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The Ethnic Conflict Research Digest

1998, Vol. 1 No. 1 .

Israel, Jordan and the Peace Process
Yehuda Lukacs.

(Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1997).
274pp. Index. Bibl. $39.95
ISBN 0-8156-2720-3.

Manifestations of peace are often far from the ideal that people cling to during conflict. In this respect the peace between Israel and Jordan which was concluded in November 1994 is no exception. This book deals with the peace treaty of 1994 but focuses on the relationship between Jordan and Israel during the years of conflict. This two part volume, therefore, analyses Israeli and Jordanian attitudes to each other, and the relationship to the Palestinian West Bank. Lukacs describes this relationship as functional, and rejects the value of other approaches - territorialist, annexationist and reconciliationist.

The unerring optimism contained in this book is followed through in the second part of the volume which presents a historical account of the informal peace process which Israel and Jordan engaged in for so many decades. The strength of this volume lies in the clear and logical manners in which Lukacs sets out his arguments and follows them through. He has certainly got a clear insight into Israeli thinking on the subject and the preoccupation that both sides have endured over the future of the Palestinian West Bank. The Jordanian perspective, however, is not always captured as clearly and accurately as one might hope. Ordinary Jordanians are deeply unhappy at the peace treaty with Israel. Nevertheless, this book reflects a deep desire to give substance to a relationship which has been cemented by Israeli and Jordanian statesmen for decades.

Beverley Milton-Edwards, Queen's University of Belfast

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