As it Celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, the State of Israel could count many important successes, but its conflict with the Palestinians and the Arab world at large casts a long shadow over its history. What was promulgated as an "iron-wall" strategy -- dealing with the Arabs from a position of unassailable strength -- was meant to yield to a further stage where Israel would be strong enough to negotiate a satisfactory peace with its neighbors. The goal remains elusive.
In this penetrating studv. Avi Shlaim examines how variations of the iron-wall philosophy have guided Israel's leaders; he finds that, white the strategy has been successful, opportunities have been lost to progress from military security to broader peace. The Iron Wall brilliantly illuminates past progress and future prospects for peace in the Middle East.