Michael R. Fischbach in JPS
Published in Journal of Palestine Studies (Summer, 2005, XXXIV, 4, p. 123)
Mazin Qumsiyeh of Yale University is a Palestinian-American geneticist who is also a cofounder of the Palestine Right to Return Coalition. This ambitious, well-researched book discusses a wide variety of issues relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from linguistics to genetics, from politics to international law, as is evident in the titles of its thirteen chapters:...." (list follows) Throughout, Qumsiyeh's essential purpose is to offer a strong critique of Zionism and Israeli policy toward Palestinians.
The author's ultimate thesis is that continued separation of the peoples inhabiting what he calls the "Land of Canaan" never will result in peace. Likewise, establishing "ethnocracies" or separate national states are doomed to fail. Instead, he proposes a version of the unified, secular, and democratic state idea as the only logical, just, and effective solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Qumsiyeh's wide-ranging book is likely to be received well only by readers already predisposed to the idea of transforming Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories into one state in which Jews and Palestinians enjoy equal rights, privileges, and responsibilities.
Michael R. Fischbach is Associate Professor of History at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA