The Case for Peace

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The Case for Peace: How The Arab–Israeli Conflict Can Be Resolved is a 2005 book by Alan Dershowitz and follow-up to his 2004 book The Case for Israel.

Summary[edit]

Dershowitz was originally planning to write The Case Against Israel's Enemies; however, after the death of Yasser Arafat the author chose to focus on more positive and optimistic themes, believing that the death of the PA chairman has opened new doors to peace. Dershowitz argues that all reasonable people know that a final peace settlement will involve two states, the division of Jerusalem and a renunciation of violence.[1] Dershowitz believes that the Palestinian state may be composed of multiple disjoint areas, because in today's world of high-speed internet and cheap travel, states do not require contiguity to be viable.[2] He asserts that Palestinians should not be offered more than what was during the Camp David negotiations of 2000, saying it would reward violence.[1] He concentrates on the shared elements of the peace process that he says both mainstream Israelis and Palestinians agree on.

Reception[edit]

Publishers Weekly remarked that Dershowitz "bombards opponents with inflammatory charges based on sometimes tendentious readings of skimpily contextualized remarks..." It also stated that the book lacked "the judicious treatment these issues cry out for."[3]

Michael D. Langan of The Boston Globe writes: "Dershowitz makes a compelling 'Case for Peace'...The author's advocacy skills are well-honed and incisive. In fact, one is reminded of the logical argumentation used by Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica...: laying out basic questions for analysis, exploring arguments that appear reasonable, and concluding with an equivalent of Aquinas's famous 'I answer that ...,' which gives the 'correct' answer.[4]

Mark Lewis, writing for The New York Times Book Review, writes that "The Case for Peace is faithful to the title: Dershowitz says Yasser Arafat's death makes peace possible, if the Palestinians accept a state based in Gaza and 'nearly all of the West Bank,' with a division of greater Jerusalem."[5] Lewis further writes:

To Dershowitz, many of Israel's critics (even some Jewish ones) are anti-Semites who are undermining the peace process. He condemns the double standard that tends to shield Israel's campus critics from the self-appointed sensitivity police. But his own call to marginalize those who engage in anti-Israel hate speech – as defined by Dershowitz himself – would merely transfer the policeman's baton from one side to the other.

David Bedein, the bureau chief of the Israel Resource News Agency, expressed disappointment that "Dershowitz has now adopted a strategy of 'if you can’t beat them, join them.'" Bedein criticizes several of Dershowitz's positions individually, giving each "error" its own section arguing that they are oblivious to reality. He feels the author's "failure to challenge questionable assumptions about the prospects for peace is deeply regrettable. By exaggerating the Palestinian leadership’s readiness to make peace, Dershowitz has granted credibility to those critics, many of them rank anti-Semites, who are desperate to blame the persistence of the conflict on Israel."[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Inside Flap, The Case for Peace
  2. ^ Peace at Any Cost, Jewish Virtual Library
  3. ^ Review of The Case for Peace, Publishers Weekly
  4. ^ "Dershowitz makes a compelling 'Case for Peace'", Michael D. Langan, The Boston Globe November 15, 2005
  5. ^ New York Times Book Review: Review of The Case for Peace
  6. ^ Alan Dershowitz’s View of Mid-East Peace, January 5, 2006

External links[edit]

Book excerpts[edit]

Book reviews[edit]

See also[edit]