The Shift: Israel-Pales­tine From Bor­der Strug­gle to Eth­nic Conflict

Men­achem Klein
  • Review
By – February 10, 2012

In this small book filled with big ideas, Men­achem Klein, a polit­i­cal sci­en­tist at Bar-Ilan Uni­ver­si­ty, ana­lyzes the Israeli-Pales­tin­ian con­flict and argues that the focus on Israeli bor­ders and set­tle­ments is not sim­ply an issue of secu­ri­ty but a demar­ca­tion of the lines of the Jew­ish state. He writes that despite cer­tain polit­i­cal and mil­i­tary pro­grams that have been put in place to stymie Pales­tin­ian ter­ri­to­r­i­al aspi­ra­tions and gov­ern­men­tal auton­o­my, the only real­is­tic solu­tion is to cre­ate two states.

Accord­ing to Klein, what was once a bor­der con­flict is now an eth­nic strug­gle. Set­tle­ments in the West Bank do not sim­ply mean facts on the ground to the Pales­tini­ans. In their eyes, the set­tle­ments are the prob­lem, rep­re­sent­ing colo­nial­ism and an eth­nic vio­la­tion.

Klein calls all the lead­ers involved in the sit­u­a­tion to task, chal­leng­ing the Israelis and the Pales­tini­ans as well as the Amer­i­cans. His most damn­ing insight in this pow­er­ful book is his con­clu­sion — that Israelis and Pales­tin­ian will nev­er be able to live togeth­er, that in order to resolve the issues they must be separated.
Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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