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The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler-Colonial Conquest and Resistance, 1917-2017

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A landmark history of one hundred years of war waged against the Palestinians from the foremost US historian of the Middle East, told through pivotal events and family history. In 1899, Yusuf Diya al-Khalidi, mayor of Jerusalem, alarmed by the Zionist call to create a Jewish national home in Palestine, wrote a letter aimed at Theodore Herzl: the country had an indigenous pe A landmark history of one hundred years of war waged against the Palestinians from the foremost US historian of the Middle East, told through pivotal events and family history. In 1899, Yusuf Diya al-Khalidi, mayor of Jerusalem, alarmed by the Zionist call to create a Jewish national home in Palestine, wrote a letter aimed at Theodore Herzl: the country had an indigenous people who would not easily accept their own displacement. He warned of the perils ahead, ending his note, "in the name of God, let Palestine be left alone." Thus Rashid Khalidi, al-Khalidi's great-great-nephew, begins this sweeping history, the first general account of the conflict told from an explicitly Palestinian perspective. Drawing on a wealth of untapped archival materials and the reports of generations of family members - mayors, judges, scholars, diplomats, and journalists - The Hundred Years' War on Palestine upends accepted interpretations of the conflict, which tend, at best, to describe a tragic clash between two peoples with claims to the same territory. Instead, Khalidi traces a hundred years of colonial war on the Palestinians, waged first by the Zionist movement and then Israel, but backed by Britain and the United States, the great powers of the age. He highlights the key episodes in this colonial campaign, from the 1917 Balfour Declaration to the destruction of Palestine in 1948, from Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon to the endless and futile peace process. Original, authoritative, and important, The Hundred Years' War on Palestine is not a chronicle of victimization, nor does it whitewash the mistakes of Palestinian leaders or deny the emergence of national movements on both sides. In reevaluating the forces arrayed against the Palestinians, it offers an illuminating new view of a conflict that continues to this day. Cover photograph Amnon Bar Or—Tal Gazit Architects LTD


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A landmark history of one hundred years of war waged against the Palestinians from the foremost US historian of the Middle East, told through pivotal events and family history. In 1899, Yusuf Diya al-Khalidi, mayor of Jerusalem, alarmed by the Zionist call to create a Jewish national home in Palestine, wrote a letter aimed at Theodore Herzl: the country had an indigenous pe A landmark history of one hundred years of war waged against the Palestinians from the foremost US historian of the Middle East, told through pivotal events and family history. In 1899, Yusuf Diya al-Khalidi, mayor of Jerusalem, alarmed by the Zionist call to create a Jewish national home in Palestine, wrote a letter aimed at Theodore Herzl: the country had an indigenous people who would not easily accept their own displacement. He warned of the perils ahead, ending his note, "in the name of God, let Palestine be left alone." Thus Rashid Khalidi, al-Khalidi's great-great-nephew, begins this sweeping history, the first general account of the conflict told from an explicitly Palestinian perspective. Drawing on a wealth of untapped archival materials and the reports of generations of family members - mayors, judges, scholars, diplomats, and journalists - The Hundred Years' War on Palestine upends accepted interpretations of the conflict, which tend, at best, to describe a tragic clash between two peoples with claims to the same territory. Instead, Khalidi traces a hundred years of colonial war on the Palestinians, waged first by the Zionist movement and then Israel, but backed by Britain and the United States, the great powers of the age. He highlights the key episodes in this colonial campaign, from the 1917 Balfour Declaration to the destruction of Palestine in 1948, from Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon to the endless and futile peace process. Original, authoritative, and important, The Hundred Years' War on Palestine is not a chronicle of victimization, nor does it whitewash the mistakes of Palestinian leaders or deny the emergence of national movements on both sides. In reevaluating the forces arrayed against the Palestinians, it offers an illuminating new view of a conflict that continues to this day. Cover photograph Amnon Bar Or—Tal Gazit Architects LTD

30 review for The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler-Colonial Conquest and Resistance, 1917-2017

  1. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    5 stars for a book that is both depressing and illuminating. This book tells the story of an indigenous people colonized and deprived of their own land over a 100 year period. The first colonization was by the British who conquered Palestine during World War I from the Ottoman Empire. They had issued the Balfour declaration in 1917, stating their intention to provide a national home for Jewish people in Palestine. Although 94% of the population in Palestine in 1917 was Palestinian, the declarati 5 stars for a book that is both depressing and illuminating. This book tells the story of an indigenous people colonized and deprived of their own land over a 100 year period. The first colonization was by the British who conquered Palestine during World War I from the Ottoman Empire. They had issued the Balfour declaration in 1917, stating their intention to provide a national home for Jewish people in Palestine. Although 94% of the population in Palestine in 1917 was Palestinian, the declaration did not promise them the same political or national right guaranteed the Jews. Britain then embarked on a program granting Jewish immigrants preferred status in their new colony. Britain even armed Jewish immigrants to help suppress the great revolt against the British from 1936-1939. Britain was following an old colonial strategy of divide and rule, setting two groups against each other. It had used this strategy before, in India, Muslim against Hindu and Ireland, Protestant against Catholic. Britain savagely suppressed the revolt, killing , wounding or exiling 10% of the adult male population. This provided the Zionist movement 2 advantages: they had a nascent military force and it greatly weakened the native population. The subsequent 1947-48 war between the Palestinians and Jewish settlers saw the Zionists win and steal land and homes from thousands of Palestinians. This theft is continuing today. Israel calls it "settlements." The Palestinian point of view is rarely presented in the US today. The author frequently compares the Irish rebellion of 1919-21 to the Palestinian rebellion of 1936-39. He comments that the British even used veteran "Black and Tan" soldiers of the Irish rebellion. The "Black and Tans" were renowned for their cruelty. Many of them were criminals that Britain released in return for being part of the force suppressing the Irish rebellion. The US is actually complicit in the theft of Palestinian land, in that gives billions of dollars yearly to Israel. There are extensive footnotes, some of which have links to documents in the public domain. Thanks to the author and Henry Holt & Co for sending me this eARC through NetGalley. #TheHundredYearsWarOnPalestine #NetGalley

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Appu Sasidharan

    (Regular Review) This book tells us about the war Palestine has been fighting for the last one hundred years. This is written from a Muslim perspective by the author whose family was actively involved in many of the events mentioned in this book. What I learned from this book 1) Balfour Declaration On behalf of Britain's cabinet on November 2, 1917, Arthur James Balfour made a declaration known as the Balfour declaration. It supported the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. It (Regular Review) This book tells us about the war Palestine has been fighting for the last one hundred years. This is written from a Muslim perspective by the author whose family was actively involved in many of the events mentioned in this book. What I learned from this book 1) Balfour Declaration On behalf of Britain's cabinet on November 2, 1917, Arthur James Balfour made a declaration known as the Balfour declaration. It supported the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. It comprised just a single sentence that promulgated Jewish people's attempt to settle in Palestine. Many people commented that the declaration threw platitudes at the Palestinian people. The situation was highly poignant as many Palestinian people sadly lost their homeland due to this declaration's long-term effect. "His Majesty's government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country." 2) Colonialism and its impact over Palestine. Colonialism is considered one of the leading causes of the degradation of natural resources and economic instability in many countries. Palestine also had to suffer a lot due to this colonialism. There were some positive impacts too for colonialism. But in many instances, we have seen people exaggerating the positive effects of it and avoiding discussing how their imprudent measures affect the proletariat. "'You cannot do without us,' Lord Curzon said in one of the speeches." 3) Zionism and its impact on Palestinian population. Zionism is an ideology among Jewish people that support a Jewish state in the region of Palestine. It mainly deals with things on behalf of Israel. The people who support Zionism consider it a liberation movement, while those against it consider it colonialist and racist. The polemic effort of Muslim people in Palestine to prevent encroachment of their birthplace via the channel of Zionism was overcome by Israel's mighty military strength and economic power. It was a precipitous task for the Palestinian people to defend their pristine homeland. Muslims consider Zionism as one of the quixotic ideologies that worsened the conflict in Palestine. In contrast, Jews consider it an indispensable ideology due to the Middle East and European events. "The Zionists' colonial enterprise, aimed at taking over the country, necessarily had to produce resistance. "If you wish to colonize a land in which people are already living," Jabotinsky wrote in 1925, "you must find a garrison for the land or find a benefactor who will provide a garrison on your behalf. Zionism is a colonizing venture and, therefore, it stands or falls on the question of armed forces." At least initially, only the armed forces provided by Britain could overcome the natural resistance of those being colonized" 4) How Hitler's antisemitism affected Palestine? Hitler's antisemitic measures have affected the Palestine people to a great extend. Hitler's unjust killing of Jews in the gas chambers in Auschwitz-Birkenau is considered one of History's darkest chapters. The amount of pain Jews had to pass through was unfathomable. Some of the Jews who were afraid of the measures taken by Hitler immigrated to Palestine. This, in turn, caused an increase in the Jewish population in Palestine, and the demand for a Jewish state increased. This caused more problems for the Muslims living in Palestine. "Jewish immigration as a result of persecution by the Nazi regime in Germany raised the Jewish population in Palestine from just 18 percent of the total in 1932 to over 31 percent in 1939. Hitler's ascendancy proved to be one of the most important events in the modern histories of both Palestine and Zionism." 5) Divide and rule policy The author says that the divide and rule policy adopted by the authorities complicated the Palestine situation to this extent. "The Palestinians fight against colonialism were undermined by the hierarchical, conservative and divided nature of Palestinian society and politics, characteristic of many in the region, and further sapped by a sophisticated policy of divide and rule adopted by the mandatory authorities, aided and abetted by the Jewish agency. This colonial strategy may have reached its peak of perfection in Palestine after hundreds of years of maturation in Ireland, India and Egypt." 6) Nakba Every year on May 15, Palestinians around the world, mark the Nakba, or "catastrophe," referring to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the near-total destruction of Palestinian society in 1948. The author's grandparents were also displaced among many people in 1948. "The Nakba represented a watershed in the History of Palestine and the Middle East. It transformed most of Palestine from what it had been for well over a millennium- an aboriginal Arab country- into a new state that had a substantial Jewish majority." 7) Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the USA America has been playing a significant role in trying to control the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for a long time. Roosevelt, Truman, Kissinger, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Obama, Trump, and even the latest Biden administration had played a crucial role in it. In 1945 Roosevelt met and pledged his support to Ibn Sa'ud. It lasted for just nine months. In November 1945, Harry Truman said that Zionism was a political necessity, supporting its ideology. The reason he told for this support was that he would have to answer hundreds of thousands of Jews who are his constituents. (the number of Arab immigrants was meager at that time while the American Jewish population grew from a quarter of a million to four million between 1880 and 1920 which again grew after the Second World War started.) America almost always supported Israel after Truman. Leaders like Yasser Arafat didn't give much importance to the relation with the USA, which only worsened the situation. The author says that the Israel people were successful in getting the USA's support mainly due to the above reasons. The global opinion in favor of Jews after the holocaust also helped them. Few violent acts that happened due to the pitfalls from Palestinian Muslims only worsened the situation. Palestinian Muslims were considered terrorists by countries like America due to these reasons. Palestinian attempt to protect their homeland was misjudged as a terrorist act. Palestinians were sadly unsuccessful in rectifying this misjudgment for a long time. Only recently, many countries are understanding what exactly is happening in the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. "The Palestinian national movement must recognize the true nature of the American stance and undertake dedicated grassroots political and informational work to make its case inside the United States, as the Zionist movement has done for over a century. This task will not necessarily take generations, given the significant shifts that have already occurred in the key sectors of public opinion. There is a great deal to build on." 8) Children in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The death of many children during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has received a lot of international attention recently. The killing of innocent children can't be substantiated for any reason. The pictures of children who died and were injured are disheartening. Even in the recent conflict in 2021, Joe Biden has voiced his support for a ceasefire after widespread protest after seeing the pictures of children injured and killed during the airstrikes. "From the beginning of the first Intifada to the end of 1996 1,422 Palesians were killed. Of them, 294, or over 20 percent were minors sixteen and under. ” 9) How gulf war affected the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? The Persian Gulf war conflict badly affected many countries in the Middle East. During the Iraq invasion and occupation of Kuwait in August 1990, almost all the gulf states, including Egypt joined the US-led coalition to fight against Saddam Hussain. Yasser Arafat's miscalculation of the situation was a severe blow to Palestine. “Yasser Arafat and most of his colleagues miscalculated the Gulf war. Instead of firmly supporting Kuwait against Iraq, Arafat tried to steer a neutral course, offering to mediate between the two sides. His suggestion was ignored by all concerned. ” My favourite three lines from this book “The surest way to eradicate a peoples right to their land is to deny their historical connection to it.” "Since from the Zionist vantage point the name Palestine and the very existence of the Palestinians constituted a mortal threat to Israel, the task was to connect these terms indelibly, if they were mentioned at all, with terrorism and hatred, rather than with a forgotten but just cause. For many years, this theme was the core of a remarkably successful public relations offensive, especially in the United States. ” "Car bombs were a weapon House for the Israeli forces besieging Beirut, and one of their most terrifying instruments of death and destruction- was described by one Mossad officer as "Killing for killing's sake.'" What could have been better? Some of the events where Palestinian Muslims had gone wrong, like the Black September at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, leading to the death of 11 Israelis when Palestinian terrorists invaded the Olympic village, were just mentioned passively in this book. This book is indeed written from a Palestinian perspective. Still, I think that events like these that attracted a lot of international attention should have been discussed more. Rating 5/5 The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has again come under the international radar due to the recent Jerusalem violence when Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza. After reading the initial ten pages itself, we will understand that the author has done a lot of research and hard work for writing this book. This is a must-read book if you want to know about the Palestinian perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The killing of innocent children should never be allowed, whatever the reason may be. Let us hope that all the nations, together with U.N., Israel, and Palestine, will finally work together to end this conflict. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms4yg... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tXxb... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCH8f...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    Credit to the Decolonize Palestine reading list for this recommendation! After not being taught whatsoever about Palestine (or Israel, for that matter), this was the first resource I picked up in the endeavour of teaching myself. I would recommend the audiobook for this book because at times the writing can be decently lengthy and academic. Since this book is an overview of 100 years of history, it wasn't able to delve deep into each era, so I found that with every question this book answered, it Credit to the Decolonize Palestine reading list for this recommendation! After not being taught whatsoever about Palestine (or Israel, for that matter), this was the first resource I picked up in the endeavour of teaching myself. I would recommend the audiobook for this book because at times the writing can be decently lengthy and academic. Since this book is an overview of 100 years of history, it wasn't able to delve deep into each era, so I found that with every question this book answered, it made me ask four more. If it's your first time reading deeply into the history of Palestine and Zionism, I would come into it equipped with a basic overview, or else be prepared to continue researching during and after reading! Just a tip on if you plan to read this: I would start with the conclusion first because it provides a modern-day context and then you can work backwards in time with chapters 1-7 to learn the backstory. I found that last chapter to be most interesting part of the book and it answered a lot of questions I had at the beginning.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lubinka Dimitrova

    Once a person starts reading about the Palestine conflict, they can never un-see Israel and USA's stance on this issue. It is mind-boggling how this matter has been mishandled, misrepresented and ignored for more than a century now. And one can never go back to seeing Jews as only victims of another mind-boggling genocide. Truly a heart-wrenching and deeply insightful book. Once a person starts reading about the Palestine conflict, they can never un-see Israel and USA's stance on this issue. It is mind-boggling how this matter has been mishandled, misrepresented and ignored for more than a century now. And one can never go back to seeing Jews as only victims of another mind-boggling genocide. Truly a heart-wrenching and deeply insightful book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    A sweeping overview of the reality America (and the evangelical community in particular) has willfully ignored for the last century. Rather than packing this with pathos, Khalidi patiently and carefully walks his reader through decades of policy, war, Western support and withdrawal, intifadas, settlements, and lines drawn and redrawn. I lament the US's blind and misguided partnership with a colonizing, ethnically cleansing, nationalistic state so anathema to democracy. I've thought a lot about t A sweeping overview of the reality America (and the evangelical community in particular) has willfully ignored for the last century. Rather than packing this with pathos, Khalidi patiently and carefully walks his reader through decades of policy, war, Western support and withdrawal, intifadas, settlements, and lines drawn and redrawn. I lament the US's blind and misguided partnership with a colonizing, ethnically cleansing, nationalistic state so anathema to democracy. I've thought a lot about the similarities between Israel and the United States the last several weeks—their zionism, nationalism, and brutal systems of oppression swept aside by powerful, foundational myths—and Khalidi speaks to this in a way I'd been probing for: "Establishing the colonial nature of the conflict has proven exceedingly hard given the biblical dimension of Zionism, which casts the new arrivals as indigenous and as the historical proprietors of the land they colonized. In this light, the original population of Palestine appears extraneous to the post-Holocaust resurgence of a Jewish nation-state with its roots in the kingdom of David and Solomon: they are no more than undesirable interlopers in this uplifting scenario. Challenging this epic myth is especially difficult in the United States, which is steeped in an evangelical Protestantism that makes it particularly susceptible to such an evocative Bible-based appeal and which also prides itself on its colonial past. The world ‘colonial’ has a valence in the United States that is deeply different from its associations in the former European imperial metropoles and the countries that were once part of their empires. “Similarly the terms ‘settler’ and ‘pioneer’ have positive connotations in American history, arising from the heroic tale of the conquest of the West at the expense of its indigenous population as projected in movies, literature, and television. Instead, there are striking parallels between these portrayals of the resistance of Native Americans to their dispossession and that of the Palestinians. Both groups are cast as backward and uncivilized, a violent murderous, and irrational obstacle to progress and modernity. While many Americans have begun to contest this strand of their national narrative, Israeli society and its supporters still celebrate—indeed, depend on—its foundational version. Moreover, comparisons between Palestine and the Native American or African American experiences are fraught because the United States has yet to fully acknowledge these dark chapters of its past or to address their toxic effects in the present. There is still a long way to go to changes Americans’ consciousness of their nation’s history, let alone that of Palestine and Israel, in which the United States has played such a supportive role."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    This reminded me of Jakarta Method. A deeply human yet academic and critical look at Palestine and their oppression and resistance. While very critical of Palestinian leadership, Khalidi is still offering a distinctly Palestinian perspective on this story, which is not something I'd gotten before. In the book and elsewhere, it is mentioned that Khalidi was used as a smear against Obama in 08, as they were colleagues and friends. Obama didn't even bother defending his friend, which is exactly wha This reminded me of Jakarta Method. A deeply human yet academic and critical look at Palestine and their oppression and resistance. While very critical of Palestinian leadership, Khalidi is still offering a distinctly Palestinian perspective on this story, which is not something I'd gotten before. In the book and elsewhere, it is mentioned that Khalidi was used as a smear against Obama in 08, as they were colleagues and friends. Obama didn't even bother defending his friend, which is exactly what he did to Palestine when he got into office and ignored Israel's most violent siege against Palestine in the 100 year history of this conflict. I find it interesting that McCain called Khalidi a terrorist, and that Obama didn't defend him, because Khalidi represents a pretty moderate perspective on Palestine. He's critical of violence against civilians, denounces antisemitism, and writes beautifully about Israelis' connection to Palestine, as most were now born there. If there's ever going to be peace, his view should be the starting point for discussion. This does not seem likely while the far right have captured israeli politics and have helped create a deeply racist society. I highly recommend reading this for a critical and accurate, while also beautifully written story of Palestine.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Excellent book. It's comprehensive, readable, well-researched, and current. Each chapter focuses on a major event or time period in the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to argue that Palestinians have--and continue to be--the victims of a hundred years of settler colonial warfare against them. Two things that set this book apart from other histories I've read are (1) the personal dimension Khalidi is able to offer not only as a Palestinian but as someone with first-hand experience in Excellent book. It's comprehensive, readable, well-researched, and current. Each chapter focuses on a major event or time period in the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to argue that Palestinians have--and continue to be--the victims of a hundred years of settler colonial warfare against them. Two things that set this book apart from other histories I've read are (1) the personal dimension Khalidi is able to offer not only as a Palestinian but as someone with first-hand experience in Palestinian politics and (2) a "rigorous, introspective self-criticism of Arab weaknesses and failures" which he takes from historian and intellectual Constantine Zureiq as indispensable for charting the best path forward for Palestinian action. INTRO provides the academic and personal background for the books main thesis: that the modern Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be understood as a colonial war against an indigenous Palestinian population. While Khalidi employs plenty of scholarly sources to make his argument, what sets this book apart is the personal element which is expressed in the introduction through the account of his great-great-great uncle Yusuf Diya, an Islamic scholar. Through Diya's correspondences with Herzl and Khalidi's academic sources, a picture is presented of the early zionist project as a clearly settler colonial one. Whether that colonial aspiration was expressed discreetly (as in Herzl's memoir entries regarding "spiriting the penniless population across the border) or explicitly (as in Jabotinsky's declaration of zionist colonialism). CH1 This chapter covers the "first declaration of war" on Palestine embodied by Britain's sponsoring of the Zionist project beginning with the 1917 Balfour Declaration. Khalidi looks at a changing Palestine at the turn of the 20th century. Its modernizing national infrastructure (education, transportation, and the press) as it integrates into the world market bringing with it an ascendant bourgeois class against the backdrop of a declining Ottoman Empire. Concurrent with these developments was the growing threat to self-determination posed by the settler colonial Zionist movement and its European backers. Khalidi draws on memoirs, press reports, and oral history to show that the Palestinian national identity was formed alongside of and in response to the burgeoning Zionist movement. Some of the key historical moments covered in this chapter include: demographic shifts due to Jewish immigration and land purchases, the 1922 Mandate which established Britain as the colonial power in the region, Britains support for a parallel Jewish administration with representative authority and control over public works (things the Arab population was denied), growing tensions resulting in a 1936 general strike, The Peel Commission's partition plan ceding 17% of the land to the Jewish population (and the expulsion of Arabs therein) while handing the rest over to Transjordanian control, the Great Revolt of 1937-1939, and, finally, Britains brutal repression of Palestinian fighters and activists. The chapter ends with Chamberlain's 1939 conciliatory white paper to appease Arabs as it prepared for WWII (the commitments never being carried out on Britain's part, of course). Ch.2 This chapter, focusing on the 1947-49 Nakba, begins with an anecdote recounting the author's father (Ismail al-Khalidi) delivering an official message from the Arab Higher Committee to King Abdullah of Transjordan to the effect that "were the Palestinians to succeed in escaping the British yoke, they did not want to come under that of Jordan. They aspired to control their own fate." Therefore, the AHC would not accept the King's offer of "guardianship" or "protection." The delivery of this message coincided with the UN vote on Resolution 181 in favor of partitioning Mandatory Palestine. This anecdote speaks to three themes important to this chapter. 1. Palestinians' uncompromising desire for full self-determination 2. King Abdullah's desire for westward territorial expansion and 3. Palestinians' lack of state apparatuses in the run up to war (Ismail's role as messenger here was ad hoc as his real reason for meeting with the King concerned unrelated academic matters connected to the Arab-American Institute, not as an official diplomatic liaison which the AHC simply didnt have). This 3rd point is one of many factors that explains the Arab defeat by the organized, militant, higly prepared Israeli forces. It's this combination of the personal and historical that sets this book apart from other histories of the conflict I've read. This chapter also details the shifting global power structure in which the old colonial powers were replaced by the US and USSR as the major imperialist forces in the Middle East after WWII. A situation shrewdly foreseen by Israeli leadership. Khalidi emphasizes the internal division, ineffective leadership, and disorganized institutions (the AHC, ANF, Arab Office, etc.) on the Palestinian side as contrasted to the organized, sophisticated, well-funded and well connected Jewish para-state throughout the 30s and 40s. The outbreak of violence as Britain ceded control of Mandatory Palestine to the UN in '47 resulted in decisive military victories for the Israelis and, ultimately, the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. Continued colonial control over the Arab League, particularly in foreign affairs, further hamstrung efforts to resist Israeli conquest. When the dust settled in the summer of 1949, Israel declared statehood and sovereignty of 80% of historical Palestine, over 700,000 Palestinians were displaced, Egypt controlled the Gaza Strip while King Abdullah fulfilled his territorial ambitioins by claiming the West Bank as part of Jordan. The chapter concludes by discussing Palestinian Fedayeen activity in the early 50s, Israel's disproportionate reprisals, the resulting outbreak of the 1956 Suez War, and the tripartite alliance of Israel, Britain, France yielding to USSR/US demands to end the conflict further cementing the latter as the dominant regional actors. Ch 3 The Third Declaration of War is the 1967 Six Day War and its aftermath. Khalidi begins by dismissing the myth of a vulnerable Israel beset on all sides by its hostile Arab neighbors seeking its destruction. A popular propaganda line that was used to justify Israel's first strike against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. First off, it was apparent to US intelligence that an "attack was not immanent" and, secondly, if war did break out Israel would "whip the hell out of them" (in President Johnson 's words). The factors leading up to the war included Arab popular distress at Israel's diversion of Jordan River waters to its territory, Fatah harassment (mostly symbolic actions of sabotage), Israeli threats and attacks on Syrian targets, and the needlessly provocative saber rattling of Egypt moving troops into the Sinai ultimately giving Israel the causus belli to initiate its pre-emptive attack. The main ideas of this chapter revolve around the changing power alignments and evolving terms of the Palestinian debate following the war. To the first point: while the Truman, Eisenhower, and even Kennedy administrations occasionally pushed back against Israeli overreach (see Eisenhower and the Suez Crisis), the Johnson administration and his pro-zionist circle of friends and advisors like Fortas, Goldberg, and Clifford proved utterly supportive of Israel in essentially all respects. Furthermore, new militant activism sprung up in the 60s like the Movement of Arab Nationalists, the Marxist PFLP, Fatah, and the PLO which had been originally intended by the Arab League to coopt rejuvenated Palestinian nationalist fervor but soon lost control of the organization after '67. The political alignments of the Arab League itself was also changing as with the Carter Admin's success in prying Egypt away from Palestine and into the Israel/US fold culminating in the bilateral Camp David treaty of '79. On the point regarding the discurssive side of the issue, the main takeaway is that Palestinians managed to re-insert themselves into the discussion as political agents and a cultural force. Khalidi documents the cultural renaissance that flowered throughout the 60s and 70s with the writings of Kanafi, Darwish, Zayyad, and others. The assertion of a strong Palestinian identity and its expression on the world stage (Edward Said being an immensly important figure in that) countered the Zionist falsegoods that the Palestinians simply didnt exist. This isn't an exaggeration...in 1969 Prime Minister Golda Meir once claimed "there were no such thing as Palestinians...they did not exist". Finally, this Palestinian movement gave itself a voice through the PLO which managed to set up channels of communication (much to Israel's frustration) with world powers including the US. This laid the groundwork for their participation in international politics when before they were sidelined as an incidental piece of state-to-state conflicts over territorial boundaries. The chapter ends on the Lebanese civil war, the PLO's role, and the various motives/interests/players involved. All of which is too complicated for me to cover in this review...or even understand tbh. Ch 4 Thr 4th Declaration of War is the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon--a country already years into its civil war--aimed at dislodging the PLO from the country. The plan was to knock out PLO operations in Israel's northern neighbor, destroy the Palestinian national movement, and use the opportunity to consolidate control over and eventually annex occupied territory. Because Khalidi and his family lived in Beirut at the time, he is able to add a personal perspective and human dimension that gets lost in other histories of the conflict I've read. Especially moving were his reflections on the Sabra and Shatila massacres carried out by the Philangist militias avenging assassinated president-elect Bashir Gamayel with full complicity of the IDF. The ominous scenes of military flares silently floating "over the southern reaches of Beruit" reminded me of the animated documentary Waltz With Bashir which Khalidi references. The IDF used the flairs to illuminate the refugee camps so the Philangist militiamen could effectively carry out its two day slaughter of over 1300 Palestinians. Khalidi details the duplicity employed by Begin, Sharon and others--detailed in the Israeli Kahan Commission reports--to nullify meaningful safeguards for civilians during the PLO's evacuation demanded by Palestinian negotiators, French diplomatic interlocutors, and promised by American officials. The picture Khalidi presents is one of concentric "circles of responsibility" from the innermost architects of the war (Begin and Sharon) to the American officials tacitly supplying diplomatic and propaganda support. The upshot of the war, however, was not the annihilation of the Palistinian national movement Israel hoped for but rather an intensification of the civil war, the rise of Hezbollah, and the relocation of the movement back into Palestine itself where it soon developed into the First Intifada. Ch. 5 The Fifth Declaration of War spans the period between the First Intafada in 1987 to the Oslo II accords in ’95. During this period, the Israeli army carried out brutal repressions against the Palestinian uprisings and secured a legal codification of the status quo through the Oslo framework which Khalidi argues was a major defeat for the Palestinian national cause. The authors details how simmering tensions erupted in the largely non-violent wave of uprisings beginning in Dec. 1987, the excessive Israeli response, the global public’s response, and the response of the PLO to the Intifada—which was to renounce terrorism, recognize Israel’s “right to exist” and support of a two-state settlement based on Resolutions 242 and 338 thus marking a major strategic shift toward diplomatic resolution. Khalidi is particularly critical of the PLO in this chapter, not for adopting non-violent tactics which he sees as a more effective path forward, but for a number of blunders that caused long-term harm to the movement for Palestine. The first was Arafat’s support of Iraq in the first gulf war and the second was accepting the Oslo framework which essentially outsourced the responsibility for enforcing the Palestinian’s colonial status to the Palestinians themselves. Khalidi, having been part of the advisory team to the Palestinian delegation at Madrid and both Oslo conferences, provides important insider perspectives on the diplomatic front. This is especially useful in his evaluation of the possible alternatives, the different actors (Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk in particular come under well-deserved heavy fire), and outcomes of the peace process. Ch. 6 The final (sixth) declaration of war consists in the continued colonial occupation of the West Bank and Gaza well after “final status” settlements were supposed to be adopted according to the Oslo accords, including the 3 massive attacks on the Gaza Strip during operations Cast Lead, Pillar of Defense, and Protective Edge. Topics also include the Camp David conference, the rise of Hamas, the politics of the Palestinian Authority, and the failures of the Obama administration to produce any substantive change.

  8. 5 out of 5

    ♥Milica♥

    Beyond words. Everyone needs to read this.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Rashid Khalidi starts his book by vaguely attacking other books on Israel and Palestine for their one sided narrative that favors Israel, without providing much detail on their historiographic failings. He points out that there is a need to provide a Palestinian narrative using extensive primary sources, which is true. He does not do that however, and instead resorts to primarily relying upon personal and family stories. When he uses historic sources, he proceeds to leave out rebellions, massac Rashid Khalidi starts his book by vaguely attacking other books on Israel and Palestine for their one sided narrative that favors Israel, without providing much detail on their historiographic failings. He points out that there is a need to provide a Palestinian narrative using extensive primary sources, which is true. He does not do that however, and instead resorts to primarily relying upon personal and family stories. When he uses historic sources, he proceeds to leave out rebellions, massacres, entire wars and whole sections of essential biographies, that would be easily criticized as callous mistakes, if it was not clear that he carefully left them out to fit his narrative. He left out the Arab revolt of 1929, when Jews were raped and massacred, and the second holiest city in Judaism, Hebron, was ethnically cleansed of Jews. He left out the entire Nazi past of Grand Mufti Amin Al-Husseini. He only mentioned the Yom Kippur War once. Why? Because each of those facts disprove key points in his narrative. On the the note of the Grand Mufti, the only time Khaldi mentioned Nazi Germany, was to note the damage his “presence” there did to the Palestinian cause. Thus he seemed to care more about image of the cause than the deaths of Jews. He repeats this disregard when talking about how suicide bombers killed innocent Israelis and he talks about how it was foolish, because it looked bad in the media. This highlights another problem with this book. For a book that is oozing with emotion, personal stories and cries for sympathy, he shows almost no empathy to Jews killed in the long conflict or at any other time or place. He made strong points about Israel’s botched invasion of Lebanon and the failures of the Oslo Accords. Yet by the time I came to that part of the book, I was suspicious of everything he said. I can’t imagine the effect that the trauma of the siege of Beirut of 1982 and the Nakba had on him and his family. However, does not give him the right to produce a false historical narrative void of any empathy towards Jews. Regardless to your feeling on this deeply emotional conflict, this book offers an extremely narrow and one sided narrative, that takes shocking liberties with historic data.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rick Homuth

    My favorite part of this book wasn't the book itself (which was good, it is a good book, I liked the book) but rather the dumbass NYT reviewer who wrote about this book and critiqued it b/c it doesn't "move us any closer to some kind of resolution." AKA, don't write a book about how fucked up the situation in Palestine is if you're not also gonna solve it for us in a way that doesn't involve ceding any annexed land My favorite part of this book wasn't the book itself (which was good, it is a good book, I liked the book) but rather the dumbass NYT reviewer who wrote about this book and critiqued it b/c it doesn't "move us any closer to some kind of resolution." AKA, don't write a book about how fucked up the situation in Palestine is if you're not also gonna solve it for us in a way that doesn't involve ceding any annexed land

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cass Vogel

    Essential reading if you know nothing about the war on Palestine, or if you know some stuff, or even if you know most stuff....just read it. Free Palestine

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gadi

    There is a lot of truth here, but also a lot of strategic omission, to an extent that even I — not a professional historian — felt was deliberate and wrong. I was hoping Khalidi would bring out a new perspective, a way to understand the conflict and the Palestinian view that would be more productive, but instead this felt — in tone, and in the selection of events — like propaganda. I listened to the book, and noted all of my skepticism about his reporting of history: Why did Palestinian Arabs no There is a lot of truth here, but also a lot of strategic omission, to an extent that even I — not a professional historian — felt was deliberate and wrong. I was hoping Khalidi would bring out a new perspective, a way to understand the conflict and the Palestinian view that would be more productive, but instead this felt — in tone, and in the selection of events — like propaganda. I listened to the book, and noted all of my skepticism about his reporting of history: Why did Palestinian Arabs not support the Peel commission at all, or offer a cogent counteroffer, either then or in 1947? Khalidi doesn't engage with those proposals in detail; he doesn't confront the Arab belief at the time that Jews had no place in Palestine — a refusal to engage with the Zionist idea that Jews had nowhere to go and that, in hindsight, Palestine was the only solution for them. What would he have done, if he were a Jew in the 1930s? Is asking him to consider this question too much? Khalidi has nothing but criticism for Abdullah in Jordan, for stifling Palestinian nationalism — though he was one of the only Arab leaders to give them full citizenship after 1948. Why was there no discussion of how they are fully naturalized citizens of Jordan? Does Khalidi wish for refugees to be denied absorption into their new countries? He mentions Abu Iyad — as an important Palestinian leader, later assassinated — and discusses him admiringly, without mentioning at all that he masterminded the Munich Massacre. Did he ever express regret for helping plan the murder of Israeli athletes? And why would Khalidi completely fail to mention that about Abu Iyad? Why would Khalidi fail to mention the Munich Massacre in the book at all? That seems to have been a central moment in the Palestinian story, an instance in which the Palestinian cause commanded global attention, and perhaps a major backwards step in their struggle — completely ignored by Khalidi. Is this because he intended for this book to target Western audiences that would not sympathize with the strategies of the Palestinian movement? The failure of the Oslo accords, the Camp David negotiations in 2000 — no mention of the sticking point of refugee return, or of the Clinton Parameters for peace that Barak accepted but Arafat did not? No mention of the 2008 negotiations, in which Olmert drew up an offer on a napkin that Abbas left on the table? Sure, all these negotiations were flawed, the offer may not have been attractive to Palestinians, or the Palestinian leaders may not have felt that they had the popular mandate to accept them (a different problem altogether) — but there was scant or no mention of these discussions in this book. How can Khalidi claim to disagree with the Zionist thesis of Palestinian rejectionism without addressing the most recent and salient points of data that support it? Khalidi very heavily criticizes the Oslo process and its facade of peace, which he claims concealed the continued entrenchment of Israeli occupation — but he doesn't cite the horrible suicide bombings during this period that cooled the Israeli public's desire for peace. He only brings up the terrorist attacks during the Second Intifada section, and even then more as a strategic failure for the Palestinian movement. When discussing the start of the Second Intifada, he mentions the tunnel built under the Temple Mount but doesn’t explain its archeological purpose or the defamatory propaganda that inflamed Palestinians' hysteria about it, and about Sharon's ascent to the Temple Mount. He mentions the Israeli bulldozing of the neighborhood adjacent to the Western Wall — which, yes, was awful — but he never mention Jordanian and Palestinian destruction and desecration of the Jewish quarter after 1947. And the most aggravating thing for me, personally, was his language around terrorist attacks: Suicide bombings “followed” other events, "were carried out" by Hamas, etc. — were they not heavily supported by the Palestinian public at the time? Who carried them out? And does he not see that Israelis' response to these attacks would be utter unwillingness of any rapprochement with Palestinians? Anyway. Those were my thoughts as I was reading, and on the whole I agree with the prism that Khalidi uses to view this conflict: It is at heart a settler conflict vs. native encounter, and Israel is mostly in the wrong, seeing as it has the upper hand in nearly every way. But the book proved to be a wholly minor addition to my understanding of the conflict — saying nothing new, sticking by the Palestinian narrative, while also calculatingly omitting events that could lead a Western audience to lose sympathy for the Palestinian cause.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paul Ataua

    A real jaw-dropper of a history that had me wanting to cancel my subscription to the human race. The only weakness of the book was the inclusion of so many personal and family stories that made it less rather than more powerful for me. It remains a very important but depressing read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nour

    If you’ve never read anything on Palestine, the history of the colonial conquest, and current developments, this is the book for you. Truly excellent, but no surprises there considering it’s Rashid Khalidi.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    This nonfiction accomplished what I hoped it would, which was give me a non-western history lesson on what has been taking place in this part of the world. This is a huge gap in my knowledge and I thought this was a good entry point although at times I was overwhelmed by the number of unfamiliar names and locations but that is more on me. I listened to the audio narration of this and if I had read it physically that name confusion would have been less prevalent. I am very interested in reading m This nonfiction accomplished what I hoped it would, which was give me a non-western history lesson on what has been taking place in this part of the world. This is a huge gap in my knowledge and I thought this was a good entry point although at times I was overwhelmed by the number of unfamiliar names and locations but that is more on me. I listened to the audio narration of this and if I had read it physically that name confusion would have been less prevalent. I am very interested in reading more works on the 20th century and the history of this region and other countries in North Africa and the Middle East and part of that is this nonfiction and how it opened my eyes to how little I do know about this regions history.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eli Kaufman

    This an extremely thorough and concise history of the ongoing colonisation of Palestine. I would highly recommend it to all readers, as it is simultaneously accessible to newcomers and enlightening for those more familiar with the subject. At first I was a bit skeptical of Khalidi's focus on his own family (one of the most important families of mandate era Palestine), thinking that this was going to be a navel-gazing and horn trumpeting history through the lens of his family ego. I was happily pr This an extremely thorough and concise history of the ongoing colonisation of Palestine. I would highly recommend it to all readers, as it is simultaneously accessible to newcomers and enlightening for those more familiar with the subject. At first I was a bit skeptical of Khalidi's focus on his own family (one of the most important families of mandate era Palestine), thinking that this was going to be a navel-gazing and horn trumpeting history through the lens of his family ego. I was happily proven wrong and fairly quickly. His use of his own family history only adds a dimension that is often missing from history books on this subject, especially when written by non-Palestinians and overly reliant on Israeli source material. His personal connection to the history is littered throughout the book, as he was a negotiator during the 1991 so-called Peace Process and was living in Beirut during the 1982 Israeli invasion . Regardless, he is never overly reliant on the personal to tell this story, as the book is replete with sources, both primary and secondary, and across the temporal spectrum. This leads me to another praise of this book: its bibliography. Not only does this book concisely unravel the complicated knot of history that is the last 100 years of Palestine, but it also leaves us with a library of books, articles and films to go to when the book is done and we are left wanting more depth, more nuance, and more understanding. We do not desire this because the book is lacking, but rather because this book sets the stage so well for the reader to go deeper. That is what is invaluable about this book. Overall, I was deeply impressed by Khalidi's ability to somehow tell the story of the ongoing colonisation of Palestine with nuance and depth in only 250 pages (though let's not forget the 50 pages of footnotes, this being my one criticism of the book - why not just make the main text a little longer?), in an accessible way that doesn't dumb down or oversimplify the complexity of the history, leaving both the new and seasoned with something to write home about.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eddie Clarke

    A good overview and introduction to the history of the Israeli/Palestinian question, from a Palestinian point of view. He regards the entire Zionist project as a colonial enterprise, fostered first by the British and then, post WWII, by the USA. The author is very critical of the various Palestinian organisations’ failures over the years. His conclusions are pretty depressing, although he feels that the USA’s hegemony over the region is slipping and this may create conditions for change and a pe A good overview and introduction to the history of the Israeli/Palestinian question, from a Palestinian point of view. He regards the entire Zionist project as a colonial enterprise, fostered first by the British and then, post WWII, by the USA. The author is very critical of the various Palestinian organisations’ failures over the years. His conclusions are pretty depressing, although he feels that the USA’s hegemony over the region is slipping and this may create conditions for change and a peaceful solution in the future.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Khizra

    At the start, it feels like you are reading pre-partition Pakistan's history when the British take control of Palestine and allow the zionist movement to start colonization of some areas. The difference is that there is a lack of political unity between Palestinian authorities over their cause/freedom struggle. I loved the way this book explained the Palestinian issue starting from the grassroots level. A must-read! At the start, it feels like you are reading pre-partition Pakistan's history when the British take control of Palestine and allow the zionist movement to start colonization of some areas. The difference is that there is a lack of political unity between Palestinian authorities over their cause/freedom struggle. I loved the way this book explained the Palestinian issue starting from the grassroots level. A must-read!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ali AbdulKarim

    An excellent account of the occupation of Palestine from a Palestinian perspective. The book gives an overview of the ideology and the events that led to the zionist occupation of Palestine and the subsequent ethnic cleansing that continues to this day. Professor Rashid Khalidi also adds a unique diplomatic perspective in this book, which serves as a background to the horrible atrocities committed by Israel during the "100 Years' War on Palestine" as he calls it. The book includes a critique of no An excellent account of the occupation of Palestine from a Palestinian perspective. The book gives an overview of the ideology and the events that led to the zionist occupation of Palestine and the subsequent ethnic cleansing that continues to this day. Professor Rashid Khalidi also adds a unique diplomatic perspective in this book, which serves as a background to the horrible atrocities committed by Israel during the "100 Years' War on Palestine" as he calls it. The book includes a critique of not only the policies of the UK and the US in supporting and arming the zionist apartheid regime, but also of the policies of the PLO and later on Hamas as the representative leadership of the Palestinian people.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Fatema

    A thorough, informative read about the colonial war against Palestine. It somehow read easily, despite the amount of content it relayed. I greatly appreciated the addition of personal opinions and experiences of Rashid Khalidi, it made the book more engaging and it felt like listening to Palestinians telling their story rather than a history book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Zainub Reads

    A history of the indigenous people of Palestine, who have for many years been colonized, deprived, and demonized. Their lands and homes continue to be stolen with impunity even in the present “supposedly” enlightened times.   This book talks about the Balfour Declaration, the beginning of colonization, the birth and growth of Zionism, the Nakhba, the role of the US, as well as the other Gulf countries (I had no idea of the very critical role Jordan has had in Palestinian history) in creating the p A history of the indigenous people of Palestine, who have for many years been colonized, deprived, and demonized. Their lands and homes continue to be stolen with impunity even in the present “supposedly” enlightened times.   This book talks about the Balfour Declaration, the beginning of colonization, the birth and growth of Zionism, the Nakhba, the role of the US, as well as the other Gulf countries (I had no idea of the very critical role Jordan has had in Palestinian history) in creating the present humanitarian crises that many people prefer to deliberately overlook.   A very comprehensive, readable, excellent factual book that has been written with immense composure and clarity, highly recommend reading it as it is more than just a book, it is in fact a journey of information!   “In the words of one scholar, “by virtue of Israel’s definition of itself as a Jewish state and the state’s exclusionary policies and laws, what was conferred on Palestinians was in effect second-class citizenship.” Most significantly, the martial regime under which the Palestinians lived granted the Israeli military near-unlimited authority to control the minutiae of their lives.”

  22. 4 out of 5

    Martijn

    Though one-sided by design, I thought this was a really fair and balanced story, written by an insider and critical of all parties involved, that helped me look at the conflict in the Middle East with fresh eyes.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Comprehensive, accessible, and clear. Even if you're already down with the cause, this provides a lot of context, and I appreciated the author's personal insights wherever they appeared. I wish I could've read this years ago. Comprehensive, accessible, and clear. Even if you're already down with the cause, this provides a lot of context, and I appreciated the author's personal insights wherever they appeared. I wish I could've read this years ago.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Blue

    4.5 stars The book recounts the past Hundred years of Palestinian history under colonialism and Zionism. How the world overlooks the people themselves or tends to speak over them. The breakdown of Palestinian identity as simply "Antisemitism" with Zionist Propaganda of "A land without a people, and a people without a land." How, for a hundred years, Palestinian cries went unheard. This book recounts history in a strict academic sense, only sticking to the politics on the regional and the world st 4.5 stars The book recounts the past Hundred years of Palestinian history under colonialism and Zionism. How the world overlooks the people themselves or tends to speak over them. The breakdown of Palestinian identity as simply "Antisemitism" with Zionist Propaganda of "A land without a people, and a people without a land." How, for a hundred years, Palestinian cries went unheard. This book recounts history in a strict academic sense, only sticking to the politics on the regional and the world stage, and as other reviewers have mentioned, prone to omission of countless conflicts*. We learn how the Palestinian identity has formed and persisted under Colonialism and Zionism. How "Israel" has suppressed Palestinian voices officially and through back channels. With uncontested backing of its Imperialist allies, Britannia and US of A. We get to see HOW the current conundrum came to be. I have often seen criticism that this book considers only the Palestinian narrative... Duh? It's a PALESTINIAN history book, what else were you expecting? The book does not shy away from criticizing the PLO and its ineptitude in diplomacy. It reminds the reader that no matter what their origin might have been, the truth is that there now exists two separate national identities linking itself to this same ancient land. Israelis however far fetched, linked themselves to the ancient kingdom of Judea. Omitting the fact that Jews ALREADY existed in Palestine pre-Zionism. And the Jewish artifacts recovered in Palestinian land does not solidify Israeli claim to the land. It simply uncovers Jewish history. On the other hand, Palestinians who have lived here for generations, Centuries if not millennia, are reluctant to perceive that even though Israelis have immigrated mostly from Europe, some have been here for a generation or two and have linked themselves to the land through their religious identity. It is false to say in this modern era, that Israeli Jews cannot create a national identity for themselves as have been done through other settler colonies as in Australia, US, Canada etc. It does not fail to stress that the main part of the conflict started through denying the Palestinians a national identity and political will, in the Balfour declaration and the following "peace negotiations". It concludes that the only sustainable way towards peace and prosperity in the region is through equality for all. "It is the issue of inequality that is most promising for expanding the understanding of the reality in Palestine. It is also the most important, since inequality was essential to the creation of a Jewish state in an overwhelmingly Arab land, and is vital to maintaining that state’s dominance. Inequality is so crucial not only because it is anathema to the egalitarian, democratic societies that the Zionist project has primarily relied on for its support, but because equality of rights is key to a just, lasting resolution of the entire problem." I do not give this book 5 stars because as somewhat familiar with and invested in this issue, the book somewhat sanitizes the gruesome history and reduces Israeli crimes against the indigenous Palestinian people into simple statistics. It reads, and probably is meant to be a history textbook. However, it is very informative and written in a simplistic style but does not talk down to the reader. A book definitely worth the read. Especially during this political climate.

  25. 5 out of 5

    kol

    If there’s a single book I would recommend for people who want to learn more about the occupation of Palestine, it would be this. So so so good.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shira Reiss

    This NY Times article review of the book says it all. You can read it and get the gist of the entire book: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/28/bo... I'm updating my review with some observations: Don’t you think his narrative is overwhelmingly one of Palestinian victimhood without any responsibility? I can have compassion for situations throughout history, but my hope is that a people would grow beyond being victims in a healthy manner; get the corrupt leaders who are stealing money from the people This NY Times article review of the book says it all. You can read it and get the gist of the entire book: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/28/bo... I'm updating my review with some observations: Don’t you think his narrative is overwhelmingly one of Palestinian victimhood without any responsibility? I can have compassion for situations throughout history, but my hope is that a people would grow beyond being victims in a healthy manner; get the corrupt leaders who are stealing money from the people out; take the billions of dollars that have been poured into the Palestinian government and create an infrastructure for a healthy state that can help the country to move into an independent country not dependent on all of the welfare dollars. I have more notes, but here are a few things that I noted. He creates a Palestinian Nationalism that was part of his personal family history, and projects his personal narrative as a representative of the Arab population in the first half of the 20th century who, in fact did not see themselves at that time as a distinctive people. On moral equivalence, His statistics count all Palestinians as victims even those who committed acts of terrorism and all Palestinians are refugees for perpetuity. He claims that the Palestinians are the only true indigenous people and that they shouldn’t accept Israel in any territorial dimension since the entire area is Palestinian Arab land. He dismisses the possibility of two states for two peoples as fiction. His goal is not 2 states for 2 people, but the end of the Jewish state. I see this as his rationalizing the eradication of the entire country. He claims the Arabs were never going to attack Israel in the six day war omitting clear evidence of Arab troop movement, removal of UN peacekeepers, and the closure of traffic to Israel via the Red Sea As a Jew, I found it unconscionable that he used classic antisemitic trope, “infestation” of Jews in the Trump administration and highlights “Jewish” neoconservatives for controlling US policy. He describes a dual loyalty When referring to former US ambassador Dennis Ross, whom he claims colluded with Netanyahu and works with the Israel lobby against American interests. If all Palestinians are refugees for perpetuity, would Palestinian Americans have a dual loyalty? I would hope not. I have more notes, but that is probably enough for now.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael Gerald

    I guess any book objective or sympathetic with Palestine is bound to leave a reader who knows right from wrong sad and angry. This is one such book. An important reference on Palestine and the original sin of the racist, apartheid Zionist entity on Palestine. It is a narrative that one rarely sees, reads, or hears from most mainstream media beholden to US and Zionist interests.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shane Longoria

    Could very well be considered a people’s history of Israeli occupation. A book that gives anyone with sympathies toward Palestine a foundation to confirm those tendencies. Required reading for Americans who are still unsure what to make of the issue of Israel and Palestine.

  29. 4 out of 5

    literaryelise

    An eye opening account of the last hundred years of Palestine and the displacement of the Palestinian people. Everyone should read this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tam

    Last year I was lucky enough to go on a short trip back home before the pandemic went global. As usual I got an Uber ride to the airport. The conversation with my Uber driver started with regards to how long I hadn't been home. "3 years, not too bad." "I haven't been back since the 90s." 30 years. "Where are you from?" "Palestine," then he added apologetically "right, we are the bad guys." I was stunned. "Don't say that. I know who the bully is. And I am sorry." I vaguely learned about Palestine- Last year I was lucky enough to go on a short trip back home before the pandemic went global. As usual I got an Uber ride to the airport. The conversation with my Uber driver started with regards to how long I hadn't been home. "3 years, not too bad." "I haven't been back since the 90s." 30 years. "Where are you from?" "Palestine," then he added apologetically "right, we are the bad guys." I was stunned. "Don't say that. I know who the bully is. And I am sorry." I vaguely learned about Palestine-Israel conflict in the 2000s when I was still in secondary school. While we were promised in textbooks that we are the generation to enjoy unprecedented period of peace, the constant news on bombing in the Middle East, the Gaza seemed ironic. And of course the invasion of Afghanistan. *** This book is a concise account on the history of Palestine's sufferings. It is not the easiest to read, as it is a historical writing that mainly focuses on political and military details that can be very dry at times. It is great (!?) that the history is not that distant such that professor Khalidi himself indirectly and directly experienced and was involved with multiple war efforts and was in touch with some notable people throughout the years. The book is by no means a complete account. I definitely want to read more in depth analysis in terms of social and economic aspects that Palestinians went through. But I think that such data is hard to come by. We may need to wait a few decades more. Nevertheless, I think it's important to first educate ourselves on the basics of political and military history of the region. The book is also hard to read because it is excruciatingly painful to watch the rape of Palestine, its slow descendance to hell, its identity and destiny constantly being forcefully written and controlled and twisted by others, its tenacity to manage to survive, albeit barely. Khalidi wrote with a calm and clear voice but I can feel the sadness and the horror. The last chapter is very well written, with more personal insights than the rather cool and relatively objective observations as in previous chapters. You can literally hear the disappointment of prof Khalidi's on Obama's regime, the hopes were crushed Although Obama had indicated that the Palestinian issue was a priority for his administration, his response to the wars on Gaza was a truer measure of his engagement. The first of them that took place on his watch began after his election but before he was inaugurated. At no point then or subsequently did the president seek to disturb the false narrative whereby what was underway in the Gaza Strip during these ferocious onslaughts was a righteous response to terrorist rocket fire aimed at Israeli civilians. At no point did his administration interrupt the flow of American weapons that were used to kill some three thousand Palestinian civilians and maim many more. Indeed, deliveries were accelerated when Israel deemed that necessary. At no point did Obama decisively confront Israel over its siege of the Gaza Strip. However, it was apparently the view of the president that breaking the stalemate in Palestine did not constitute enough of a vital strategic American interest for him to engage his prestige and power and political capital. Times and times again, we see this style of self interest serving of, not only US, but also many other countries, including Arab countries in the region. I cannot blame these practical politicians, those self serving monarchs and dictators who work under constraints. But it is very very hard for me, to be excited about Obama's autobiography, or any president's so to speak. It is impossible for me to not doubt the motivation behind the vocal criticism of China and Xinjiang case where the amount of evidence pales in comparison to Palestine's. Visions? Ideals? Humanity? The world we live in is in stark contrast with a pan-national world that I dreamt of while being younger. Self-interest, self-interest, based on some narrow weird contradictory idea of identity, faith, nationalism, or perhaps, money, hegemony. I was too naive, too young. And now perhaps too cynical. Professor Khalidi, more importantly, came to criticize both Israel and Palestine's sides in terms of their vision. For Israel, ironically for the nation of people being victims of discrimination, it also holds a "systemic ethnic discrimination" Imagining scholars looking back one hundred years from now, historian Zeev Sternhell asked, “When exactly did the Israelis understand that their cruelty towards the non-Jews in their grip in the Occupied Territories, their determination to break the Palestinians’ hopes for independence, or their refusal to offer asylum to African refugees began to undermine the moral legitimacy of their national existence?” Commenting on an early draft of the Jewish Nation-State law, Sternhell, whose area of expertise is European fascism, noted that the constitutional ideas behind the legislation are consonant with those of Charles Maurras, the French anti-Semite and neo-fascist of the 1930s, or of modern-day Polish and Hungarian nationalists and the “hardest-line European chauvinists.” However, he added, they are entirely at odds with the liberal ideas of the French and American revolutions. And at the same time, it is important to recognize that such a long time has passed by such that Israelis hold legitimate claim to call the land their nation too While it is true that Zionism has transmuted the Jewish religion and the historic peoplehood of the Jews into something quite different—a modern nationalism—this does not erase the fact that Israeli Jews today consider themselves a people with a sense of national belonging in Palestine, what they think of as the Land of Israel, no matter how this transmutation came about. Palestinians, too, today consider themselves a people with national links to what is indeed their ancestral homeland, for reasons that are as arbitrary and as conjunctural as those that led to Zionism, as arbitrary as any of the reasons that led to the emergence of scores of modern national movements. Such a conclusion about the constructed nature of all national entities, enraging to apostles of nationalism, is self-evident to those who have studied its genesis in myriad different circumstances. Afterall, this notion of nationalism: As the anthropologist Ernest Gellner put it, “Nations as a natural, God-given way of classifying men, as an inherent . . . political destiny, are a myth; nationalism, which sometimes takes pre-existing cultures and turns them into nations, sometimes invents them, and often obliterates pre-existing cultures: that is a reality.” And for more reasoning that you can read in depth in the book, Khalidi envisioned the only sustainable solution to Palestine-Israel problem is the mutual acceptance, the mutual understanding and tolerance. Clearly Professor Khalidi sees that probability as non zero. Very slim chance, but a possibility. And well, I am a pessimist.

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