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"From the first Zionist Conference to the death of Yasser Arafat, this guide to Arab-Israeli relations surveys more than a century of tensions and turmoil. The majority of its 1,140 entries detail the efforts of numerous individuals and groups to resolve the Palestinian question. These influential players include local politicians and religious leaders, European and American diplomats, political parties, movements, radical groups and international agencies. Other entries track the features of major agreements, United Nations resolutions, peace plans and treaties. Overviews of wars, events and surrounding nations provide the broader historical context for these documents. Cultural background is provided in hundreds of definitions of social and religious concepts. The arrangement is alphabetical, and numerous cross-references lead the reader to related articles. With its wider coverage of Israeli, Lebanese and Jordanian affairs, this guide complements Philip Mattar’s Encyclopedia of the Palestinians (Facts on File, 2000 and 2005). Based upon the French Shalom, Salam: Dictionaire pour une meilleure approche du conflit israélo-palestinien (Librarie Arthème Fayard, 2002), this guide was updated, rewritten and expanded with maps and illustrations. Other supporting materials include curiously separate chronologies of Arab-Israeli history and conflict, a glossary of Hebrew and Arabic terms and a select bibliography. In the absence of an index, a topically arranged list of entries would have been useful. Nonetheless, users in high school, public and college libraries will find this dictionary a helpful introduction to one of the world’s most intractable conflicts.
--Reviewed by John Lawrence, Oneota Reading Journal, July 2005
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