Middle East Illusions: Including Peace in the Middle East? Reflections on Justice and Nationhood


What are the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how has it been influenced by the United States? Why has the U.S.-brokered "peace process" repeatedly failed to deliver peace? What are the prospects for a just resolution? What interests underlic current U.S. strategic doctrines in the Middle East. especially in its redeclared "war on terrorism" after 9/11, and how do we look beyond them to find more peaceful and viable alternatives? These are among the current and longstanding questions Noam Chomsky ...
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What are the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how has it been influenced by the United States? Why has the U.S.-brokered "peace process" repeatedly failed to deliver peace? What are the prospects for a just resolution? What interests underlic current U.S. strategic doctrines in the Middle East. especially in its redeclared "war on terrorism" after 9/11, and how do we look beyond them to find more peaceful and viable alternatives? These are among the current and longstanding questions Noam Chomsky takes up in his newest book. Middle East Illusions presents recent chapters written by the author about the myths behind the peace process, the second Palestinian Intifada (which began in September 2000 and continues today in defiance of Israeli repression), and the Bush administration's response to the September 11 attacks on the United States, including its drive toward another war with Iraq.

Middle East Illusions also includes the full text of Chomsky's earlier book Peace in the Middle East? Reflections on Justice and Nationhood, written during the crucial period spanning the Six-Day and 1973 wars, events that continue to define and deeply influence the world today. Middle East Illusions therefore presents in-depth analysis covering several decades, making this book one of the richest of any analysis published about the region's geopolitics. Noam Chomsky is recognized internationally for his critical analysis of the Middle East. His thoroughly documented research draws on an immense range of sources, including Hebrew texts rarely discussed in the United States, declassified government planning documents, and other sources all too often overlooked in discussions of the U.S. role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Chomsky's scathing indictments of U.S. foreign policy have long divided readers, and this collection of essays about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is likely to do the same. Written during the last 30 years, these pieces display many characteristics of Chomsky's thought: a deep mistrust of U.S. and Israeli intentions and a desire to change the course of history. Chomsky is erudite, and some of the points are now standard in discussion about the Middle East, such as the contradiction of Israel being both a Jewish state and a democracy. But Chomsky reprints numerous dated talks-and some of these, while interesting historical relics, contain statements that haven't stood the test of time, such as a 1969 observation that "[b]oth international and domestic factors are more conducive to a peaceful resolution of the conflict than has been the case for some time." More recent pieces attack the Oslo peace process, which he sees as "neocolonialist" and resembling South African apartheid. Chomsky's alternative-a binational state-seems highly unlikely given the violence of the past few years. This book is also intriguing for what it omits: in his historical roundup, for instance, Chomsky fails to mention violent Arab riots against Jews before Israel's founding in 1948. For some leftist critics of the U.S. and Israel, this book will ring true. But for many readers-perhaps even some who read Chomsky's bestselling 9-11-it will seem one-sided. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Day By Day
This is a lucid, well-documented, first-class book that should be in every library.
ForeWord Reviews
Answers divisive questions about the Israeli-Arab policy and U.S. involvement in the Middle East.
The Bookseller
It's impossible not to agree with him most of the time, and I've yet to find a book of his that doesn't sell.
Sunday Times
Acting as a deliberately provocative American conscience, Chomsky argues that Israel behaves like a colonial power in the Occupied Territories. His indictments of casual American hypocrisy and abuse of power are important, and his thesis that Israel's actions, far from enhancing its security, compromise it by polarizing opinion both within Israel and beyond is reasonable.
Z Magazine
In Middle East Illusions, Noam Chomsky proposes an alternative resolution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine and questions the territory’s strategic and economic importance to the industrial powers, most notably the United States.
The Bookwatch
An intriguing, scholarly analysis of fateful errors and lasting impacts.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742529779
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Pages: 318
  • Sales rank: 1,471,063
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Noam Chomsky, author of more than 80 books, is a professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He speaks regularly to audiences in the United States and throughout the world. The New York Times has described him as "an exploder of received truths."
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Table of Contents

Pt. I Peace in the Middle East? The 1967 War and the 1970s
1 Nationalism and Conflict in Palestine 39
2 A Radical Perspective 73
3 Reflections on a National Conflict 83
4 The Fourth Round 113
5 The Peace Movement and the Middle East 123
Pt. II The Intifada, Israel, and the United States at the Turn of the Millennium
6 The "Peace Process" in U.S. Global Strategy 159
7 Prospects for Peace in the Middle East 199
8 Al-Aqsa Intifada 217
9 United States - Israel - Palestine 227
Pt. III After 9/11: The "War on Terror" Redeclared
10 A Changed World? Terrorism Reconsidered 235
Notes 243
Index 281
About the Author 301
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2004

    Useful study of Middle East quagmire

    Part 1 is a reprint of Chomsky¿s 1974 book, Peace in the Middle East? examining the 1967 war and its results. Part 2 looks at the same themes of Israel, Palestine and the US role, from the perspective of 2002. Part 3 studies the world after 9/11 and the `war on terror¿. Israel, like most US dependencies, has huge inequality, great and growing poverty, high and rising unemployment, falling wages and worsening working conditions. It constantly expands its illegal settlements in the occupied territories, cuts the Palestinians¿ water quotas, and imprisons Palestinians in areas sealed by a net of bypass roads meant for Jews only. Israel organises torture, terror, the destruction of tens of thousands of homes, and detentions without trial. Under Israeli occupation, Palestine¿s unemployment has doubled, investment has halved, income is down 20%, and GNP is down 40%. When the Security Council reaffirmed that the 4th Geneva Convention applies to occupied territories, Clinton abstained. In mid-September 2000, the US shipped attack helicopters to Israel, and US Marines conducted joint exercises with elite units of the Israeli Defence Force. On 29 September, Sharon made his infamous, government-authorised visit to the Temple Mount, with a thousand armed guards. On 3 October, Israel signed its biggest arms deal for a decade, buying 35 Blackhawk military helicopters from the USA. In February 2001, Israel bought nine Apache attack helicopters. Curiously, this huge backing for Israel went virtually unreported. In December 2001, the USA vetoed a Security Council Resolution calling for international monitors to oversee a reduction in violence. The USA has consistently rejected a Palestinian state: as elsewhere, nationalism is its enemy. The USA is repeating the British Empire¿s Middle Eastern failures. Dean Acheson said that Britain `may act as our lieutenant (the fashionable word is partner)¿. Britain is still the lieutenant in Iraq; Israel is now the lieutenant in Palestine, bleeding from its doomed struggle to kill off Palestinian sovereignty. In its Middle East colonies and dependencies, the British Empire created an `Arab façade¿ to have `the outward semblance of sovereignty¿. Now the USA does the same in Iraq.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2003

    Everything including the 'ands and the buts'

    Mary McCarthy once wrote of Lillian Hellman that everything she writes is a lie, including the 'ands' and ' the buts'. Chomsky hates Israel. He has never written one good word about the Middle East's only remaining democracy.( Once upon a time there was Lebanon before the Syrians and the Palestinians did it in). Chomsky is that typical example of an intellectual so enamored of his own abstractions and ideas, that facts will never deter him. His defense of terrorists, suicide bombers, and those in general who would kill civilians for whatever political purpose is immoral, whether in referring to the Middle East Conflict or not. This man has spent a career cheerleading for evil. Thanks to the tolerance and generosity of the United States which he loathes he can go around campus to campus spouting his vile bigotry. He would have done better had he simply stuck to linguistics , and left reality to those who have a sense of right and wrong.

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