Israel's Unilateralism

Israel's Unilateralism

Beyond Gaza

Author: Robert Zelnick
ISBN: 978-0-8179-4772-9
Publication Date: 8/14/2006
Pages: 170

Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gaza—how and why did it happen?

In August 2005, Israel withdrew its settlements—some 8,000 Jews—from Gaza. In Israel's Unilateralism, award-winning journalist Robert Zelnick examines Israel's disengagement from Gaza and what it might lead to in the future. He offers a detailed account of the actual pullout, explains the evolution of the thought behind the policy, and analyzes the Palestinian response from both moderates and Hamas. Zelnick looks at the factors that led to the metamorphosis of Ariel Sharon—the indispensable party to this policy—revealing how demographics, the specter of Road Map negotiations, and Sharon's search for a legacy all played a part in his about-face and weighs the impact of the loss of Sharon.

The author describes the exceptionally active and important period of politics and diplomacy that resulted from the Gaza pullout, including the collapse of Abu Mazen's efforts to placate Hamas and Sharon's push to form the new centrist Kadima Party. He details the roles of Hamas and the Israeli settlers, showing how each side represented the fundamental grievances of this ongoing conflict And he considers where the disengagement might go in the future under given conditions, underscoring the politically realist-minded assumptions that continue to drive the policy forward.

Robert Zelnick, an Emmy Award-winning journalist, is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and professor of national and international affairs at Boston University.


"Bob Zelnick's study of Israeli unilateralism fills two important needs: for academics, it is a comprehensive initial examination of an issue that will dominate Israeli-Palestinian relations for years to come; and for policy makers, it is a primer on next steps in the peace process. Zelnick's thorough review of Israel's disengagement policy sets the stage for understanding why the consensus within Israel has shifted so dramatically in support of Israeli-Palestinian separation. The extensive interviews conducted by Zelnick add depth and color to this insightful study."

—Daniel C. Kurtzer, former United States ambassador to Israel and Egypt and the S. Daniel Abraham Visiting Professor of Middle East Policy Studies at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.


Israel's Unilateralism, by Robert Zelnick
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Robert Zelnick

Robert Zelnick, an Emmy Award-winning journalist, is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and chairman of the Department of Journalism at Boston University.


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