in Israelis and Palestinians relations, specifically the geographic and demographic realities. He is also critical of the Palestinians and the many things they have done wrong. The author frequently points to times when a negotiated, settled peace between the Arab and Israelis could have been possible, but no one took advantage of the opportunities because neither side was interested in peace based upon compromise. Instead, they hoped to attain peace based upon dominating each other. Ben-Ami believes that both the Israelis and Palestinians will only come to the negotiating table when they have exhausted all other options and finally realize that they won¿t be able to achieve what they want through force. Will the Israelis and Palestinians ever come to this realization? The author consistently goes to the heart of the problems and he writes in a reasonable and discerning way. I would advise anyone who is seeking to get a better understanding of the Arab-Israeli War and the prospects for peace in the Middle East to read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2007

    Lots of information, Confusing Presentation

    Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy was written by Shlomo Ben-Ami, and published by the Oxford University Press in 2006. The author states in the very beginning that he is Zionist and makes no excuses or apologies for his presentation of the facts, which are slightly biased. This book is full of information. The argument could be made for less information with more organization. Ben-Ami took an original approach at an on-going situation. He was very thorough with the overwhelming amount of information, primary source material, and his commentary. The problem with this book is definitely its organization. By seemingly comparing one conflict against another just with the names the indiginious people have given the conflicts, it was very hard to follow. As a novice of the Arab ¿ Israeli conflict it was hard to keep things straight and many times I found myself re-reading a paragraph or page just to figure out where we were in the history of the conflict. This frustrated most attempts to figure out the chronological order. Without any prior Israeli - Arab knowledge to build on, this is not a good book for building that knowledge. The amount of information presented in this book would be a great asset to furthering ones intermediate knowledge.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2007

    Unbiased history

    Shlomo Ben-Ami, writes an excellent historical non-fiction account of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Ben-Ami is an expert in the field and it is obvious through his writing that he is well read and research in the topics he discusses. When you read his book you can understand his passion for the subject matter and what it must be like to be an Arab or Israeli in modern day Palestine. Ben-Ami uses hundreds of sources to back up his opinions and his facts. While Ben-Ami tries not to take a stance on side of the fence or the other, there are points in the book where he does side with another point of view than the other in my opinion (I will let you judge that for yourself). I would recomend this book to anyone interested in the subject matter, anyone who is Jewish or an Arab, and anyone who just needs a difficult read. This book is written at an almost scholarly level so it is by no means an easy read. The level I would say is of high college and beyond. This may tend to take away from the book in parts but it seems to be necessary for the credibility of the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2007

    Good resource for the moderate scholar of the Middle East.

    Dr Shlomo Ben-Ami as the Israeli Minister of Internal Security, and later Foreign Minister, was on the front lines of the 2000 Camp David peace negotiations. With degrees in Middle Eastern history from the University of Tel Aviv and at Oxford, few people are as qualified to write a comprehensive history of the Arab-Israeli conflict as Ben-Ami. 'Scars of War, Wounds of Peace' is a fairly broad summary of one of the worst conflicts of the twentieth century. Ben-Ami does a thorough job of exploring the political reasons behind many of the issues surrounding this conflict. And unlike many other Israeli authors, he attempts to paint both sides of the picture. But his bias as an Israeli, and as a former member of the Israeli government, does show through. The book just doesn¿t lay out the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict as a blow by blow chronology in fact he makes comparisons to events that took place decades apart. To the scholar already familiar with this issue, these comparisons can be quite helpful in understanding the political and psychological motivations of both sides. But as a first exposure to this conflict, the book can be very confusing at times. The addition of appendices outlining a chronology of major events, and Israeli prime ministers, would make this book an outstanding resource for all. Ben-Ami really shines with his particular attention to the overwhelming Israeli nationalism that inspired most of its actions, and reactions, towards the Arab world. He takes you inside the Israeli need for existence, almost to the point of justification for atrocious acts. At the same time, he makes no excuses for Israel, and even points out how Israeli diplomacy could have been improved with a possible avoidance of bloodshed in several instances. His attempt at a neutral narrative falls short, although he does give the Palestinians and others in the Arab community a voice that most Israeli authors probably do not. While the other side of the story is told to a limited degree, it is done so with benevolence and an obvious Israeli slant. But it refreshingly lacks the usually brutal Israeli perspective. Overall the book is a good resource for anyone seeking information on the Arab-Israeli conflict, especially those with a rudimentary understanding of the issue. It is best used as an addition to other resources, particularly in comparison with those communicating a pro-Palestinian ideology.

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