UMass Boston’s Padraig O’Malley has published a new book, The Two-state Delusion: Israel and Palestine. O’Malley, who has worked on peacekeeping issues around the globe, argues that a two-state solution is no longer a viable path to lasting peace.
O’Malley saw the conflict as a tale of two narratives, a term he used for the book’s subtitle. Well-documented in the 500-page book, O’Malley studied the history and cultures that clashed; interviewed negotiators, leaders, and people on the street; and examined the irreconcilable issues that have derailed peace in the past. He writes, “Narratives are subjective and selective. They frame and filter concepts, images, and information according to desired beliefs, values, symbols, traditions, and preferences. They are motivational tools that reinforce social identities and uniqueness. They arouse deep passions and allegiance.”
He explains that even if reconciliation could be reached, it would be nearly impossible to implement given economic, demographic, geographic, political, and natural resource challenges in the region. The author concludes that we must find new frameworks for lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Kirkus Reviews called the book “a thoughtful autopsy of the failed two-state paradigm . . . [O’Malley] carefully sifts through the intractable coexistence between the Palestinians and Israelis and finds both sides so traumatized by the ‘narrative’ of their respective struggle that they are unable to view the other with respect or humanity—the beginning of true reconciliation.”
Also praising the book, Publisher’s Weekly called it “exhaustively researched . . . There are no heroes in O’Malley’s account, and no clear villains either.”
Professor Padraig O’Malley is the John Joseph Moakley Chair of Peace and Reconciliation at UMass Boston’s John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. A native of Dublin, Ireland, this award-winning author, mentor, and teacher has devoted his life to peacemaking and is one of the architects of the Good Friday and Helsinki Agreements.
A local filmmaker is currently making a documentary on O'Malley called The Peacemaker.