After living for more than three decades under occupation by Israel - and ten years after the Oslo Accords were heralded as the first step toward the resolution of a century of conflict - the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza struggle daily with conditions of severe economic, social, and psychological deprivation. What explains the dismal failure of the post-Oslo peace process? What propels the prolonged and devastating upheaval known as the al-Aqsa intifada? Cheryl Rubenberg's forceful, penetrating critique of the Oslo Accords and their aftermath points to the starkly contrasting objectives of Israel and the Palestinians. Rubenberg demonstrates how Israeli policies have eroded Palestinian commitment to the peace process by working to forestall the creation of a Palestinian state. She equally documents the crisis of legitimacy within the Palestinian government and the tensions added by U.S. intervention. Her somber conclusion supports the contention that peace in the region, while hoped for by many, remains wholly contingent on unlikely shifts in policy and objectives on all sides, which leaves the Palestinians further from realizing their aspirations for self-determination th
Cheryl A. Rubenberg, an independent analyst and former associate professor of political science at Florida International University, has written on U.S. policy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for more than twenty-five years.