If you are looking for a glimmer of hope about the chances of achieving “a lasting peace” between Palestine and Israel anytime in the foreseeable future, you won’t find it in Padraig O’Malley’s newest book, "The Two-State Delusion: Israel and Palestine—A Tale of Two Narratives."

Don’t be fooled by O’Malley’s impressive academic title, The John Joseph Moakley Professor of Peace and Reconciliation at UMass Boston’s McCormick institute. He’s an egghead, but one with both feet firmly planted in the real world, having lent a hand in brokering peace between Northern Ireland and England and toiling to birth democracy in South Africa.

O’Malley’s analysis is rooted in facts, not ideology. His conclusions are realistic; the pessimism is a byproduct of research and experience.

Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Peter Beinart observed that "The Two-State Delusion" “is a book so packed with information that it will reward even the reader so dedicated that she consumes the Israel-Palestine stories buried on Page A17 of The Times.”

O’Malley appeared recently at the Brookline Booksmith, speaking and answering questions before a packed crowd. The video clip — projecting what would happen if Israeli settlements were forcibly removed — is just a slice of his hour presentation. Watch O'Malley's entire discussion of "The Two-State Delusion," on WGBH's Forum Network.

While trust is absent in today’s Middle East, things were not always as dire. The chronology of conflicts and potential resolutions for the region in "The Two-State Delusion" requires six pages to cover the last 130 years. The list takes the reader on a virtual roller coaster of expectation, as the actions of two disparate populations peak and trough between near peace, violence, and outright war.

O'Malley draws upon his experience and his extensive research to advise us to change course. It's too late, he says, to draw national boundaries between Palestinians and Israelis and expect them to live in mutual disinterest. The complete lack of trust, O'Malley explains, compels the majorities on both sides to believe they can never live together.

During his interviews about this conflict, O'Malley discovered that the concept of having separate states for Palestinians and Israelis has never been well explained to either of the two factions. Interest in that solution declined quickly, O’Malley said, when he would mention policy details, such as the removal of settlements, or sharing Jerusalem, or drawing actual borders.

"There is really not any consensus at all,” O'Malley said, about what kinds of states should emerge. In fact, more than a state, according to O’Malley, most Palestinians passionately desire to restore their dignity. “They want an end to being humiliated … they want to be treated as human beings ... at checkpoints, and in front of their children," he said.

Israelis also want to preserve their dignity, and can't bear the idea of being tricked, O'Malley says. They think it would be folly, for example, to remove settlements and give Palestinians more land. They believe that would be just the first concession, not the last. Besides, a new population nearly 100,000 strong, “the Settlers” have put roots down where Palestinian olive groves once stood, and it is equally unthinkable for them to lose their homes.

O'Malley mentioned a new development in an op-ed for The Boston Globe that could offer just a modicum of hope for peace. He reports that Israeli President Reuven Rivlin proposed a “borderless” Palestinian-Israeli “confederation.” O'Malley doubts that is enough to overcome the deep-rooted hatred on both sides, but at this point anyone with a new idea is a breath of fresh air.