Mythologies Without End: The Us, Israel, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1917-2020 by Jerome Slater
Every nation has narratives or stories it tells itself about its history, but which typically contain factually false or misleading mythologies that often result in devastating consequences for itself and for others. In the case of Israel and its indispensable ally, the United States, the central mythology is "the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity," as the Israeli diplomat Abba Eban famously said in a 1973 statement that has been widely quoted ever since. However, the historical truth is very nearly the converse: it is Israel and the U.S. that have repeatedly lost or deliberately dismissed many opportunities to reach fair compromise settlements of the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts. The book reexamines the entire history of the conflict from its onset at the end of WWI through today. Part I begins with a reconsideration of Zionism and then examines the origins and early years of the Arab-Israeli state conflict. One chapter is devoted to the question of what accounts for the nearly unconditional U.S. support of Israel throughout the entire conflict. Part II focuses on war and peace in the Arab-Israeli state conflict from 1948 through today, arguing that all the major wars-in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973--could and should have been avoided. This section also includes an examination of the Cold War and its impact on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Part III covers the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from 1917 through today, and examines the prospects for a two-state or other settlement of the conflict.