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House, J. House, A. (2009). Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 6(3):236-242.

(2009). International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 6(3):236-242

Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid

Jonathan House, M.D. and Antonia House

By Jimmy Carter

London: Simon and Schuster, 2006.

This issue of the IJAPS is dedicated to our colleague George Awad who was the only Palestinian psychoanalyst in North America. His last major project was aimed at giving a psychoanalytically informed history of Palestinian identity. At the 2005 winter meetings of the American Psychoanalytic Association, George and Carlo Strenger, an Israeli analyst, presented papers at a session entitled “Analytic Perspectives on the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict”.1 George emphasized that a prerequisite for any psychoanalytic understanding of the conflict was to attend to the Palestinian and Israeli narratives separately, without discounting one in the name of the other. The Palestinian narrative, itself a major foundation of Palestinian identity, is largely unknown in the US or known only as a crude caricature. Strikingly, it is even absent in Jimmy Carter's recent book on the Middle East conflict, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid.

Carter has written an intelligent, honorable, and well-informed account of the current situation. It is a chronological history enriched by autobiography, as for more than three decades Carter had unusual, if not unique, access to information and to major national figures in the Middle East. Of course, Carter was an important actor in some of the events he chronicles and analyzes. His judgments are clear and measured. Although little written about the Middle East is uncontroversial, Carter's vision of a “permanent peace” is unsurprising.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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