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
Extracting three episodes from a complex 35-year history, a distinguished Middle East scholar exposes America's unfitness to mediate between Israel and Palestine. Khalidi (Modern Arab Studies/Columbia Univ.; Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East, 2009, etc.) insists that the struggle over Palestine lies at the core of the Arab/Israeli conflict, with resolution impossible as long as the U.S. continues to act, in the words of one observer, as "Israel's lawyer." America, he writes, has only posed as an honest broker, deceiving the public with corrupted rhetoric about "progress" and "the peace process." All the while, U.S. policymaking--with only a few Cold War exceptions--has been consistently driven by domestic political considerations distorted by Israel's muscular congressional lobby, the alliance with Saudi Arabia and the quiet compliance of the other Arab Gulf states, and a complete disregard for the welfare of the Palestinians. Making use of a number of previously classified documents, Khalidi isolates three clarifying moments that illustrate America's bias: the torpedoing of the so-called 1982 Reagan Plan by Menachem Begin's narrow construction of the Camp David Accords; the bilateral Madrid-Washington negotiations of 1991-1993, especially revelatory of the collusion between the U.S. and Israel; and the Obama administration's predictable retreat from anything resembling a new policy toward Palestine. Unpacking these episodes in sharp, take-no-prisoners prose, Khalidi maintains that the U.S. and Isreal, "by far the most powerful actors in the Middle East," through successive administrations and a variety of key officials (Condoleezza Rice and Dennis Ross take a particular beating here), have conspired to deny Palestinians any semblance of self-determination. A stinging indictment of one-sided policymaking destined, if undisturbed, to result in even greater violence.