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The Fighting Family

Avi Shlaim, 9 May 1996

Israel, Likud and the Zionist Dream: Power, Politics and Ideology from Begin to Netanyahu 
by Colin Shindler.
Tauris, 324 pp., £25, August 1995, 1 85043 969 9
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Summing Up: An Autobiography 
by Yitzhak Shamir.
Weidenfeld, 276 pp., £19.99, April 1994, 0 297 81337 4
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Broken Covenant: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis between the US and Israel 
by Moshe Arens.
Simon and Schuster, 320 pp., $25, February 1995, 0 671 86964 7
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A Zionist Stand 
by Ze’ev Begin.
Cass, 173 pp., £15, January 1993, 0 7146 4089 1
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Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism 
by Benjamin Netanyahu.
Farrar, Straus, 152 pp., $17, October 1995, 0 374 15492 9
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... until 1967 it remained outside all the coalition governments, ostracised thanks by and large to David Ben-Gurion, whose governing slogan was ‘Without Herut or Maki’ (the Israeli Communist Party). Gahal joined the Government for the first time during the crisis of May 1967, when Levi Eshkol was prime minister. Begin had the title of Minister without ...

Cleansing the Galilee

David Gilmour, 23 June 1988

The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities 
by Simha Flapan.
Croom Helm, 277 pp., £25, October 1987, 0 7099 4911 1
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Collusion across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement and the Partition of Palestine 
by Avi Shlaim.
Oxford, 676 pp., £35, May 1988, 0 19 827831 4
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The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 
by Benny Morris.
Cambridge, 380 pp., £30, March 1988, 0 521 33028 9
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... The idea of a co-ordinated attack by five Arab armies – Goliath and his hordes against little David – is fatuous. When Israel attacked Egyptian forces in September 1948, Abdullah hoped the Egyptians would lose: he believed that an Israeli victory would prevent the Arabs from challenging his right to the West Bank. In the weeks preceding the ...

The Geneva Bubble

Ilan Pappe: The prehistory of the latest proposals, 8 January 2004

... the Oslo Accord suggest that much the same sort of thing was said there, while leaks from the Camp David summit in 2000 describe similar exchanges between Clinton, Barak and Arafat. In fact, the Israeli tone and attitude have barely changed since British despair led to the Palestine question being transferred to the UN at the end of the Second World War. The ...

Casino Politics

David Stevenson: Writing European history, 6 October 2005

The Lights that Failed: European International History 1919-33 
by Zara Steiner.
Oxford, 938 pp., £35, April 2005, 0 19 822114 2
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... Europe was destined to go to war again. Until then, Steiner maintains, the Western European ‘peace process’ was not foredoomed to failure: ‘more doors were opened than shut.’ To sustain this contention she has to navigate a series of historiographical rapids, starting with the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. Rightly (and in common with other recent ...

Go to the Devil

David Carpenter: Richard II, 22 July 2010

Richard II: Manhood, Youth and Politics, 1377-99 
by Christopher Fletcher.
Oxford, 336 pp., £24.95, August 2010, 978 0 19 959571 6
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... language and theory, combining military and moral strength and so bringing victory in war and peace at home.’ It is, in other words, a central feature of Fletcher’s argument that Richard was the reverse of the unmilitary monarch of popular legend, who was keen to promote peace with France. Instead, between 1382 and ...

He wouldn’t dare

David A. Bell: Bloodletting in Paris, 9 May 2002

Blood in the City: Violence and Revelation in Paris 1789-1945 
by Richard D.E. Burton.
Cornell, 395 pp., £24.50, September 2001, 0 8014 3868 3
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... in which he died on a makeshift altar; the brazenly Christ-like representation of his dead body by David; the renaming of Montmartre (Martyr’s Mount) as Montmarat; the chant of ‘cor de Jésus, cor de Marat’ as members of the Cordelier club carried his heart through the streets of Paris. What did this imitation really amount to? Did it simply express a ...

Out of the Pound Loney

Ronan Bennett: The demonising of Gerry Adams, 5 March 1998

Man of War, Man of PeaceThe Unauthorised Biography of Gerry Adams 
by David Sharrock and Mark Devenport.
Macmillan, 488 pp., £16.99, November 1997, 0 333 69883 5
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... To judge from this biography, the Sinn Féin leader still has some way to go. According to David Sharrock and Mark Devenport, Adams is a ruthless, scheming hypocrite who talks peace in front of the cameras, but in private continues to plot death and misery. He speaks of ‘inclusion’ and publicly condemns ...

Israel and the Gulf

Avi Shlaim, 24 January 1991

... purely right-wing in its composition than the Menachem Begin Cabinet of 1977 which achieved the peace treaty with Egypt, or even Begin’s second Cabinet, which took the decision to bomb the Iraqi nuclear reactor, formally annexed the Golan Heights and launched the ill-fated invasion of Lebanon. Between 1984 and 1988, Israel was ruled by a Labour-Likud ...

The Great War Revisited

Michael Howard, 23 April 1987

The Myriad Faces of War: Britain and the Great War 1914-1918 
by Trevor Wilson.
Polity, 864 pp., £35, September 1986, 9780745600932
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British Strategy and War Aims 1914-1916 
by David French.
Allen and Unwin, 274 pp., £25, September 1986, 0 04 942197 2
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The Old Lie: The Great War and the Public School Ethos 
by Peter Parker.
Constable, 319 pp., £15, March 1987, 0 09 466980 5
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... and social change. Recently a number of younger historians – Kathleen Birk, Keith Neilson, and David French in his first book British Economic and Strategic Planning 1905-1915 – have begun to consider some of the key questions of finance and economics. But until now nobody has tried to put all this specialist work together. The last oeuvre de synthèse ...

You are terrorists, we are virtuous

Yitzhak Laor: The IDF, 17 August 2006

... grow accustomed from childhood: the most menacing army in the region is described here as if it is David against an Arab Goliath. Yet the Jewish Goliath has sent Lebanon back 20 years, and Israelis themselves even further: we now appear to be a lynch-mob culture, glued to our televisions, incited by a premier whose ‘leadership’ is being launched and ...

Out of this World

David Armitage, 16 November 1995

Utopia 
by Thomas More, edited by George Logan, Robert M. Adams and Clarence Miller.
Cambridge, 290 pp., £55, February 1995, 0 521 40318 9
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Utopias of the British Enlightenment 
edited by Gregory Claeys.
Cambridge, 305 pp., £35, July 1994, 0 521 43084 4
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... authority of the humanists’ greatest classical exemplar. Even the work’s positive values – peace, leisure, plenty – become compromised by this ambiguity and the result, as the Cambridge editors remark, is that for all its playfulness Utopia is ‘in fact a rather melancholy book’. The only good life is one conducted in accordance with classical ...

Palestinians under Siege

Edward Said: Putting Palestine on the map, 14 December 2000

... forward in May 2000 are shown in Map Six. All maps were provided by the Foundation for Middle East Peace, Washington.]On 29 September, the day after Ariel Sharon, guarded by about a thousand Israeli police and soldiers strode into Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif (the ‘Noble Sanctuary’) in a gesture designed to assert his right as an Israeli to visit the ...

The Forty Years’ Peace

Keith Kyle, 21 October 1993

The United States and the End of the Cold War: Implications, Reconsiderations and Provocations 
by John Lewis Gaddis.
Oxford, 301 pp., £19.50, July 1992, 0 19 505201 3
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Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years, 1953-71 
by Douglas Brinkley.
Yale, 429 pp., £22, February 1993, 0 300 04773 8
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The Quest for Stability: Problems of West European Security 1918-1957 
edited by Rolf Ahmann, A.M. Birke and Michael Howard.
Oxford, 546 pp., £50, June 1993, 0 19 920503 5
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... that a new ‘thirty years’ war’ (1914-45) has been followed by a ‘forty years’ peace’, and sets out to identify the security problems peculiar to Western Europe over this whole period. It is only partially successful. For one thing ‘Western Europe’ was not really a distinct entity throughout this time, and, for another, the end dates ...

Remaining Issues

Robert Fisk, 23 February 1995

... are few others in the Middle East who doubt the identity of the superpower which now drives the ‘peace process’, nor the unique nature of its relationship with Israel. But at least Selma Tawil understood the implications of the Declaration of Principles which the PLO signed on 13 September 1993 to the applause of President Clinton and almost the entire ...

War Requiems

David Drew, 12 October 1989

... unfinished Christus in the St Magnus Church last Christmas was one of the steps towards his ‘Peace Concert’. But the decisive event was his discovery of an orchestral work so perfectly suited to the anniversary of Hitler’s first assault on Poland that he abandoned his original idea of using only the choir, and applied himself to the task of raising ...

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