The sword is not enough

Arabs, Israelis, and the limits of military force

By Jeremy Pressman

The sword is not enough


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4617-5
  • Pages: 304
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £25.00
  • Published Date: April 2020
  • BIC Category: HISTORY / Middle East / Israel & Palestine, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Conflict Resolution & Mediation, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy, Reference, information & interdisciplinary subjects / Peace studies & conflict resolution, Middle East, Society & social sciences / Diplomacy


In this lucid and timely new book, Jeremy Pressman demonstrates that the default use of military force on both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict has prevented its peaceful resolution.

Whether called deterrence or war, armed struggle or terrorism, the history of the conflict reveals that violence has been counterproductive. Drawing on historical evidence from the 1950s to the present, The sword is not enough pushes back against the dominant belief that military force leads to triumph while negotiations and concessions lead to defeat and further unwelcome challenges. Violence weakens the security situation, bolsters adversaries, and, especially in the case of Palestine, has sabotaged political aims.

Studiously impartial and accessibly written, this book shows us that diplomacy is the only answer.


1 The Arab-Israeli fight
2 Force as the dominant policy
3 Peace cannot be forced
4 Force, insecurity, and failure
5 Missed diplomatic opportunities
6 Changing the dominant idea



Jeremy Pressman is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut

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