The Case for Peace

The Case for Peace

"The Case for Peace: How The Arab-Israeli Conflict Can Be Resolved" is the sequel to "The Case for Israel" by Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. The book champions the two-state solution and has been endorsed by President Bill Clinton, who led Mideast peace talks during his term.

Dershowitz was originally planning to write "The Case Against Israel's Enemies", however, after the death of Yasser Arafat the author chose to focus on more positive and optimistic themes, believing that the death of the of the PA chairman has opened new doors to peace. Dershowitz argues that all reasonable people know that a final peace settlement will involve two states, the division of Jerusalem and a renunciation of violence. [ Inside Flap] , The Case for Peace] Dershowitz believes that the Palestinian state may be composed of multiple disjoint areas, because in today's world of high-speed internet and cheap travel, states do not require contiguity to be viable. [ [ Peace at Any Cost] , Jewish Virtual Library] He asserts that Palestinans should not be offered more than what was during the Camp David negotiations of 2000, saying it would reward violence. He concentrates on the shared elements of the peace process that he says both mainstream Israelis and Palestinians agree on.



Clinton says the author "brings his exceptional skills as a legal and political thinker to this concise and compelling argument for Middle Eastern peace. The simple chord that resonates through the complex scenarios described in "The Case for Peace" is one of decency and respect - for Palestinians, for Israelis, and, ultimately, for humanity itself. With an eye toward shared benefits and lasting resolution, Dershowitz offers a pragmatic proposal rooted in the lessons of the past and the opportunities of the present. Hopeful and wise, the blueprint for stability presented in this book is among the best in recent years." [ Praise for The Case for Peace] , online posting on the website of, accessed October 20, 2007.]

Stuart Eizenstat, former senior official in the Carter and Clinton administrations, applauded Dershowitz for his "brilliance" as he says he presented earlier in "The Case for Israel". [ Praise for The Case for Peace] , online posting on the website of, accessed October 20, 2007.]

Israeli writer and well-known advocate for the two-state solution Amos Oz praised the book for not being "based not on sentimentalist wishful thinking and not on dogmatic theorizing but on realism and empathy." [ Praise for The Case for Peace] , online posting on the website of, accessed October 20, 2007.]

Michael D. Langan of "The Boston Globe" writes: "Dershowitz makes a compelling 'Case for Peace'...The author's advocacy skills are well-honed and incisive. In fact, one is reminded of the logical argumentation used by Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica...: laying out basic questions for analysis, exploring arguments that appear reasonable, and concluding with an equivalent of Aquinas's famous 'I answer that . . .,' which gives the 'correct' answer. [ [ "Dershowitz makes a compelling 'Case for Peace'"] , Michael D. Langan, The Boston Globe November 15, 2005]


Publishers Weekly remarked that Dershowitz "bombards opponents with inflammatory charges based on sometimes tendentious readings of skimpily contextualized remarks..." It also stated that the book lacked "the judicious treatment these issues cry out for." [ [ Review of "The Case for Peace"] , Publishers Weekly]

David Bedein, the bureau chief of the Israel Resource News Agency, expressed disappointment that "Dershowitz has now adopted a strategy of 'if you can’t beat them, join them.'" Bedein criticizes several of Dershowitz's positions individually, giving each "error" its own section arguing that they are oblivious to reality. He feels the author's "failure to challenge questionable assumptions about the prospects for peace is deeply regrettable. By exaggerating the Palestinian leadership’s readiness to make peace, Dershowitz has granted credibility to those critics, many of them rank anti-Semites, who are desperate to blame the persistence of the conflict on Israel." [ [ Alan Dershowitz’s View of Mid-East Peace] , January 5, 2006]

Mixed reaction

Mark Lewis, writing for the New York Times Book Review, writes that "The Case for Peace" is faithful to the title: Dershowitz says Yasser Arafat's death makes peace possible, if the Palestinians accept a state based in Gaza and 'nearly all of the West Bank,' with a division of greater Jerusalem." [ [ New York Times Book Review: Review of "The Case for Peace"] ] Lewis further writes: cquote|

To Dershowitz, many of Israel's critics (even some Jewish ones) are anti-Semites who are undermining the peace process. He condemns the double standard that tends to shield Israel's campus critics from the self-appointed sensitivity police. But his own call to "marginalize" those who engage in anti-Israel hate speech -- as defined by Dershowitz himself -- would merely transfer the policeman's baton from one side to the other.

University of Michigan student and managing editor of the "The Michigan Israel Observer", Yevgeny Shrago, says the author "has devoted a great deal of time, thought and analysis to the situation. In these thirteen chapters he approaches the problem evenhandedly. Dershowitz censures Israel when he feels it is necessary and seeks solutions, regardless of who is to blame. Each chapter opens with a series of quotations from notable figures involved in the Middle East peace process, and Dershowitz presents hard data to support his conclusions. He does not, however, shy away from a criticism of the leadership." [ [ Dershowitz Strikes Back] , Michigan Israel Observer] However, Shrago later writes: cquote|

The Case for Peace then moves into its second, less productive section. “Overcoming the Hatred Barriers to Peace” discusses the problems caused by ideological purists outside of the struggle. His recounting of academic and political bias both for and against the State of Israel, while well-researched, takes the form of a cutting tone, and what was once an analysis becomes a diatribe.
Shrago further comments "everything that he writes is important knowledge to have, but a book attempting to foster understanding is not the place to learn it."


External links

Book excerpts

* [ Amazon Online Reader: "The Case for Peace: How the Arab-Israeli Conflict Can be Resolved"]
* [ A Case Study in Hate and Intimidation - Chapter 16 of "The Case For Peace"] PDF Format

Book reviews

* [ "The Case For Peace": New York Times Book Review]
* [ "The Case For Peace": Boston Globe Book Review]
* [ "Famed attorney lays out plan for peace"] Stephen Mark Dobbs, "The Jewish News Weekly", January 26, 2007
* [ "The Case For Peace": Yale Israel Journal Review]

ee also

*Edward Mil Q. Salazar
*The Case for Israel
*Arab-Israeli conflict

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