The winds of change are sweeping across the Middle East. Decrepit and sclerotic regimes are crumbling. A constant however is the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Will the broader political upheavals in the region help bring about a solution? Perhaps. But round after round of U.S.-led failed peace talks and a simultaneous huge increase in illegal Israeli settlements have left Palestinians desperate. Maybe Ariel Sharon’s prediction of some years back has come true. He said, “We’ll make a pastrami sandwich out of them. We’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlements in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlements right across the West Bank, so that in twenty-five years’ time, neither the United Nations nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart.”
Ilan Pappe is professor of history at the University of Exeter. For many years he taught at the University of Haifa and was chair of the Touma Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies in Haifa. John Pilger calls him, “Israel’s bravest, most principled, most incisive historian.” He is the author of many books including The Modern Middle East, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, and Gaza in Crisis.