An American author Jeremy R. Hammond recently published his book titled “Obstacle to Peace” – The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. It features Foreword by Richard Falk and an Introduction by Gene Epstein, and Noam Chomsky describes it as “carefully documented and highly informative.”
We have reached out to the author and asked him a few questions about his new book.
How did you come to the decision to write a book about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? Given the fact that there are a lot of books already written on this topic.
Many books have been written on the subject, but few that have focused on the US role and even fewer on the role of the Western mainstream media. What I do in Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is to systematically deconstruct standard mainstream narratives about the conflict and reveal how much if not most of what people think they know about the conflict simply doesn’t reflect reality. This includes debunking popular myths about the conflict, from its origins to today. In doing so, I go into details and bring unique insights to the discussion that I don’t believe readers will find in any other book.
The US plays a negative role in the conflict. As the title alludes to, it is a — if not the — primary obstacle to peace. If it were not for the US’s financial, military, and diplomatic support for Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, it simply could not go on. The entire US-led so-called “peace process” itself is premised upon the rejection of the applicability of international law to the conflict and is the means by which Israel and the US effectively block implementation of the two-state solution, in favor of which there is otherwise a strong consensus among the international community.
Each book that is devoted to some conflict gets criticized by either one or all the sides. How was it for you? Were you able to avoid criticism or attacks?
Well, the book has only just been published earlier this month — on July 9, which coincided with the anniversary of the International Court of Justice’s 2004 judgment affirming that Israel’s annexation wall and settlement regime in the occupied West Bank violate international law — so I’m sure the book will receive more criticisms in the future. But so far, the responses I’ve received have been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve had numerous readers inform me they feel my book is the most objective analysis of the situation they’ve read.
In fact, the purpose of the book’s Introduction — which I am grateful and honored to have had written by Gene Epstein, who is Economics and Books Editor at Barron’s, the financial weekly — is to prepare the reader for what is to come since it is so contrary to what they have been told about the conflict by government officials and the mainstream media. As Gene writes, “I found Obstacle to Peace quite convincing, but my pride in being Jewish and American, and my identification with many Israelis, remains intact.”
I am also honored that the book features a Foreword by Richard Falk, former UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the territories occupied since 1967, who himself has received heavy criticism by defenders of Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians for speaking out so strongly in favor of their equal rights.
Naturally, the charge of “anti-Israel” bias or even “anti-Semitism” is leveled at critics of Israel’s criminal policies. This does not concern me, any such accusations against me for the heavy criticisms of Israel in my book will fall flat. Everything in the book is meticulously documented, with 1,900 endnotes. It is also highly critical of Hamas, such as for committing war crimes, and the Palestinian Authority under the illegitimate leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, which serves Israel’s collaborator in enforcing its occupation regime.
I feel that Obstacle to Peace will be an invaluable contribution to the discussion of the subject. I hope readers will agree.
Website: Obstacle to Peace