This book is about the pendulous movement of Arabs and Israelis between war and peace, in one of the most protracted conflicts of modern times. It is written from the perspective of a professional historian who was also a major participant at key junctures of the peace process. The narrative and analysis begins with the War of Independence and the creation of the state of Israel; the Sinai campaign of 1956, and the relative calm that followed; the Six Day War of 1967, where the Arabs were defeated but the Israelis were also defeated by the euphoria and complacency produced by their overwhelming victory; the Yom Kippur War and the recovery of Arab pride; the ascendancy of America 1973-77; Camp David; the first Intifada, the Gulf War and the Madrid peace conference; Rabin and Oslo; the Netanyahu impasse; the Al-Aqsa Intifada. The final chapters deals with the crisis of 9/11, the Iraq War, and the reactivation of the peace process. They also address the new situation that emeged with Hamas' election and the change of political guards in Israel with the disappearance of Sharon.
Shlomo Ben-Ami was born in Tangier in 1943 but his family moved to Israel in 1955. He attended Tel-Aviv University and then Oxford University. He has been Professor of History at Tel-Aviv Universiy since 1986, and a Visiting Professor at several universities in Britain, the USA and Europe. The author was appointed Minister for Public Security in 1999, and later served as Ehud Barak's Foreign Minister (2000-2001).