Understanding Shiite Leadership: The Art of the Middle Ground in Iran and Lebanon

Shaul Mishal and Ori Goldberg

In this book, Shaul Mishal and Ori Goldberg explore the ways in which Shiite leaderships in Iran and Lebanon approach themselves and their world. Contrary to the violent and radical image of religious leaderships in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Lebanese Hizballah, the political vision and practice of these leaderships view the world as a middle ground, shying away from absolutist and extremist tendencies. The political leadership assumed by Shiite religious scholars in Iran and Lebanon has transformed Shiite Islam from a marginalized minority to a highly politicized avant garde of Muslim presence, revitalized the practice and causes of political Islam in its struggle for legitimacy and authority, and reshaped the politics of the Middle East and the globe in its image. Utilizing approaches from social theory, history, theology, and literary criticism, the book presents these leaderships as pragmatic, interpretative entities with the potential to form fruitful relationships between Shiite leadership and the non-Shiite world.


The Palestinian Hamas: Vision, Violence, and Coexistence

Shaul Mishal and Avraham Sela

In The Palestinian Hamas, Shaul Mishal and Avraham Sela show that, contrary to its violent image, Hamas (the Islamic Resistance Movement) is essentially a social and political organization, providing extensive community services and responding to political realities through bargaining and power brokering. The authors lift the veil on Hamas's strategic decision-making methods at each of the crucial crossroads it has confronted: the Intifada and the struggle with the PLO, the Oslo accords and the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority, and the choice between absolute jihad against Israel and controlled violence. Now with a new introduction, this book does much to contextualize the current ascendancy of this controversial movement.


Investment in Peace: The Politics of Economic Cooperation Between Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians

Shaul Mishal, Ranan Kuperman, David Boas

“This thoughtful book attempts to formulate a new relationship and a new negotiating strategy between Israel and its Arab neighbors… The innovative proposal put forward is an exchange of asymmetrical assurances: the Arabs will assure Israel that its security, and its existence, are not in danger, and Israel will assure the Arabs that it has no intention of imposing any economic or cultural hegemony. Thus it is hoped that the imbalance between Arab territorial and numerical advantage over Israel, and Israel's economic and technological advantage over the Arabs, will be compensated to the mutual advantage of both. This is a proposal which at some later stage in the evolution of the Arab–Israeli conflict may be fruitful, but there are hurdles to be cleared before such a sophisticated approach can be practical. The fear that dominates both sides must first be attenuated, if not removed completely … What I suggest is now urgently needed is to address the problem, not just of the fear of conflict, but also of the fear of peace which both sides share … There is the need therefore on both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict for a ‘culture of peace’.” From the Foreword by HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan


Speaking Stones: Communiques from the Intifada Underground

Shaul Mishal and Reuben Aharoni

This work provides a selection of underground documents (never before translated) of the two leading bodies of the Intifada: the United National Command and the Islamic Resistance Movement, known as Hamas. Communiques or leaflets were an essential element of Palestinian political life and served as a vehicle of expression and a way to direct behaviour and organise the people. Shaul Mishal carefully analyses these documents in an effort to understand the forces that turned the wheels of the Palestinian uprising: their goals; methods of operation; and their success in obtaining the willing cooperation of all segments of the Palestinian population. Since the Israeli conquest of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, there had been minor eruptions of violence by Palestinians against Israelis. But for the 20 years before December 1987 and the uprising, there had never been such an intense and prolonged demonstration against the occupation. The Intifada inspired a new generation of Palestinian radicals who conducted their protests through petrol bombs and street violence and relayed their messages through underground propaganda. In place of any official and prominent leadership, communiques became the voice of the rebels.


The PLO Under Arafat: Between Gun and Olive Branch

Shaul Mishal

This book explains the PLO’s failure to translate its diplomatic success into territorial gains. It carefully analyzes PLO policy under Yasir Arafat’s leadership, which It describes as characterized by a combination of political flexibility and ideological conformity. PLO flexibility has helped the organization gain internatonal status and the world sympathy. However, its consistent refusal to recognize Israel and to endorse U.N. Resolution 242 has hampered its ability to participate in a negotiated settlement.


West Bank/East Bank: The Palestinians in Jordan, 1947-1969

Shaul Mishal

This detailed study, which draws on previously unexploited Jordanian archives that came into the possession of Israel during the Six-Day War, describes what happened on the two banks during the years 1949 and 1967 and explains the explosive aftermath. Mishal analyzes here for the first time what it meant to the Palestinians to be simultaneously Palestinian, Arab, and Jordanian, and what it meant to the Jordanian government to have this large, dissatisfied group within its borders.