A century of bloodshed

Ian Black’s latest book about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is strong on description and less so on insights.

January 11, 2018 18:41
4 minute read.
JEWISH SETTLERS argue with a Palestinian in Hebron in August 2001

CARTOON by Noam Nadav JEWISH SETTLERS argue with a Palestinian in Hebron in August 2001. (photo credit: NAYEF HASHLAMOUN/REUTERS)


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Ian Black, a longtime Guardian journalist, sees Yasser Arafat’s appearance at the UN in 1974 as the “apogee of his 40-year leadership.”

It’s a curious notation in his latest book, Enemies and Neighbors: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel 1917-2017. But why does Black, a Middle East editor, diplomatic journalist and author – describe it as the zenith of Arafat’s achievement? After all, it laid the basis for the counter-productive “Zionism is Racism” resolution at the UN the following year. Why this and not the handshake between Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn in September 1993?


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