The Impossibility of Palestine: History, Geography, and the Road Ahead
Author: Mehran Kamrava (King's 1984)
Publisher: Yale University Press
This book tells the story of Palestine. This is a story that has been told many times before. But while the story itself is not new, its retelling and its conclusions are. Palestine, this book maintains, is neither viable nor possible any more. This lack of viability is due to developments that go beyond its mere physical and territorial dismemberment. It is on this issue, namely the growing noncontiguity of the West Bank because of Israeli settlements, that most existing conclusions of Palestine’s lack of viability are based. Territorial contiguity is, of course, elemental if Palestine were to ever have any semblance of statehood. But equally—and perhaps even more—significant are the twin and reinforcing processes of state- and nation-building, with the former involving institutional and structural dynamics and the latter sociological and cultural. Not only is Palestine territorially noncontiguous and no longer viable as a physical entity, the very fibers and ingredients that would constitute it as a national and political whole have muted in a way as to make state- and nation-building improbable. The ravages of history, geography, and circumstances have combined to mitigate the possibility of Palestine re-emerging as a meaningful national and political entity.