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War on Lebanon, The
A Reader
Edited by Nubar Hovsepian; foreword by Rashid Khalidi

6" x 9" • 422 pages
ISBN 9781566566803 • paperback • $20.00

Israel’s 34-day bombardment of Lebanon in the summer of 2006—in which more than 1000 Lebanese civilians lost their lives—is one of the most tragic events to take place in the Middle East this century. It was unleashed in the context of the continued Israeli assault on the Palestinians, particularly in Gaza, as well as the US effort to “bring democracy” and redraw the map of the Middle East from Afghanistan to Iraq and perhaps to Iran.

What explains Hezbollah’s capture of two Israeli soldiers and the scale of Israel’s retaliation? Why did the US reject an early ceasefire, instead egging on Israel as it pummeled Lebanon and casualties mounted? Why did President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice believe the Lebanese and other Arabs would welcome the “birth pangs” of a “new Middle East” designed by the US and Israel? And where will it all lead? Can the party continue to be both part of Lebanon’s parliament and an independent resistance movement? Will Lebanon become a modern, non-sectarian state or will the confessional order be further entrenched?

These and other vital questions are addressed in this collection of essays by internationally respected scholars and experts from around the world who examine the ethical, legal and strategic issues of the conflict, and analyze the consequences facing the region and the world in the wake of the Israeli invasion. Ultimately, the solution for Lebanon is intricately connected to the wider issues of the Middle East, including the right of the Palestinians to independence.

Contributors include: Rashid Khalidi • Yoav Peled • Virginia Tilley • Sara Roy • Ussama Makdisi • Noam Chomsky • Fawwaz Traboulsi • Asa’d Abukhalil • Lara Deeb • Georges Corm • Stephen Zunes • Irene Gendzier • Azmi Bishara • Yitzhak Laor • Rasha Salti • Elias Khoury • Ziad Majed • Rami Khouri • Assaf Kfoury • Richard Falk • Phyllis Bennis • Haneen Sayed • William Hartung • Fred Halliday • Nubar Hovsepian • Hanady Salman • Kirsten Scheid • Hiam Brinjikji • Asli Bali • Frida Berrigan • Zafiris Tzannatos

Nubar Hovsepian is an associate professor of political science and international studies at Chapman University and the author of the forthcoming The Politics of Palestinian Education. He has written and edited four books (in Arabic) and has published numerous articles— on the Arab-Israeli conflict, the crises in the Gulf, and on the competing ideological currents in the Arab World— in professional journals and the international press. Hovsepian has devoted enormous time to the Israel/Palestine conflict. In 1982-84 he served as a Political Affairs Officer for the United Nations International Conference on the Question of Palestine. This conference introduced the two-state solution as the basis for an international consensus on the resolution of the conflict.

Rashid Khalidi is Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Middle East Institute, Columbia University and the author of The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood.

Media Reviews

“Small wars can have big consequences, a point Columbia professor Rashid Khalidi stresses in his forward to "The War on Lebanon: A Reader". …A recurrent theme in the book is the interconnectedness of crises in the contemporary Middle East. While Lebanon presented the stage for the 2006 war, the tremors of the conflict reverberated through Palestine, Iraq, the Gulf, and beyond. As editor of the volume, Nubar Hovsepian, professor of political science at Chapman University, attempts to unpack these linkages and their dramatic interaction in Lebanon two summers ago…The reader contains over four dozen contributions… In addition to academic articles, Hovsepian included a number of war diaries, political tracts, and translated pieces from the Lebanese press. These ‘primary sources’ are among the strengths of the work, adding depth and texture to its narrative. Almost every thematic section boasts excellent contributions. The pieces by Lara Deeb and Hanady Salman alone make the book a worthwhile read… Hanady Salman, managing editor of Lebanese daily al-Safir, narrates an excursion into the mauled villages south of the Litani months after the cease-fire. …Salman’s artful depiction of places, people, and events distinguishes her text…she succeeds in imbuing her reportage with the distinctive, humane, literary style for which she is well known in the Arabic press.
Also notable are pieces by Irene Gendzier and Yitzhak Laor…it was an excellent choice to include Lebanese political scientist Fawwaz Traboulsi in the volume; Traboulsi has had a unique vantage point for studying Lebanese politics both as an academic and an activist since the late 1960s… Eclectic and studded with innovative contributions, "The War on Lebanon" is a compelling addition to the literature, both on the 2006 war and on the crisis of Lebanon’s Second Republic.” 
—Journal of Palestine Studies

"...Hovsepian has managed to provide scholars and laymen interested in Lebanon, Israel and the Middle East as a whole with a referential tool of immense importance. ... the combining effect of investigative journalism, critical academic analysis and passionate, personal accounts has produced a powerful counter-narrative on all levels. "
—Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism

"For any teacher of contemporary Middle Eastern Studies, I couldn't recommend this book highly enough as a well-rounded presentation of the Lebanese perspective. ... The War on Lebanon is an immensely human and accessible compilation of works explicating the shocking Israeli/Lebanese war of 2006."
— Levantine Cultural Center

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