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A Half Century of Occupation

Israel, Palestine, and the World's Most Intractable Conflict

Gershon Shafir


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The Israel-Palestine conflict is one of the world’s most polarizing confrontations. Its current phase, Israel’s “temporary” occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, turned a half century old in June 2017. In these timely and provocative essays, Gershon Shafir asks three questions—What is the occupation, why has it lasted so long, and how has it transformed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? His cogent answers illuminate how we got here, what here is, and where we are likely to go. Shafir expertly demonstrates that at its fiftieth year, the occupation is riven with paradoxes, legal inconsistencies, and conflicting interests that weaken the occupiers’ hold and leave the occupation itself vulnerable to challenge.

Praise For A Half Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine, and the World's Most Intractable Conflict

"A Half Century of Occupation should be a part of any academics bookshelf. It is well grounded in international law, humanitarian law, and history. It is very well written, and while it is essentially an academic book, it should be accessible to those with some knowledge of the themes under discussion."

— The Palestine Chronicle

"An honest and informative critique of the 1967 occupation."

— The Middle East Journal

“Shafir deserves credit for exploring how Palestinians and Israelis can find a path to achieve peace, equality, and justice. His analysis and suggestions deserve to be assessed and debated widely.”

— H-Net

"Shafir’s answers reveal not only Israel’s tangled web of domination and colonization, but also a measure of hope that territorial partition of Palestine remains still feasible. . . . provides a good introduction to the ideological and legal debate surrounding the occupation that will be appreciated by scholars and general readers alike."

— Terrorism & Political Violence

University of California Press, 9780520293502, 296pp.

Publication Date: April 25, 2017

About the Author

Gershon Shafir is Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego, and the founding director of its Human Rights Program. He has served as President of the Association for Israel Studies and is the author or editor of ten books, among them Land, Labor, and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1882–1914. He is also the coauthor, with Yoav Peled, of Being Israeli: The Dynamics of Multiple Citizenship, which won the Middle Eastern Studies Association’s Albert Hourani Award in 2002, and the coeditor, with Mark Levine, of Struggle and Survival in Palestine/Israel.