Review: “The Road Map to Nowhere: Israel/Palestine Since 2003” by Tanya Reinhart

An excellent sequel to “Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948”. Here Reinhart argues that the correct way to understand the 2005 Israeli redeployment from Gaza (the much vaunted “disengagement”) is in the context of massive US pressure behind the scenes, even rising to the level of military sanctions. The sancations (minor in relative terms, but huge in effect) were not explicitly linked to the Gaza pullout (which the Bush administration needed for PR purposes in the Arab world), instead they were triggered by attempted Israeli military technology sales to China. With the reality of the sanctions in the background, Sharon had little choice but to go through with the announced plan. Although he had been hoping all along for a chance to back out of the plan at the last minute, Hamas adhered to a one-sided ceasefire, and the US insisted that the pull out go ahead.She puts the case well and I was convinced by the end of the book, having initially been sceptical. Reinhart is much missed.

Reviewed 22 May 2008.

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