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Peace in Tatters: Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East

Yoram Meital
Peace in Tatters: Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East
ISBN: 978-1-58826-362-9
ISBN: 978-1-58826-387-2
2006/253 pages/LC: 2005011009

"This is a valuable and much recommended work.... Meital provides a well-documented and convincing addition to recent testimonials that refute prevailing myths of the conflict."—Ranjit Singh, Digest of Middle East Studies

"Presents fresh and revealing insights...Hopefully, this excellent work will receive the attention it deserves."—Elka R. Frankel, Multicultural Review

"In a well-documented analysis, Yoram Meital ... makes a compelling case for his thesis that Israel and the United States share the blame for the failure of the Oslo peace process.... [He] points out persuasively the great damage done to the prospects for peace by the success of the Barak, Clinton, Sharon, and Bush administrations in entrenching the view that the Palestinians were exclusively to blame."—Philip C. Wilcox, Middle East Journal

"A detailed and nuanced political history of how the hope for Israeli-Palestinian peace embodied in the Oslo agreements (1993) deteriorated into the Al-Aksa Intafada (2000) and the recognition that the 'peace process' had failed by 2004. The book is unique in that an Israeli scholar, trained in Middle East studies, tries to understand and explain the actions of both parties to the conflict."—Russell Stone, Shofar


Peace in Tatters was born in a set of questions with which the author, an Israeli scholar, has struggled for some years: What went wrong in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process before the July 2000 Camp David summit and during the crucial negotiations? How have the dominant narratives about the collapse of the peace process been crafted? Does the ongoing crisis mark the end of the road for the idea that the conflict can be settled on the basis of a two-state solution, with Palestinians and Israelis living as peaceful neighbors? Yoram Meital offers a powerful explanation of how and why the peace process developed, evolved, and ultimately fell apart.

Though rich in historical context, Peace in Tatters focuses primarily on the critical years of 2000-2004. Meital examines the major developments in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the evolving public-political discourse in Israeli and Palestinian societies, and US policy in the Middle East. He also explores the dramatic repercussions of the aborted political process for Israelis and Palestinians, and for their opinions about the failure of the negotiations and the eruption of violence. His clear-sighted appraisal will help readers not only to understand what went wrong, but also to see present events in an essentially different way.


Yoram Meital is senior lecturer in the Department of Middle East Studies and chair of the Chaim Herzog Center for Middle East Studies and Diplomacy at Ben-Gurion University. His previous publications in English include Egypt's Struggle for Peace: Continuity and Change, 1967-1977.


  • Introduction.
  • From War to Peace.
  • Oslo: The "Peace" "Process."
  • Barak's Blueprint and Its Failure.
  • Camp David: The Great Charade.
  • The al-Aqsa Intifada.
  • The "No-Partner" Approach.
  • September 11 and the Middle East.
  • The Arab Peace Initiative and Bush's "Vision."
  • From the Roadmap to the Geneva Initiative.
  • High Fences Make Good Neighbors?
  • Conclusion.
  • Appendixes: Chronology of Key Events, 1947-2005; President Bush Calls for New Palestinian Leadership, June 2002; Prime Minister Sharon's Speech at the Herzaliya Conference, December 2002; The Road Map, April 2003.