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Peter Rodgers

Peter Rodgers

Peter Rodgers is a former Australian ambassador to Israel whose latest book, Arabian Plights: The Future Middle East, was published in 2009.

Peter Rodgers reviews 'Blood and Rage: A cultural history of terrorism' by Michael Burleigh

June 2008, no. 302 01 June 2008
Whether they be Irish Fenians, Russian revolutionaries, the ‘guilty white kids’ of Italy’s Red Brigade or (then) West Germany’s Baader Meinhof gang, African National Congress members fighting to end apartheid, Palestinian gunmen, al Qaeda bombers, or an assortment of other evil-doers, Michael Burleigh sets out the terrible things that human beings can do to one another. He provides much in ... (read more)

Peter Rodgers reviews 'The Bin Ladens: The story of a family and its fortune' by Steve Coll

July–August 2008, no. 303 01 July 2008
Between the mid-1940s and the late 1960s, Mohammed bin Laden fathered fifty-four children (twenty-five sons, twenty-nine daughters) from an assortment of wives (he married twenty-two times). It should hardly surprise that such a large group included several extreme personalities. The eldest son, Salem, channelled his manic energy into aeroplanes, cars, girls and the good life. The eighteenth son, ... (read more)

Peter Rodgers reviews 'The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy' by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt

February 2008, no. 298 01 February 2008
The day I began writing this review, the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) news service carried three items reflecting the umbilical nature of ties between the United States and Israel. One item reported President George W. Bush as threatening to veto an intelligence bill because it would require revelations about a mysterious Israeli air attack on Syria on September 6. A second reported the Bush admi ... (read more)

Peter Rodgers reviews 'Palestine: Peace not apartheid' by Jimmy Carter

March 2007, no. 289 01 March 2007
Not long before his election as Israel’s prime minister in May 1999, the country’s former military head Ehud Barak was asked by a journalist what he would have done if he had been born Palestinian. ‘I would have joined a terrorist organisation’, came the blunt reply. Barak, of course, had spent a good deal of his life working out how to kill Palestinians. So his was a decidedly candid ackn ... (read more)

Peter Rodgers reviews 'Israel’s Occupation' by Neve Gordon

February 2009, no. 308 01 February 2009
Barack Obama has promised to change the way America does things. If he is serious about this when it comes to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, we can only hope that he will read Neve Gordon’s examination of Israel’s post-1967 rule of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The subject matter, and the occasionally choking academic writing, do not make for a pretty story. But the book might serve t ... (read more)

Peter Rodgers reviews 'Palestine Betrayed' by Efraim Karsh and 'Gaza: Morality, law & politics' edited by Raimond Gaita

October 2010, no. 325 01 October 2010
It is a great pity that Efraim Karsh could not have read Raimond Gaita’s new collection of essays before completing his own. The essays might have prompted him to reflect that the Israeli–Palestinian conflict is not nearly as straightforward as he would have us believe. Karsh is a leading figure in the ultraconservative Revisionist Movement of Zionism. As head of Middle East studies at King ... (read more)

Peter Rodgers reviews 'The Battle for the Arab Spring' by Lin Noueihed and Alex Warren and 'Libya' by Alison Pargeter

September 2012, no. 344 30 August 2012
The danger in writing about unfolding dramas is that they keep unfolding, potentially stranding both writer and reader. Not so with these two fine books, whose authors have long experience of the Middle East. Quite different in scope – a sweep of the Arab world contrasting with the ascent and decay of Muammar Gaddafi’s brutal régime – they deal with past, present, and possible future events ... (read more)