The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood

Clyde Haberman in the New York Times Book Review:

Habe190Perhaps Rashid Khalidi would have done better calling his book “Cry, the Beloved Country That Never May Be.” That title would have conveyed how glum he is about the likelihood of the Palestinians ever getting their own state. By some calculations, he says, they are worse off than they have been in decades.

“In spite of their vigorous sense of collective national identity,” Khalidi writes, “the Palestinians have never succeeded in creating an independent state of their own, and have no sure prospect in the future of ever having a truly sovereign state or of possessing a contiguous, clearly demarcated territory on which to establish it.”

How did the Palestinians sink into this sorry nonstate of affairs? Principally, in Khalidi’s view, by landing on the wrong side of three Rs: repression, rapaciousness and racism. One power after another used one R or another — sometimes all three — to keep Palestinians in their place. The British did so when they were in charge of Palestine after World War I. The Israelis did so before and, far more aggressively, after they won control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 war. The Americans did so with their thorough support of Israel, more unblinking than ever under George W. Bush.

More here.