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The Arab-Israeli Conflict

A History

Second Edition

David W. Lesch

Publication Date - 08 November 2018

ISBN: 9780190924959

592 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Provides the most up-to-date and balanced account of one of the world's most complex and controversial conflicts


Whether filtered through the media or through the classroom, the Arab-Israeli conflict has become a pervasive--and often misunderstood--subject of our contemporary cultural landscape. In this compelling new edition of The Arab-Israeli Conflict, widely respected scholar David W. Lesch presents the most balanced and accessible account of the conflict. Combining narrative history, primary sources, and informative analyses, The Arab-Israeli Conflict enables students to form their own educated opinions about complex and controversial issues.

New to this Edition

  • Updated and revised material throughout, including coverage of the policies of the Obama administration, the Arab Spring, Israeli-Palestinian developments and conflicts, the Syrian civil war, the rise of ISIS, and the first year of the Trump administration
  • A new map--"The West Bank in 2017"--and a new "Closer Look" feature on the Iran nuclear deal in Chapter 12
  • New photographs and primary-source documents
  • Glossary terms are now boldfaced the first time they appear in the text
  • An updated glossary and a revised bibliography
  • Endnotes in each chapter that help students make the connection between the chapter narratives and the primary and secondary sources

About the Author(s)

David W. Lesch is the Ewing Halsell Distinguished Professor of History in the Department of History at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He received his M.A. and PhD in Middle East History from Harvard University.

He is the author or editor of 16 books and overall has over 140 publications. He has also published numerous articles in leading journals, chapters in books, and opinion essays in such noted publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, The Boston Globe, Foreign Policy, and CNN.com.


"This is one of the best books on the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is clear throughout that Lesch bends backwards to be evenhanded. In some areas, particularly in later stages (the peace process) where Syria is concerned, he provides new, revealing information--in itself a welcome contribution to the literature."--Murhaf Jouejati, The George Washington University

"This text is the most in-depth, comprehensive history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It offers a highly readable, nuanced, and balanced account of the history of the conflict, and places this history in the context of broader developments in the history of the Middle East, the Cold War, and U.S. foreign policy."--Dov Waxman, Northeastern University

"This is the best overall textbook on the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is comprehensive in its coverage, sophisticated in its analysis, and fair in its treatment of a highly volatile subject."--Paul Chamberlin, University of Kentucky

"Lesch achieves the nearly impossible in The Arab-Israeli Conflict: a dispassionate, comprehensive, empirically based narrative of the key events, individuals and peoples, and wider historical/political forces that have influenced--and continue to influence--the Israeli/Arab-Israeli/Palestinian conflict. His engaging writing style makes a very complex case much more understandable. If you want one book that will help you understand why we are still talking about this conflict today, read this book."--Bryan Brophy-Baermann, Lesley University

Table of Contents

    Maps and Figures
    Closer Look
    Primary Sources
    Note on the Text

    Chapter One: The Intellectual and Physical Setting

    Chapter Two: Competing Peoples and Ideologies
    Primary Sources
    Theodor Herzl: The Jewish State (Der Judenstaat), 1896
    Basle Program (August 23,1897)
    Negib Azoury: Program of the League of the Arab Fatherland

    Chapter Three: The Convergence: World War One and a New Middle East
    Primary Sources
    Hussein-McMahon Correspondence (July 14, 1915-March 10, 1916)
    The Sykes-Picot Agreement: 1916
    The Balfour Declaration: 1917
    British Declaration to Seven Arab Spokesmen
    Anglo-French Declaration
    Resolutions of the General Syrian Congress (Damascus, July 2, 1919)
    Memorandum Presented to the King-Crane Commission by the General Syrian Congress
    British White Paper of June 1922

    Chapter Four: The Palestine Mandate
    Primary Sources
    Peel White Paper (Peel Commission)
    British White Paper of 1939

    Chapter Five: Independence and al-Nakba
    Primary Sources
    Biltmore Program (May 11, 1942)
    United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181
    United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 (111) (December 11, 1948)
    Testimony on Palestinian Arab Reaction to the UNSCOP Proposals to the UN Ad Hoc Committee on the
    Palestinian Question
    Declaration of Israel's Independence 1948

    Chapter Six: Cold Wars and the Middle East Matrix
    Primary Sources
    Speech by President Nasser on Nationalization of the Suez Canal
    Statement to the General Assembly by Foreign Minister Golda Meir

    Chapter Seven: The Earthquake: The 1967 Arab-Israeli War
    Primary Sources
    Nasser's Speech to National Assembly Members on May 29, 1967
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 242
    The Khartoum Resolutions
    The Palestinian National Charter: Resolutions of the Palestine National Council
    Rogers Plan (December 9, 1969)

    Chapter Eight: The Road to 1979
    Primary Sources
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 338
    Rabat Arab Summit Resolutions (October 28, 1974)
    President Anwar Sadat: Peace with Justice (November 20, 1977)
    Menachem Begin's Reply to President Sadat
    Peace Treaty Between Israel and Egypt
    Arab League Summit Communique, Baghdad, Iraq

    Chapter Nine: Mutual Fallouts: Lebanon and the Arab-Israeli Conflict
    Primary Sources
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 425
    The Fahd Plan
    Reagan Fresh Start Initiative (Reagan Peace Plan)
    Yasir Arafat, Press Conference Statement
    Shamir Plan, May 14,1989

    Chapter Ten: A Decade of Hope
    Primary Sources
    Madrid Peace Conference Letter of Invitation
    Israel-PLO Recognition
    Israel-Palestine Liberation Organization Agreement: 1993
    The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Washington, D.C. (September 28, 1995)
    The Wye River Memorandum

    Chapter Eleven: Breakdown
    Primary Sources
    President William J. Clinton Statement on the Middle East Peace Talks at Camp David

    Chapter Twelve: 9/11 and its Aftermath
    Primary Sources
    President George W. Bush's State of the Union Speech, January 2002 (excerpt)
    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Speech at the Herzliya Conference, December 2002
    03/27/2002 Speech by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz at the 14th Arab Summit in Beirut, Lebanon
    Resolution 1559 (2004): Adopted by the Security Council at its 5028th Meeting, on 2 September 2004
    A Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
    UN Security Council Resolution 1701: Adopted Unanimously by the Security Council on August 11, 2006
    Remarks by President Obama at Cairo University, June 2009
    Statement by President Trump on Jerusalem, December 2017
    New Hamas Charter May 2017

    Glossary of Terms
    For Further Reading