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A Never-ending Conflict

A Guide to Israeli Military History

by Mordechai Bar-On


Twelve Israeli historians and writers revisit the external and internal conflicts that have characterized Israeli history to provide context, analysis, and lessons for the future.

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November 2004


Pages 272
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Military History/General
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This is the story of a tragic confrontation between two national movements contesting the same small piece of land, a clash that has become one of the most intractable issues in modern times. From the establishment of the first Zionist colonies in the 1880s, tensions have run high between the indigenous Arab population of Palestine and Jews who have sought to create an independent state on land they consider their ancient home. Clashes, both internal and external, have become increasingly violent. Since the first full-scale Palestinian Revolt in 1936, relations have, except for a few brief periods of peace, been characterized by continuous and escalating degrees of bloodshed. Twelve major clashes can be identified from that first three-year struggle to the current Intifada al Aqsa. Here, 12 Israeli historians and writers present reflections on the incidents, along with up-to-date analysis and historical assessment.

After a detailed introduction designed to help readers place the conflicts into a historical context, experts discuss events ranging from the first organized revolt to the current conflagration. As a result of the initial weakness of the Palestinians and the defeats they suffered at the hands of the better-organized Israelis, the entire Arab world stepped into the breach. Wars between May 1948 and October 1973 involved Arab regular armies, but the Palestinian comeback began in 1965, as a result of guerrilla insurgency. It gathered momentum with the popular uprising of the first Intifada (1987-1990) and more so with the start of the second and more lethal Intifada in 2000. The situation is, these experts argue, not without hope of a resolution, but an end to the violence is unlikely to come easily or quickly.

Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction: The Never Ending Conflict by Mordechai Bar-OnChapter 1. The Arab Revolt 1936-1939: A Turning Point in the Stuggle Over Palestine by Yigal EyalThe Israeli-Arab War of 1948: History vs. Narratives by Yoav GelberIsrael's Armistice Wars, 1949-1956 by David TalThe Sinai War, 1956-Three Partners, Three Wars by Motti Golani"The War Over the Water" during the 1960's by Ami GluskaThe Six Day War by Michael OrenThe Israeli-Egyptian "War of Attrition" (1969-1970) by Dan SchueftanThe Yom Kippur War by Dr. Shimon GolanThe Insurgency and Counter-Insergency in Israel 1965-1985 by Benny MichelsohnThe 1982 "Peace for Galilee" War: Looking Back in Anger. Between an option of a war and a war of no option by Eyal ZisserThe Palestinian Intifada (1987-1991) by Reuven Aharoni"Ebb and Flow" vs. "The Al-Aksa Intifada" The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 2000-2003 by Shaul ShayMapsIndexAbout the Editor and Contributors



Bar-On, the editor of this important book, was Moshe Dayan's personal assistant during the 1956 Suez War. Twelve Israeli historians and writers recount the clashes and wars between Israel and the Arabs, commencing with the Palestinian Revolt in 1936 and concluding with the outbreak of the second intifada in 2000. Although the volume is written from the Israeli perspective, most of the essays reflect recent trends in the historiography of the conflict with an effort to honestly provide a concise historical narrative shorn of ideological bias, a phenomenon that has characterized much writing on the subject in Israel in recent decades....Recommended. All levels/libraries.Choice


...[T]his volume has been written by an impressive array of scholars, all of whom are aknowledged authorities in the war or events that they describe. The chapters are highly readable, extremely informative and amazingly objective.—Leslie Stein,^LSenior Research Fellow^LMacQuarie University

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