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"You don't have to agree with Said to admire him....His voice...is deep, rich and courageous in what is often a scripted and dishonest international dispute."—The New York Times Book Review
Soon after the Oslo accords were signed in September 1993 by Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Edward Said predicted that they would not lead to real peace. In this collection of essays, most written for Arab and European newspapers, Said uncovers the political mechanism—its strategy, personalities, and alliances—that advertises reconciliation in the Middle East while keeping peace out of the picture.
Said argues that the imbalance in power that forces Palestinians and Arab states to accept the concessions of the United States and Israel prohibits real negotiations and promotes the second-class treatment of Palestinians. His essays document what has really gone on in the occupied territories since the signing. They report worsening conditions for the Palestinian people, critique Yasir Arafat's self-interested and oppressive leadership, denounce Israel's refusal to recognize Palestine's past, and—in essays new to this edition—address the failed Camp David summit and the resulting unrest.
In this unflinching cry for civic justice and self-determination, Said promotes not a political agenda but a transcendent alternative: the peaceful coexistence of Arabs and Jews enjoying equal rights and shared citizenship.
"A powerful ground-level perspective on one of the greatest tragedies of our time."—Kirkus Reviews