The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World

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Penguin UK, Jul 30, 2015 - History - 720 pages

Avi Shlaim's The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World is the outstanding book on Israeli foreign policy, now thoroughly updated with a new preface and chapters on Israel's most recent leaders

In the 1920s, hard-line Zionists developed the doctrine of the 'Iron Wall': negotiations with the Arabs must always be from a position of military strength, and only when sufficiently strong Israel would be able to make peace with her Arab neighbours.

This doctrine, argues Avi Shlaim, became central to Israeli policy; dissenters were marginalized and many opportunities to reconcile with Palestinian Arabs were lost. Drawing on a great deal of new material and interviews with many key participants, Shlaim places Israel's political and military actions under and uncompromising lens.

His analysis will bring scant comfort to partisans on both sides, but it will be required reading for anyone interested in this fascinating and troubled region of the world.

'The Iron Wall is strikingly fair-minded, scholarly, cogently reasoned and makes enthralling ... reading' Philip Ziegler, Daily Telegraph

'Anyone wanting to understand the modern Middle East should start by reading this elegantly written and scrupulously researched book' Trevor Royle, Sunday Herald

'A milestone in modern scholarship of the Middle East' Edward Said

'Fascinating ... Shlaim presents compelling evidence for a revaluation of traditional Israeli history' Ethan Bronner, The New York Times Book Review

Avi Shlaim is Professor of International Relations at St. Antony's College, Oxford. His previous books include Collusion Across the Jordan (1988) and War and Peace in the Middle East (1995).


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - FPdC - LibraryThing

This major work, by one of the most respected Israeli new historians, is concerned with the diplomatic history of the relations between Israel and the Arab states and the Palestinians. It shatters a ... Read full review

THE IRON WALL: Israel and the Arab World

User Review  - Kirkus

A comprehensive revisionist history of Israel's foreign policy, insisting that an "intransigent," often belligerent Jewish state mishandled relations with its neighbors. Shlaim (International ... Read full review


The Zionist Foundations
The Emergence of Israel 19471949
Consolidation 19491953
Attempts at Accommodation 19531955
The Road to Suez 19551957
Disengagement 19741977
Peace with Egypt 19771981
The Lebanese Quagmire 19811984
Political Paralysis 19841988
Stonewalling 19881992
The Breakthrough 19921995
The Setback 19951996
Back to the Iron Wall 19961999

The Alliance of the Periphery 19571963
Poor Little Samson 19631969
Immobilism 19691974
Stalemate with Syria 19992000

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