New Book: Peters and Newman, eds. The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Peters, Joel and David Newman, eds. The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. London and New York: Routledge, 2013.





The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most prominent issues in world politics today. Few other issues have dominated the world’s headlines and have attracted such attention from policy makers, the academic community, political analysts, and the world’s media.

The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli- Palestinian Conflict offers a comprehensive and accessible overview of the most contentious and protracted political issue in the Middle East. Bringing together a range of top experts from Israel, Palestine, Europe and North America the Handbook tackles a range of topics including:

  • The historical background to the conflict
  • peace efforts
  • domestic politics
  • critical issues such as displacement, Jerusalem and settler movements
  • the role of outside players such as the Arab states, the US and the EU

This Handbook provides the reader with an understanding of the complexity of the issues that need to be addressed in order to resolve the conflict, and a detailed examination of the varied interests of the actors involved. In-depth analysis of the conflict is supplemented by a chronology of the conflict, key documents and a range of maps.

The contributors are all leading authorities in their field and have published extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict/peace process. Many have played a leading role in various Track II initiatives accompanying the peace process.


Table of Contents

Part 1: Competing Nationalisms

1. The Origins of Zionism Colin Schindler

2. The Palestinian National Movement: from self-rule to statehood Ahmad Samih Khalidi

Part 2:Narratives and Key Moments

3. Competing Israeli and Palestinan Narratives Paul Scham

4. The 1948 War: The Battle over History Kirsten E. Schulze

5. The First and Second Palestinian Intifadas Rami Nasrallah

6. The Camp David Summit: a Tale of Two Narratives Joel Peters


Part 3: Seeking Peace

7.The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process: 1967-1993 Laura Zittrain Eisenberg

8. Peace Plans: 1993-2012 Galia Golan

Part 4: Issues

9.Palestinian Refugees Rex Brynen

10. Jerusalem Michael Dumper

11. Territory and Borders David Newman

12. Water Julie Trottier

13. Terrorism Magnus Norell

14. Religion Yehezkel Landau

15. Economics Arie Arnon

16. Unilaterlaism and Separation Gerald M. Steinberg

17. Gaza Joel Peters

Part 5: Domestic Actors

18.The Palestine Liberation Organization Nigel Parsons

19. The Palestinian Authority Nigel Parsons

20. Hamas Khaled Hroub

21. Palestinian Civil Society Michael Schulz

22. Gush Emunim and the Israeli Settler Movement David Newman

23. The Israeli Peace Movements Naomi Chazan

Part 6: International Engagement

24. Palestinian Citizens of Israel Amal Jamal

25. The United States: 1948- 1993 Steven L. Spiegel

26. The United States: 1993-2010 Steven L. Spiegel

27. Russia Robert O. Freedman

28. Europe Rosemary Hollis

29. The Arab World P. R. Kumaraswamy

30. The Jewish Diaspora and the Pro-Israel Lobby Dov Waxman

Chronology Steve Lutes

New Article: Beckerman-Boys, Third Parties and the Arab-Israeli Conflict:

Beckerman-Boys, Carly. “Third Parties and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: Poliheuristic Decision Theory and British Mandate Palestine Policy.” Foreign Policy Analysis 10.3 (2014): 225-42.






What role do third parties play in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and to what extent do domestic political constraints shape this role? Answering these questions has important ramifications for understanding the interplay between domestic and international politics. One useful tool to conduct this research is the two-stage decision-making framework, Poliheuristic (Ph) Decision Theory, which eliminates options from the choice set that do not meet domestic political requirements. This paper applies Ph theory to a case study from the conflict’s infancy, the British decision in 1922 to affirm the policy of a Jewish national home (based on the Balfour Declaration 1917) despite violent Arab opposition. It argues that the decision was based solely on domestic political needs and did not attempt to address tensions in Palestine. It concludes that Ph theory provides a highly effective theory of decision-making for assessing motivations and policy decisions of third parties in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Bligh, The United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), 1956–67

Bligh, Alexander. “The United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), 1956–67: Past Experience, Current Lessons.” Middle Eastern Studies 50.5 (2014): 796-809.






With the conclusion of almost every round of hostilities between Israel and one of its neighbours the idea of international forces is being raised once again. This is basically an improved and revised initiative for stationing international forces to supervise (and perhaps impose) a ceasefire between the parties. In the Arab–Israeli framework, it is in essence the old approach which has been in service since 1948. Only one force, UNEF, stands out as not having been approved by the Security Council and clearly failing its intended but vaguely defined mission. The current analysis leads to the conclusion that in this particular regional conflict, the positioning of international forces must always come within the context of a more comprehensive settlement. That way, by violating a force’s mandate, each party would lose either land or diplomatic recognition. Moreover, if a Middle Eastern peacekeeping operation is to take place in the future, it has to include organic units of the warring parties, encouraging peaceful interactions. Such units should reinforce organic units from countries acceptable to all parties. Hopefully, future missions, taking into consideration some of the approaches suggested here, can continue to contribute to regional processes for peace.