Peace for Palestine:
First Lost Opportunity

Elmer Berger

Foreword by Don Peretz
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"This is a work of genuine discovery that uses both the methods and sources of first-rate scholarship. It is a valuable addition to the 'new thinking' about the Middle East, [although] there are many who will refute its contribution without so much as a glance at its first page because it was written by Elmer Berger. The loss is theirs. Who will gain are those, like Berger himself, with an open mind and a willingness to become familiar with new perspectives on an ancient controversy."--From the Foreword by Don Peretz, professor of political science, SUNY-Binghamton

At the outset of the 1949 armistice negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors, acting UN mediator Ralph Bunche expressed his hope that the talks would "chart the road to a peace for Palestine," an outcome apparently as elusive today as when he spoke those words more than forty years ago.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of this meticulously documented analysis of those negotiations is its relevance for today's headlines. Relating the proposals and counterproposals, the conspiracies and power plays to present-day Israeli and Middle East policies, Berger suggests that the basic negotiating strategies of the main players have persisted almost unchanged into the present, a "near rigidity" that has defeated all efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East's central conflict.
Berger is a controversial rabbi, an avowed anti-Zionist who proves himself capable of examining highly flammable issues and events with objectivity, insight, and rigorous scholarship. Drawing upon newly released material from official Israeli and U.S. archives, Berger manages to paint both the large picture and the telling detail--the frustrations of the conscientious and highly respected Bunche, the pathetically unprepared Arab negotiators, the well-informed Israeli diplomats, the intrigue of the Israel-Transjordan alliance.
The work will serve serious observers of the prolonged conflict over Palestine as a guide to applicable international law and to the attitudes and negotiating policies of the countries involved.

Elmer Berger has for twenty-five years been president of American Jewish Alternatives to Zionism, Inc., and has written and edited a number of books on Judaism and Jewish nationalism.


At the outset of the 1949 armistice negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors, acting UN mediator Ralph Bunche expressed his hope that the talks would "chart the road to a peace for Palestine," an outcome apparently as elusive today as when he spoke those words more than forty years ago.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of this meticulously documented analysis of those negotiations is its relevance for today's headlines. Relating the proposals and counterproposals, the conspiracies and power plays to present-day Israeli and Middle East policies, Berger suggests that the basic negotiating strategies of the main players have persisted almost unchanged into the present, a "near rigidity" that has defeated all efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East's central conflict.
Berger is a controversial rabbi, an avowed anti-Zionist who proves himself capable of examining highly flammable issues and events with objectivity, insight, and rigorous scholarship. Drawing upon newly released material from official Israeli and U.S. archives, Berger manages to paint both the large picture and the telling detail--the frustrations of the conscientious and highly respected Bunche, the pathetically unprepared Arab negotiators, the well-informed Israeli diplomats, the intrigue of the Israel-Transjordan alliance.
The work will serve serious observers of the prolonged conflict over Palestine as a guide to applicable international law and to the attitudes and negotiating policies of the countries involved.

Elmer Berger has for twenty-five years been president of American Jewish Alternatives to Zionism, Inc., and has written and edited a number of books on Judaism and Jewish nationalism.

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