Book Description

From Booklist This text is based on a French publication, Shalom, Salam: Dictionnaire pour une meilleure approche du conflit Israelo-Palestinien, published in 2002. New entries and new information have been added, and the title is now updated through the death of Yasir Arafat. Claude Faure, a member of the French Information Ministry for 30 years, and an analyst on Israeli-Palestinian issues for 10 years, wrote the original book, which Le Monde praised for its ease of access and thoroughness.It is not entirely clear what has been translated and what was created new in the English edition, but, according to the introduction, the set has been 'entirely rewritten to answer appropriately the questions of English-reading audiences.' The reader may be puzzled by entries for Osama bin Laden and Ayman Muhammad al-Zawahri, or for the war in Iraq. Neither of these individuals has played a role in the Israeli or Palestinian causes, nor does the war involve the Israeli or Palestinian governments, and the entries do not provide an Israeli-Palestinian context. Inserting such entries into the dictionary seems to add a specific political tone that is missing from most of the rest of the text.Articles are generally brief and well written, and most display no bias. Peace negotiations, warring, and statesmanship are covered in brief biographical sketches of individuals of all nationalities from the last century who have been involved in some way. Major battles are explained and geographically located. Political and revolutionary parties of all variety are defined. Jewish and Islamic holidays, beliefs, and traditions are explained thoroughly. One major mistake is the entry for Baha'i, which refers to the faith as a Muslim sect. A good time line of the conflict is appended along with a glossary of common terms. Each volume concludes with an extensive bibliography of English titles for further reference. There is no index. Libraries owning the original French work probably have no need for this edition. Likewise, those having the Encyclopedia of Palestinians (Facts On File, 2000) or An Historical Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Greenwood, 1996) will find many of the same topics covered, with only recent events missing. The dictionary is recommended for academic and public libraries that need a current overview. Steve StrattonCopyright ? American Library Association. All rights reserved Read more