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Middle Eastern

Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East

David Hirst.
Publisher Nation  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 9 x 6 x 1.4 inches
ISBN 9781568586571
Pages/Publication Date 480/2010
Daedalus Item Code 32945
This item is not available.
In this sweeping history of Lebanon from the end of Ottoman rule to the Hezbollah and Hamas wars of today, independent Middle East correspondent and historian David Hirst charts the interplay between this uniquely complex country and the broader struggles of the modern Middle East. Lebanon is the battleground on which the region's greater states pursue their strategic, political, and ideological conflicts, which sometimes escalate into full-scale proxy wars, argues Hirst. He warns that only serious diplomatic action from the Obama administration can prevent the next such action from engulfing the entire region.

"A former Middle Eastern correspondent for the Guardian, Hirst (The Gun and the Olive Branch) chronicles the travails of modern Lebanon in this provocative polemic that doubles as a history of the Arab-Israeli struggle. Given Lebanon's tiny size, sectarian polity, and strategic location in a volatile region, Hirst observes that it was almost designed to be the everlasting battleground for others' political, strategic and ideological conflicts. Lebanon's role in the struggle for Palestine, however, is the author's primary interest. Displaced Palestinians flooded into southern Lebanon following the first Arab-Israeli War (1948) and spawned a guerilla 'state-within-a-state' on Israel's northern border. Hirst is solidly in the Palestinians' corner throughout; he inveighs against Israeli policies of ethnic cleansing and blocking progress toward a settlement of the Palestinian issue. The author also faults the United States for its deference to all things Israeli; takes to task Israel and the Israeli lobby in the U.S. for provoking the 2003 invasion of Iraq; and anoints the Iranians as the only true victor of America's war in Iraq. Hirst's is a passionately partisan and eloquent recounting of the tragic fate of modern Lebanon and the Palestinian people."—Publishers Weekly

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