Israel has engaged in meaningful diplomacy

I appreciate Mr O’Neill’s reading list (Irish Examiner, November 17). 
Israel has engaged in meaningful diplomacy

I haven’t read Baruch Kimmerling or Tanya Reinhart yet. But I have read Ilan Pappé and Avi Shlaim.

Although when I suggested critics of Israel read some political science and history books, I didn’t mean purported revisionism under the guise of scholarship.

Avi Shlaim claims that the theme of his book, ‘The Iron Wall’ (as recommended by Mr O’Neill) is that Israel, throughout its history, too readily resorted to military force, and has been unwilling to engage in meaningful diplomacy (Shlaim, ‘Israel & Palestine’, 2009).

Yet ‘The Iron Wall’ is more balanced than Shlaim would have his readership believe. Shlaim appears to have forgotten he devoted considerable attention to the Israeli-Egyptian and Israeli- Syrian post-Yom Kippur War disengagement talks.

This resulted in Israeli troops being withdrawn and eventual peace with Egypt in 1979. Shlaim also covers the Oslo Accords and peace with Jordan in 1994.

Thus, far from Israel being unwilling to engage in meaningful diplomacy, Shlaim’s book illustrates the opposite is true.

David Newmark

Rheban Manor


Co Kildare

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