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Colorful Books

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Yossi Alphers' latest book, Death Tango: Ariel Sharon, Yasser Arafat and Three Fateful Days in March

"Anyone seeking to understand how Israelis and Palestinians traded the hopes of Oslo for something approaching hopelessness is well-advised to read this book. With penetrating analysis and elegant prose, Yossi Alpher has told the gripping story of three days nearly two decades ago that continue to haunt would-be peacemakers. Yossi’s faithful readers will not be disappointed with his latest effort."

Ambassador Frederic C. Hof, Bard College

"A riveting account of the crucial days in March 2002 when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was profoundly changed for the worse. The peace camp has never recovered from those wrenching days, and we live now without any hope of a just settlement. Alpher is a highly respected expert who has spent decades studying this conflict from both sides."

Bruce Riedel, Director of the Brookings Intelligence Project

"A critical assessment of a key period in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict never before presented in such detail. The best and most capable players at the executive and political levels proved unable to forge any resolution, final or partial, because both parties continued to maintain an insurmountable gulf between themselves. This is a MUST read for anyone daring to tackle the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and of Israel-Arab relations in general."

Efraim Halevy, former Head of the Mossad (1998-2002)

May 9 2022

Q. This week, PM Bennett faces heavy challenges regarding at least three issue areas: the incitement coming out of Gaza and the wave of lone-wolf terrorism it produces; pressures that Israel tilt toward Ukraine; and the fate of his coalition. Let’s start with Gaza and terror: who or what is the problem there?

A. For nearly two months now, Israel has been plagued by murderous terrorist attacks originating mostly in the West Bank but transpiring inside the green line border fence. Last week’s Independence Day celebrations witnessed yet another uptick, this time a bloody ax-murder of three in the Haredi town of Elad. Once again, the perpetrators exploited gaps in the security fence used by laborers seeking illegal entry. In the case of Elad, an Israeli driver ferried the illegals to their destination, unaware that they were terrorists until they attacked and murdered him.

These attacks have been relatively unique in that the perpetrators cannot be linked to membership in and training by a terrorist group like Hamas. Yet they are inspired for the most part by vicious Hamas incitement emanating from the Gaza Strip, and specifically by Gaza-based Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar. Meanwhile, the Strip itself remains calm and continues to benefit from economic incentives provided by Israel and, with Israel’s collaboration, by Egypt and Qatar.

Here we recall that in recent years the strategy regarding the Palestinians adopted by first Netanyahu and now Bennett has been to treat Gaza and the West Bank as separate entities. Israel ignores the West Bank-based PLO/Fateh/Palestinian Authority as a potential peace partner while bribing Gaza-based Hamas, which unlike the PLO does not seek dialogue or a two-state solution, to maintain quiet. The Israeli right-religious mainstream does not want a two-state solution in the West Bank, which it covets, yet acknowledges what is virtually a separate Palestinian state in Gaza.

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