Hope and Despair

Israel's Future in the New Middle East

March 2024 9781911723196 312pp
Available as an eBook
EU Customers


Days before his country signed a deal to normalise ties with Israel, the Emirati Ambassador to the US penned an article in Hebrew, directly addressing Israelis. Israel, he argued, faced a choice between engagement with the rest of the region, or isolation. His words struck a chord then, and will continue to ring true in the decades to come.

Michael A. Horowitz tells the unfolding story of this decision: of tension between the hope ushered in by the normalisation agreements, and the enduring despair both Israelis and Palestinians feel about the waning prospects of peace. Rather than examining the past, Horowitz looks to Israel’s future—one marked by new opportunities, but also tremendous challenges, as the country tries to find its place in a region trying to find itself.

Israel is a ship in a storm, navigating a ‘new’ Middle East where unfinished revolutions, regional competition, perceived US disengagement and an unstable but menacing Iran all warrant caution. In the ‘promised land’ itself, existing gaps are widening, and the space for optimism is shrinking. Hope and Despair is a brutally honest exploration of what lies ahead for Israel: the waves, the winds, and the ray of light above the clouds.


‘Horowitz’s book is a sober and fair-minded analysis of a country at a critical juncture… . It is well worth reading, even for the most implacable of Israel’s critics.’ — The Irish Times

‘A serious and informative book, written dispassionately and anchored in serious analysis.’ — The Jewish Voice

‘Horowitz’ call for a less reactive, more strategic rethink of Israel’s position… to pursue a more hopeful future is truly important. This book is therefore essential reading to those in the foreign policy community, as well as scholars and analysts seeking to understand Israel’s changing… relationship with its neighbours.’ — Encyclopedia Geopolitica

‘Reading Michael Horowitz is always a great exercise of the mind. His in-depth book tackles the political engineering and security tinderbox in the Middle East with impartiality. With the return of great power competition, this is a must-read to understand the hidden political messages in a re-shaped region, the danger of ignoring the plight of the other side and the endless debate over who’s to blame for the missing peace.’ — Ahmed Maher, Senior Political Editor of Al Majalla

‘Navigating eloquently between the hope of the Arab Spring and the despair of the bloodiest Israeli–Palestinian conflict in 2023–4, Horowitz’s book prefers hope. A comprehensive, fair report of Israel’s regional status and domestic political composition.’ — Menachem Klein, Department of Political Science, Bar-Ilan University, and author of Arafat and Abbas and Lives in Common


Michael A. Horowitz is a renowned geopolitical expert, focussing on the Middle East. After serving in the IDF, he has held positions in consultancies in Israel and the Gulf, advising local and foreign governments, NGOs and global corporations. He writes commentary and analysis for both regional and international media.

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