A Blood-Dimmed Tide
Dispatches from the Middle East
By Amos Elon
(Columbia University Press, Hardcover, 9780231107426, 264pp.)
Publication Date: May 1997
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A powerful and evocative collection of essays, "A Blood Dimmed Tide" gathers nearly thirty years of Amos Elon's work on the Middle East. Skillfully moving from the Intifada to the Gulf War and its aftermath to the Peace Now movement, these essays provide a nuanced account of relations between Jews and Arabs and among the Israelis themselves. Elon has also written a timely introduction that provides an overview of his work and brings it up to the election of Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister of Israel.
This internationally-known journalist presents sharply observed portraits of the region's key figures: Shimon Peres, Yitzak Rabin, and King Hussein; he interviews Yasir Arafat; and he considers Moshe Dayan's life and legacy. Elon also ranges far to sketch the political climate of the region and its players, from Israeli settlers in Hebron and their uneasy coexistence with Arab neighbors to the foreign policy of Egypt.
Sensitive and powerful, "A Blood-Dimmed Tide" provides a timely analysis of the conflicts between Jews and Arabs. From the Palestinians' refusal to accept Israel's 1978 offer of "full autonomy" to the Israeli government's insistence that settling the occupied territories would bring security, Elon traces what he considers to be the deadly miscalculations of both groups. As he examines the events and misunderstandings that have made it so difficult for Palestinians and Israelis to establish peace, Elon concludes taht what will finally bring the two sides together will not be moral imperative or personal courage but exhaustion. "A Blood-Dimmed Tide" is a significant contribution to our understanding of this troubled land.