cover image The Oslo Idea: The Euphoria of Failure

The Oslo Idea: The Euphoria of Failure

Raphael Israeli. Transaction, $34.95 (244p) ISBN 978-1-4128-4611-0

Israeli writer and lecturer Israeli (The Iraq War: Hidden Agendas and Babylonian Intrigue) traces the current quagmire of Palestinian-Israeli relations to the failure of the Oslo Accords in this inflammatory and one-sided treatise. The author hits the ground running, blaming Yasser Arafat's "machinations" for dooming the Oslo idea from the start, and asserts that Israel now faces "one of the worst world campaigns of delegitimation and demonization." Israeli maintains that the purpose of his book is to show that "Israeli recalcitrance" is not the cause for the violent stalemate; opting instead to blame "the Arab determination to preserve" the impasse rather than consider another solution. While Israeli admits that the Palestinian refugee situation is lamentable, the author criticizes the UN and Palestinian authorities for corroborating a narrative of hereditary exile. Though Israeli proposes steps to reconciliation%E2%80%94beginning with an equitable distribution of drinking and irrigation water, and recognition of Israel and its history in Palestinian textbooks%E2%80%94his tone is politically bleak and unwavering. Presented in labyrinthine prose, Israeli's argument%E2%80%94though supplemented with extensive footnotes%E2%80%94will likely prove too polemical and biased for most readers. (Apr.)