Walled, Israeli society at an impasse

Reviewed by Aimee Sabo, Forward, 9 August 2007 (Other Press, June 2007, 534 pps.)

“In the summer of 2004, the International Court of Justice ruled that Israel’s security barrier violated humanitarian law. Three years later, the wall measures 252 miles and is growing. Supporters point to the fact that suicide bombings have nearly halted since the beginning of the wall’s construction; while opponents cite the land confiscated and homes razed in its wake as proof of its inherent injustice. For Sylvain Cypel, the wall is much more than a physical barrier. It is a tangible manifestation of the mental walls that Israelis and Palestinians have built over the past sixty years.”

“With the passion of an investigative journalist and the patience of a historian, Cypel describes how a culture of denial has strangled both societies. He focuses on Israel’s failures in particular, addressing pivotal events such as the war of 1948, the Six-Day War, and the failed peace talks of Oslo and Camp David. In each case, the author analyzes the key players involved and explains why their own mental blocks have sabotaged the peace process. Cypel’s position is that Israel has whitewashed its account of these events, thereby damaging its international credibility, hardening its citizens and masking the real issues at stake.” (read more)

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