Khalidi, a Middle East historian and Columbia University professor of modern Arab studies, continues his deconstruction of the obstacles to stability in the region. His detailing of the roots of the Palestinian struggle in The Iron Cage (2006) and his demonstration of U.S. interest in fostering instability in Sowing Crisis (2009), are synthesized here in a comprehensive exposition of what he calls the United States’ role as “Israel’s lawyer” in ensuring that Palestinian statehood will never be achieved. Khalidi itemizes successive administrations that have set forth two-state solutions only to back rapidly away, instead crafting “Orwellian” linguistic feats whose outcome has redefined Palestinian autonomy to mean only people, not land, and a Palestinian Authority that serves as little more than an auxiliary Israeli police force. Reagan’s backtracking from an initially firm antisettlement stance, George H.W. Bush’s surrender on the issue of loan guarantees to Israel, Condoleezza Rice’s tone-deafness to Palestinian concerns, and the use of unquestioning support for Israel as a litmus test for presidential candidates in 2012 are ably used by Khalidi to construct a chronicle of the U.S. willfully squandering its role in “peace processes.” (Mar.)
Praise for Brokers of Deceit
"What has happened to the Palestinian people since 1948 is one of the great crimes of modern history. Of course, Israel bears primary responsibility for this tragedy. However, as Rashid Khalidi shows in his smart new book, American presidents from Truman to Obama have sided with Israel at almost every turn and helped it inflict immense pain and humiliation on the Palestinians. At the same time, they have employed high-sounding but dishonest rhetoric to cover up Israel's brutal behavior. As Brokers of Deceit makes clear, the United States richly deserves to be called "Israel's lawyer."
—John J. Mearsheimer, coauthor of The Israel Lobby
“Drawing on his own experience as a Palestinian negotiator and recently released documents, Rashid Khalidi mounts a frontal attack on the myths and misconceptions that have come to surround America’s role in the so-called “peace process” which is all process and no peace. The title is not too strong: the book demonstrates conclusively that far from serving as an honest broker, the US continues to act as Israel’s lawyer – with dire consequences for its own interests, for the Palestinians, and for the entire region. Professor Khalidi deserves much credit for his superb exposition of the fatal gap between the rhetoric and reality of American diplomacy on this critically important issue.”
—Avi Shlaim, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Oxford and author ofThe Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World.
"Khalidi has combined history, common sense and his first-hand understanding of arab-israeli peace talks, as brokered by Washington, to make the case that American national security interests would be best served by a just peace in the Middle East. Instead, he writes with great sadness, Washington's efforts to be an honest broker fall "somewhere between high irony and farce" —and puts democratic America, with its avowed commitment to freedom for all, in the position of enabling the continued subjugation of the Palestine people. This is an important book."
—Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker
“For those of us who believe that a two-state solution is the path to justice and peace for Israel and Palestine, Rashid Khalidi’s trenchant analysis is powerful and disturbing. The United States has failed repeatedly to be an honest broker, accepting the status quo of Israeli occupation and settlements when a true peace agreement would be deeply in the interest of all parties, Israel, Palestine, and the US itself. Khalidi emphasizes that the deceptions of language and deed have serious long-term costs and that the United States might soon impose and incur still greater costs through ill-conceived policies vis-à-vis Syria, Iran, and other countries in the Middle East.”
—Jeffrey D. Sachs, author of The End of Poverty
Praise for Rashid Khalidi
“Rashid Khalidi is arguably the foremost U.S. historian of the modern Middle East.”—Warren I. Cohen, Los Angeles Times Book Review
“In a refreshing contrast to the yammering bazaar of complaint and allegation that has dominated American public discussion of the Middle East since Sept. 11, 2001, "The Iron Cage" is a patient and eloquent work, ranging over the whole of modern Palestinian history from World War I to the death of Yasser Arafat. Reorienting the Palestinian narrative around the attitudes and tactics of the Palestinians themselves, Khalidi lends a remarkable illumination to a story so wearily familiar it is often hard to believe anything new can be found within.”—Jonathan Shainin, Salon
“Unlike most so-called Middle East experts, Khalidi actually knows a great deal about that region”—Professor John J. Mearsheimer, author of The Israel Lobby
“With a deep knowledge of the Middle East and a felicitous literary style, Khalidi . . . examines the history of U.S. involvement in the area against the backdrop of European colonialism.”—Ronald Steel, The Nation
“Rashid Khalidi’s extraordinary book [Resurrecting Empire] is enormously relevant for our times, especially in light of America’s growing involvement in the Middle East.”—Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize
“Khalidi’s role is as a historian, working to show how historical forces, largely ignored in the U.S., have shaped the modern Middle East. He takes particular delight in demolishing the various clichés used to describe the Middle East, bred out of what he terms ‘America’s historical amnesia.’”—Chris Hedges, New York Times