A Political and Military History of the Palestinian-israeli Conflict

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Hasan Afif El-Hasan, in his book, Is the Two-State Solution Already Dead? A Political and Military History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, highlights the backgrounds of both the Palestinians and Israelis, who are involved in this conflict, and the events which trace the conflict back into the nineteenth century. This book was published in 2010 by Algora Publishing and being that this is a current world issue, with events leading up to the present day, there are a multitude of books regarding the same modern conflict between Palestine and Israel. When reading through the book, in comparison to previously read articles on the topic, it seems as though the book is factual. The information aligns with that discussed in other general articles, along with information discussed in articles more specific to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the State of Israel.

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There have not been releases of any editions from the same author, following El-Hasan’s book, implying that there has not been an urge to revise any of the work he has produced in this novel. However, when researching this topic, it’s apparent that many additional authors and scholars have researched and produced compositions regarding similar aspects included in El-Hasan’s piece. These additional publications have more recent publication dates associated with them, making it evident that they were written after the production of Is the Two-State Solution Already Dead? A Political and Military History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict by Hasan El-Hasan. After viewing these newer publications, El-Hasan’s book becomes less relevant to the modern issue being that current events are constantly changing the ideas and research on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Being that this book was published in 2010, it does not include the events pertaining to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which have occurred in the last decade. However, despite the lack of information from the past decade, El-Hasan’s book still provides a comprehensive composition of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as he thoroughly describes the events which have initiated the conflict, dating all the way back to the nineteenth century. Thus, this book still serves as a useful academic contribution for individuals seeking to learn more about the origins of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

While there are many additional works regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, El-Hasan’s Is the Two-State Solution Already Dead? A Political and Military History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict doesn’t seem to have been reviewed by any other scholars. After searching multiple databases, websites and articles, it’s apparent that there are no scholarly reviews of El-Hasan’s book. This may lead one to believe that the book is not as legitimate as it would be perceived as had it been commented on by other authors. However, considering the plethora of additional aspects of the book which portray it to be credible, it leads one to believe that his book is in fact a reliable source.

As aforementioned, the novel, Is the Two-State Solution Already Dead? A Political and Military History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict by Hasan El-Hasan was published by Algora Publishing. In order to assure the credibility of their publications, Algora Publishing has a certain editing process which helps them to focus on publishing only their most reputable works. Specifically, when a manuscript is sent in, the piece goes through a series of editors who edit and revise the piece sentence by sentence. They essentially assure that there are no typos, factual errors, or questions regarding the author’s book. This process is considered a single-blind peer review process, as the author does not know exactly who is reviewing and editing their work. After the editors at Algora Publishing make comments on the submitted manuscript, it is returned to the author for further amendments and verification that there are no more errors in the piece. Thus, manuscripts sent in to Algora Publishing go through a specific review process in order to ensure their reliability and accuracy.

Algora Publishing is a scholarly publishing association that distributes nonfiction compositions, often used for academics studying history, anthropology, medicine, philosophy and a plethora of additional scopes of research. Being that Algora Publishing works primarily with the publishing of scholarly, academic work, it leads one to believe that it can be considered a reputable source. Distributing books and articles about nonfiction issues and research gives the publishing association a sense of credibility because it is associated with academic writing. Also, this publishing company works with both American and international authors, allowing it to be a more diverse company. This is significant because it shows that it publishes books and articles that come from many different perspectives and ideologies. This allows readers of books from Algora Publishing to gain a more well-rounded understanding about a certain topic. In addition, Algora Publishing is an independent publisher, not associated with any particular political parties. This is also beneficial to its audience because it eliminates any bias from the association that may be pertinent to any political views.

Looking at the author of the book, it’s evident that Hasan Afif El-Hasan is an exceptionally reputable professional historian. Hasan Afif El-Hasan, a political analyst and writer, graduated from the University of California at Riverside, earning his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in electrical engineering and later earning his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degree in political science. Following this educational pathway, El-Hasan went on to further study modern conflicts and their origins, much like the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Being that he has a background showing that he is well-educated, this immediately lends the reader the idea that he is a reliable source. Moreover, being that he has a Ph.D in political science and has done additional studies on context of modern issues, it’s apparent that El-Hasan’s analyses within his book come from an educated perspective and a knowledgeable individual.

Hasan El-Hasan was a Palestinian, born in Beit Eiba during a time when the Palestine-Israeli conflict was just beginning. Being that he is Palestinian, it is plausible that his book may have some skewed viewpoints about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This bias is seen when El-Hasan explains that “options of the endgame for the Palestinians must be the establishment of a truly sovereign state over the land occupied in the 1967 war…Even if an independent state or a multi-ethnic state is created, there will be no closure to the Palestinian conflict.” This shows that El-Hasan argues that even with certain results, the Palestinians will still not have closure to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This can be viewed as a biased statement, especially being that the author himself is Palestinian. Thus, when reading this account, while it is mostly unbiased, the reader has to be conscious of slight biases that may come into play throughout the book. However, despite this slight bias, overall, Hasan El-Hasan is an educated scholar, with experience in the fields of his writing and a comprehensive knowledge about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

In composing his book, Hasan El-Hasan references a large variety of additional sources, which helped him to produce a comprehensive book about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. El-Hasan cited his references throughout his book, including a full bibliography at the end of his composition. He used primary sources, including memoirs, private papers and eyewitness accounts, along with secondary sources, including many books, scholarly articles and journals.To begin, El-Hasan used many primary sources. Specifically, he referenced private papers and published memoirs of David Ben-Gurion. This was a significant primary source for El-Hasan as David Ben-Gurion was the founder and first Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Using Ben-Gurion’s work as a reference allowed El-Hasan to include different perspectives into his book, providing the readers with a more diverse scope of understanding. Specifically, El-Hasan referenced Ben-Gurion when he discussed the government actions of the State of Israel under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion.

In addition, to referencing David Ben-Gurion as a primary source, along with many others, El-Hasan additionally used a multitude of secondary sources in order to develop a cohesive writing piece about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. For example, El-Hasan referenced a book written by Salman Abu-Sitta regarding Palestinian refugees and societies. Referencing Abu-Sitta is significant for El-Hasan as Salman Abu-Sitta is a Palestinian researcher, who has studied and developed ways for Palestinians to peacefully return to their home country. Specifically, El-Hasan refers to Abu-Sitta’s work when he discusses those Palestinians who were refugees as a result of Palestinian-Israeli conflicts. Thus, El-Hasan utilized Abu-Sitta’s research and composition as a source for his own book. From his choice of sources, it’s evident that El-Hasan selected sources from many different perspectives and ideas. His selectiveness allows for his book to be a well-rounded representation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. All in all, throughout his book, El-Hasan used a plethora of different types of sources, both primary and secondary. Throughout his composition, he cites this variety of sources as he pulls evidence from many references to support his argument. With his many sources and the reliability of these sources, it’s evident that El-Hasan’s book is a reputable source.

In addition to being seemingly reliable based off of the references cited by El-Hasan, the author’s prose also depicts him as a reputable source. Throughout his book, it is apparent that El-Hasan expresses himself as a scholar; this is shown in a multitude of ways, such as his use of outside sources, his analyses of the information he discusses and the wording that he chooses to include in his book. Along with his style of writing, the organization of his book also contributes to a reader’s understanding of the information. El-Hasan sections off his book by dividing each distinct significant event and as he progresses through his book, he discusses each of these events, to full detail, in chronological order. Starting with an introduction of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, El-Hasan then proceeds to discuss events prior to the 19th century which impacted the conflict. He then describes each of the populations involved in the conflict and goes on to mention obstacles faced by each of these groups. Moreover, El-Hasan concludes his book with an attempt at peacemaking between the two parties and also an emphasis on nonviolent actions to solve the conflict. Therefore, the author’s argument is easy to understand and follow as the reader proceeds from section to section throughout the book. El-Hasan’s sensible organization and ordering of his information compliments his writing style in making his book well-structured and comprehensible.

As aforementioned, there are a plethora of sources which discuss the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. From an analysis of these alternative sources, in comparison to El-Hasan’s book, it is evident that El-Hasan’s book is credible. The details, facts and events mentioned throughout his book align with those of other sources. When cross-checking the book by El-Hasan, the material he discusses is not in opposition to other sources. In other words, his interpretations do not tend to counter other sources, but rather align with other sources. If his interpretations did oppose other sources, skepticism of the reliability of his book would increase, but because of the fact that his writing complements other articles and books about the conflict, it can be interpreted that the information he discusses is reputable.

Along with aligning with information with other sources, his information also aligns with common sense. The facts and chronological events make sense to a reader, especially being that they are displayed in a logical manner. Discussing a large conflict between two parties, the Palestinians and the Israelis, it is almost common sense for a war to be involved in the conflict, just as El-Hasan discusses. In a similar sense, consequences are sure to result from a war, including increased division between the two parties involved, as mentioned by El-Hasan. In addition, despite being a Palestinian, El-Hasan develops a composition that includes both the Palestinian and Israeli perspective and ideas. A bias is not blatant in his writing, making it an even more well-rounded piece. Thus, the book is an accurate interpretation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict which depicts the conflict in a comprehensive manner. 

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