The Impossibility of Palestine


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History, Geography, and the Road Ahead

Mehran Kamrava

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The “two-state solution” is the official policy of Israel, the United States, the United Nations, and the Palestinian Authority alike. However, international relations scholar Mehran Kamrava argues that Israel’s “state-building” process has never risen above the level of municipal governance, and its goal has never been Palestinian independence. He explains that a coherent Palestinian state has already been rendered an impossibility, and to move forward, Palestine must redefine its present predicament and future aspirations. Based on detailed fieldwork, exhaustive scholarship, and an in-depth examination of historical sources, this controversial work will be widely read and debated by all sides.

Mehran Kamrava is professor at and director of the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He lives in Doha, Qatar.

“This book is a courageous undertaking whose subject and timing cannot be ignored, especially given Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s rejection of the idea of a Palestinian state. Mehran Kamrava’s analysis and conclusions may arouse controversy, but the undermining of Palestinian statehood cannot be denied.”—Charles D. Smith, author of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

"Anyone who still thinks the Palestinians are going to get their own state should read this superb book. Kamrava makes it clear that Israel, with abundant help from the United States, has done a truly impressive job of undermining any possibility of a two-state solution, while instead guaranteeing a Greater Israel with a large and angry nation of Palestinians inside its borders. Very importantly, he shows that the Oslo Peace Process, which was supposed to result in Palestinian and Israeli states living side by side, had exactly the opposite effect. The Impossibility of Palestine is a depressing book, but it is an essential read for those who want to understand the dynamics that fuel the Israel-Palestine conflict, which is not going away anytime soon."--John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago

"In this compelling and tightly argued book, Mehran Kamrava shows why the emergence of a Palestinian state is no longer possible, and why the historical window of opportunity to construct a sovereign Palestine has now closed.  Kamrava perceptively captures the logic of why so many scholars who have studied the issue for so long now share his pessimism, myself included."--Glenn E. Robinson, author of Building a Palestinian State: The Incomplete Revolution

“Kamrava has written a compelling argument, one that politicians dare not admit, for why successive Israeli policies have made a Palestinian state impossible.   As uncomfortable as his conclusions are to most who have tirelessly worked to find an acceptable two-state solution to the conflict, this book forces all to reexamine long-held assumptions.”—Marwan Muasher, author of The Second Arab Awakening and the Battle for Pluralism

“Extremely well written and to the point, this work stands as a very succinct and sobering analysis of the state of Palestinian politics.”—Choice

"An insightful and compelling account of the failure of the so-called two-state solution in Palestine–Israel . . . . The research on display in this account is impressive . . . . The Impossibility of Palestine provides one of the first and most accessible book-length overviews of the failure of the ‘peace process’ and the current quagmire that besets Palestinian society."—Philip Leech-Ngo, Postcolonial Studies

ISBN: 9780300215625
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
312 pages, 5-1/2 x 8-1/4