The Art of the Possible: Diplomatic Alternatives in the Middle East

The Art of the Possible: Diplomatic Alternatives in the Middle East

Copyright Date: 1970
Pages: 170
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    The Art of the Possible: Diplomatic Alternatives in the Middle East
    Book Description:

    The Art of the Possibletakes a hard look at the present play of forces in the Middle East. In full awareness of the historical, political, social, and psychological dimensions of the enmities of the region-and its most critical flashpoint, the Arab- Israeli conflict-it seeks realistic answers to the question "What can be done?" For each of the immediate foci of conflict, the author develops and proposes a workable plan: for the Sinai Peninsula, the establishment of a Sinai Development Trust; for the West Bank of the Jordan River, the creation of a Palestinian state; for the Golan Heights, the foundation of a Druze trust territory; and for the city of Jerusalem, the drafting and adoption of an international statute. Emphasizing the need for "unfettered investigation of new political techniques and legal institutions," Professor Reisman exemplifies in this eloquent essay the kind of innovative thinking that alone can create the conditions for a lasting peace in this troubled part of the world.

    Originally published in 1970.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6838-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
    (pp. v-vi)
    M. R.
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-1)
  4. [Map]
    (pp. 2-2)
    (pp. 3-9)

    The day-to-day events transpiring in the Middle East are quickly and dramatically presented to the American public. What has been lost in the mundane montage of newsprint, radio, and television reports has been the larger view in which changing details become coherent, and in which proposed alternatives can be evaluated rationally. The aim of this book is to set a number of large problems, which converge on the Middle East, in a broad context, pointing up their complexity, but revealing the possibilities for positive and creative action. The opportunities afforded by periodic diplomatic efforts may well be squandered on false...

    (pp. 10-22)

    In contemporary world politics, there is a bizarre symbiosis in the relations between Great Powers and their vassals. Appearances notwithstanding, the Powers often lumber into positions in which the little fellows begin to call the tune and to pull the strings. This role inversion may already have occurred in the Middle East and in the alternately Two and Four Power Conference that seeks to solve the region’s problems.

    A strange hubris has come to overshadow the sporadic meetings of the Conference. It is widely assumed that if the Powers can only reach agreement among themselves, they will be able to...

    (pp. 23-43)

    The state system of the Middle East is a relatively recent creation, formed in part after the First World War, but coming fully into operation as a more or less independent system only after World War II. It is a multipolar arena and will exhibit the realignment processes and consequent tensions characteristic of such an arena whether or not the state of Israel exists. Egypt, or the United Arab Republic as it now styles itself, has emerged as the mini-Superpower of the region; its policies of expansion and incorporation under the guises of Pan-Arabism and Pan-Islam have been a destabilizing...

    (pp. 44-60)

    The only group in the contemporary Middle Eastern situation with a legitimate grievance is the Palestinian Arabs. By a complex convergence of circumstances, they have been denied the opportunity for self-determination and for twenty years have lived in the most degraded conditions. Despite constant expressions of verbal sympathy, they have been despised by the other Arab peoples and have learned to despise themselves. If the tactics of Al Fatah and the otherfedayeengroups represent strategic fantasies, they provide, nonetheless, a highly effective form of group therapy, for they have reawakened the precious and crucial human component of self-respect. An...

    (pp. 61-70)

    President Nasser has been frantically prodigal in identifying scapegoats for the Arab debacle he initiated in 1967. After pillorying the United States and exhausting the local supply, he turned his attention to Syria. Nasser, ultimately responsible for the war, deserves no exoneration, yet Syria’s catalytic role must be recognized. Syrian gun emplacements in the Golan Heights were firing regularly and accurately upon Israeli settlements throughout April and May of 1967, guerrillas were trained and dispatched, and Radio Damascus was persistently exhorting the Arab world to “liberate” Palestine. Syrian taunts may well have helped Nasser fall over the brink he himself...

    (pp. 71-79)

    The United Nations partition plan of 1947 had sought to resolve the conflicting claims to Jerusalem by creating an international status for the city. The plan never came to fruition. During the 1948 war, the Old City of Jerusalem was occupied by the Arab Legion, and after the armistice, it was annexed by Jordan. Although the Jordanian government promised to fulfill the international guarantees of access for all faiths, the Jews were excluded from Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967, and several Jewish holy places, whose sanctity was guaranteed under the United Nations plan, were desecrated. At the same time, the...

    (pp. 80-88)

    The solution of every problem requires time, and some problems can be solved only with the passage of time. The vigor and virulence of the deep divisions and enmities that crisscross the Middle East should not be minimized, and it would be naive to believe that they can be magically healed by some form of diplomatic settlement. Time is needed. The optimum focus for diplomatic endeavor is not a quixotic quest for peace in this region, but a search, within the realm of the possible, for a system of minimum order, which can lower the level of overt violence and...

  12. The League of Nations’ Palestine Mandate (July 24, 1922)
    (pp. 91-99)
  13. The General Assembly’s Resolution on the Future Government of Palestine (November 29, 1947)
    (pp. 100-129)
  14. The Trusteeship Council’s Draft Statute for Jerusalem (March 28, 1950)
    (pp. 130-156)
  15. The Security Council’s Resolution (November 22, 1967)
    (pp. 157-158)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 159-161)