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Princeton University Press (September 2018)
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PREVENTING PALESTINE

A Political History from Camp David to Oslo

by Anziska, Seth

On the fortieth anniversary of the Camp David Accords, a groundbreaking new history that shows how Egyptian-Israeli peace ensured lasting Palestinian statelessness

For seventy years Israel has existed as a state, and for forty years it has honored a peace treaty with Egypt that is widely viewed as a triumph of U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East. Yet the Palestinians?the would-be beneficiaries of a vision for a comprehensive regional settlement that led to the Camp David Accords in 1978?remain stateless to this day. How and why Palestinian statelessness persists are the central questions of Seth Anziska's groundbreaking book, which explores the complex legacy of the agreement brokered by President Jimmy Carter.

Based on newly declassified international sources, Preventing Palestine charts the emergence of the Middle East peace process, including the establishment of a separate track to deal with the issue of Palestine. At the very start of this process, Anziska argues, Egyptian-Israeli peace came at the expense of the sovereignty of the Palestinians, whose aspirations for a homeland alongside Israel faced crippling challenges. With the introduction of the idea of restrictive autonomy, Israeli settlement expansion, and Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the chances for Palestinian statehood narrowed even further. The first Intifada in 1987 and the end of the Cold War brought new opportunities for a Palestinian state, but many players, refusing to see Palestinians as a nation or a people, continued to steer international diplomacy away from their cause.

Combining astute political analysis, extensive original research, and interviews with diplomats, military veterans, and communal leaders, Preventing Palestine offers a bold new interpretation of a highly charged struggle for self-determination.

Seth Anziska is the Mohamed S. Farsi-Polonsky Lecturer in Jewish-Muslim Relations at University College London and a visiting fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Policy, and Haaretz. He lives in London.

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Seth Anziska's book illuminates a crucial chapter in Middle Eastern history and U.S. foreign policy, and shows how the breakthrough peace agreement between Egypt and Israel created a roadblock to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The breadth and depth of Anziska's research is remarkable (Gershom Gorenberg, author of The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977)

Quote: Blurb

In Israel's animated political discourse, the Camp David Accords are universally acclaimed while the Oslo Accords are bitterly debated between Left and Right. In this perceptive, thoroughly researched book, Seth Anziska reveals the strong connection between the two agreements and the extent to which Oslo drew on Camp David's autonomy plan. Preventing Palestine is mandatory reading for understanding the complexities and ironies of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Itamar Rabinovich, author of Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman)

Quote: Blurb

Preventing Palestine is an essential account of a reality obscured by hostile political agendas and unabashed bias. Seth Anziska uncovers the complex forces that have prevented Palestinian statehood and contributed to the destructive dynamic on the ground. With searing honesty, he traces the failures of the so-called Palestinian-Israeli peace process and describes the result: the tragic injustice inflicted on the people of Palestine. This is a historical revelation of enormous magnitude. (Hanan Ashrawi, member of the PLO Executive Committee)

Quote: Blurb

This splendid book by a young American Jewish scholar is the product of an early emotional and intellectual transformation . . . His combination of original research and personal fearlessness has produced one of the most compelling works of political and diplomatic history I have ever read . . . Anziska has made a major contribution to the history of this conflict.

Review: The Guardian

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