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Battleground: Fact & Fantasy in Palestine Paperback – September 1, 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Samuel Katz is a lifelong activist in the cause of Jewish national rebirth and was a member of the first Parliament of Israel. He was an adviser to Prime Minister Menachim Begin and has also served as a columnist for the Israeli newspapers Ma'ariv and Jerusalem Post. His previous books include Days of Fire, The Hollow Peace, and Battletruth. He lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Productions Ltd; Revised Edition edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0929093135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0929093130
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #522,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Many books have been written about the history of israel and the conflict in the Middle East. Everyone of those authors had an agenda, and Samuel Katz has one, too. His, seems to be: "I'll give you the key to research this issue for yourself, to find out the truth and to be amazed at how distorted the common understainding of this (Israel-Arab) conflict, really is."
In fact, you will find that Mr. Katz provides aboundant links to documents, interviews, witnesses and other articles. The great majority of the evidence Mr. Katz is using, is of Arab provenience. Most importantly, he gives you the means, through detailed documenting of the sources, to check them out for yourself. This is very important, because this conflict's facts have been grossly and tendentiously manipulated. At first, of course, the reader might experience some strange mixture of disbelief and anxiety. This should not last too long, though, depending on your personal education and experience. For me, it was quite acceptable, knowing how the events that lead to the annexion of the Finnish Karelia by Russia, were fabricated, and accepted by the UN because, well, Finland was small and Russia so big and powerful.
History is, perhaps, written by the more powerful but even the mightiest of the powers can't completely erase all traces of truth. This book talks about the conflict in Palestine by giving the reader the opportunity to find those traces and to be the judge. It's also a very easy to read, enjoyable and immersive reading. Of course, checking the sources is a more laboriious but also more rewarding task which I personally urge every reader to undertake, to whatever extent he/she might be comfortable with. A must-have for everybody who wants to be educated on an important aspect of modern history, both scholar and layman.
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Format: Paperback
Like the work of Arieh Avneri, Howard Sachar, Connor Cruise O'Brien, Efraim Karsh and Martin Kramer, Battleground is a magnificent piece of reporting on Middle East history, whose most salient facts revisionists have unfortunately papered over during the 29 years since it was first published.

This book recounts the beginnings of a new 55-year Arab jihad war against the Jewish state. Katz elucidates critical parts of the historical puzzle, including this centerpiece: In 1919, less than two years after the Balfour Declaration, Emir Faisal of Syria and Iraq--who along with his father the Sharif Hussein of Mecca were then the only recognized Arab leaders in the world--declared the plan for a Jewish national homeland in all of Palestine as "moderate and proper." (Of course, it was and remains merely an extension of the jihad initiated when the Jewish people rejected Mohammed's claim to be a prophet.)

The book shows that by international vote of the League of Nations at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, the world community adopted a plan to establish a Jewish National Home in Palestine--which included all of current day Israel and Transjordan.

One may here read that history, and the treaties between Chaim Weizmann and the Emir Faisal of Iraq, as well as letters supporting this plan by both he and his father, Sharif of Mecca.

For the record, this book cites a great deal of primary source material from Arab leaders themselves. Much of it, furthermore, contradicts current-day Arab sentiments and claims. As one Arab League leader admitted, for example, "everyone knows, Palestine does not exist.
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Format: Paperback
I think it's interesting to read history books by supporters and opponents of Israel. The ones by Israel's foes generally contain a surprising amount of misinformation. And that may be why books such as this one do not. Katz finds it easiest to support Israel by refuting antizionist lies, and he does so by telling the truth.

Katz traces the origins of the Arab war against Israel. That means supplying background material on the Jews of the Levant prior to modern Zionism. That helps us all realize that Jews had an important connection to and presence in the Levant during the many centuries between the defeats by the Romans and World War One. And it makes it clear that Jerusalem was not an Arab city in the latter quarter of the nineteenth century but virtually the only Asian city with a Jewish majority.

The book exposes many antizionist fabrications about the history of the region. Sometimes, antizionists tell us that Jerusalem is a holy city for the Arabs. But the author shows us that Jerusalem has been important to the Arabs only recently, when the Jews have ruled it. It is important now, because it is the Jewish capital, and because it would give the Arabs more esteem were they to deny the Jews their own capital city.

The author also goes into some detail about the role of Great Britain in the history of the region from the end of World War One until Israeli independence. He mentions the revelations of Richard Crossman about the intentions of Britain's foreign minister, Ernest Bevin, to destroy the Jews of the region rather than act as an honest broker between the Jews and Arabs. And Katz shows how Britain acted as an active participant in the confrontation, with the explicit purpose of preventing the establishment of a Jewish state by force.
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