The Lingering Conflict

Israel, the Arabs, and the Middle East, 1948-2011

In The Lingering Conflict, Itamar Rabinovich, a former chief negotiator for Israel, provides unique and authoritative insight into the prospects for genuine peace in the Middle East. His presentation includes a detailed insider account of the peace processes of 1992–96 and a frank dissection of the more dispiriting record since then.

Rabinovich's firsthand experiences as a negotiator and as Israel's ambassador to the United States provide a valuable perspective from which to view the major players involved. Fresh analysis of ongoing situations in the region and the author's authoritative take on key figures such as Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu shed new light on the long and tumultuous history of Arab-Israeli relations. His book is a shrewd assessment of the past and current state of affairs in the Middle East, as well as a sober look at the prospects for a peaceful future.

While Rabinovich explains the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians—a classic dispute between two national movements claiming the same land—The Lingering Conflict also considers the broader political, cultural, and increasingly religious conflict between the Jewish state and Arab nationalism. He approaches the troubled region in an international context, offering provocative analysis of America's evolving role and evaluation of its diplomatic performance.

This book builds on the author's previous seminal work on geopolitics in the Middle East, particularly Waging Peace. As Rabinovich brings the Arab-Israeli conflict up to date, he widens the scope of his earlier insights into efforts to achieve normal, peaceful relations. And, of course, he takes full account of recent social and political tumult in the Middle East, discussing the Arab Spring uprisings—and the subsequent retaliation by dictators such as Syria's al-Assad—in the context of Arab-Israeli relations.

Praise for the book:

"Itamar Rabinovich has written an excellent book on the enduring Arab-Israeli conflict. His superb scholarship and penetrating analysis probe all the relevant domestic and international issues. He is particularly enlightening with his balanced account of the reasons for the failure of the 2000 Camp David meetings. Both orthodox and revisionist views are discussed in detail. This is a highly readable book accessible to both lay people and specialists. I recommend it very strongly and with enthusiasm."
—Farhad Kazemi, Professor Emeritus of Politics and Middle Eastern Studies, New York University

"There is no better guide than Itamar Rabinovich to the story of Israel and the Arabs over the past half-century. His careful chronicle of peacemaking efforts makes depressing reading, as a story of courageous efforts that failed and opportunities that were missed. Rabinovich brings alive the ideas and personalities that marked each of these crossroads. The Lingering Conflict belongs on the bookshelf of any thoughtful person who wants to understand the road the Arabs and Israelis have traveled since 1948."—David Ignatius, columnist for the Washington Post and author of Bloodmoney

"Adding new material to and bringing up-to-date his 2003 history of Israel’s foreign policy relations, Rabinovich’s new book, The Lingering Conflict, reflects the author’s keen strategic insights and the perspective gained as an important participant in key Arab-Israeli negotiations. With its informed analysis of the consequences of the Arab Spring, this book makes a major contribution toward understanding the tangled issues that stand in the way of Middle East peace."
—Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State