Kirkus Reviews QR Code


Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace

by Josh Ruebner

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-84467-120-6
Publisher: Verso

An official of a pro-Palestinian lobbying group finds the administration of President Barack Obama to be, like all administrations of the past 65 years, egregiously unfair to Palestinian interests.

Ruebner, advocacy director of a group called the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, presents an extensive litany of complaints against the Jewish state and its American ally, fully garnished with sententious terminology like “genocide,” “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing.” Certainly, in the fractious history of the Middle East, fault may be assigned to both Israel and the various factions representing the Palestinian people. The cause of secure peace surely cannot be served by jeremiads like this, sincere and earnest as they might be, that ignore this certainty. West Bank settlements are a serious concern but so are suicide bombers and rockets deployed by Hamas and Hezbollah, entities sworn to “obliterate” their neighbor. Ruebner finds something nefarious in Israel’s use of the Iron Dome system, designed to intercept missiles launched against civilians. The notorious Goldstone Report on the Gaza conflict was quite critical of Israel, and the author uses 16 pages to analyze the report yet neglects to mention that the author, Goldstone himself, soon disavowed his own findings, confessing that his commission did not possess all the facts. Similarly, readers of this narrative of Palestinian victimhood will not find the whole story. If the peace process is to survive, it must overcome unremitting bias. Constant threats to destroy the Jewish state won’t relieve the plight of the Palestinian population longing for nationhood and neither will unadulterated propaganda. Beyond the reduction or elimination of American support for its ally, Ruebner offers no solutions for peace in the region.

A flawed fulmination that reports only virtue on one side and all guilt on the other.