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From the Publisher"Rejecting standard 'realist' accounts of foreign policy, which center almost exclusively on a state's 'national interests' and security concerns, The Pursuit of Peace and the Crisis of Israeli Identity argues that national identity is at the heart of Israel's policies regarding the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Foreign policy, in Dov Waxman's view, is less the product of a small number of high officials conferring in smoke-filled rooms, than a broader set of struggles in society over the definition of national identity. This must-read book argues persuasively that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict demands first that Israelis solve their own roiling conflict over national identity."
—Joel Migdal, Robert F. Philip Professor of International Studies, University of Washington
"This is a masterful study; seldom if ever have the internal and external dimensions of Israeli politics been tied together so persuasively. Waxman goes to the roots of the Jewish dilemma—which is also the Zionist dilemma—between the pull of universalism and the claims of particularity. But this is not a work mired in abstractions; rather, it traces this dilemma in Zionist and Israeli history with an extraordinary precision and command of events. The analysis of the Oslo peace process, in particular, explains its ultimate collapse with a depth of understanding that few other analyses have approached. This is a book that will be of value to readers on all levels, from the uninitiated to the expert. It should be on everyone's short list of books on Israel."
—Alan Dowty, Kahanoff Professor in Israel Studies, University of Calgary, and President, Association for Israel Studies
"Waxman's engrossing account of Israel's foreign policy as a site of conflict over collective identity in analytical and historical perspective is not only a must read for everyone interested in a deep perspective of Israel's passionate search for meaningful national existence, but also a milestone in the development of a 'constructivist' school of Israel Studies."
—Emanuel Adler, Andrea and Charles Bronfman Professor of Israeli Studies, University of Toronto