While there is no end to the number of books that espouse the position of one side or the other in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, “The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”  is the first to present an overview of different political perspectives in one volume.

Co-edited by Joel Peters, professor of government and international affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech in the National Capital Region, and David Newman, dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Ben Gurion University in Israel, the handbook brings together a range of 26 experts from Israel, Palestine, Europe, and North America to offer a comprehensive and accessible overview of the most contentious and protracted political issue in the Middle East.

“The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” provides the reader with an understanding of the complexity of the issues that need to be addressed in order to resolve the conflict, and a detailed examination of the varied interests of the actors involved. In-depth analysis of the conflict is supplemented by a chronology of the conflict, key documents, and a range of maps. 

The contributors of the 32 essays included in the “The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” are all leading authorities in their field and have published extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict/peace process. Many have played a leading role in various Track II diplomacy initiatives discussing questions such as the future of Jerusalem; borders; and economic relations that have accompanied the peace process. Peters remains involved in those initiatives and recently attended a meeting in Europe to discuss the question of Palestinian refugees and the future of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most prominent issues in world politics today. Few other issues have dominated the world’s headlines and have attracted such attention from policy makers, the academic community, political analysts, and the media,” Peters said. “We commissioned writers who would offer these audiences – as well as the general reader – an informative and critical view free from a particular political stance.”

Topics covered in the essays include: the historical background to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; peace efforts; domestic politics; critical issues such as displacement, Jerusalem and settler movements; and the role of outside players such as the Arab states, the United States, and the European Union.

In addition to the introduction, Peters authored two chapters: “The Camp David Summit: a Tale of Two Narratives” and “Gaza.” 

To help launch the new handbook, Ben-Gurion University recently hosted a  panel discussion, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict -- Where to?

Peters, who joined Virginia Tech in 2006, has written about Israeli-Palestinian issues for the past 25 years. His particular research interests cover Israeli security and foreign policy and the Israeli-Palestinian process. He co-authored (with Sharon Pardo at Ben Gurion University)  “Uneasy Neighbors: Israel and the European Union” and edited "The European Union and The Arab Spring," published in 2012. In conjunction with the latter, Peters was invited earlier this year to speak at a conference in Poland organized by the Warsaw Campus of the College of Europe. He is currently working on a new book which looks at the impact of domestic politics and Israeli foreign policy.