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Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide [Paperback]

Ben White
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 4, 2009 0745328873 978-0745328874
Indispensable for the Palestinian solidarity movement, Israeli Apartheid distills the work of academics and experts into a highly readable introduction. This is the book to read if you want to understand the root of the conflict and how apartheid applies to the situation in Palestine. Ben White begins by succinctly explaining the origins of Zionist theory and colonisation and details the treatment of Palestinians during the creation of Israel in 1948 then proceeds to examine current examples of Israeli apartheid. Packed with absorbing content, the book is rooted in the author's extensive on-the-ground experience in the region. It also includes short testimonies by Palestinians who describe how Israeli apartheid affects their daily lives.

Editorial Reviews


"This book provides one of the best introductions to the Israel/Palestine conflict. It reveals what mainstream media in the West seeks to conceal from the public: that Israel has an apartheid regime which has been obsessed with demographic racism and ethnic cleansing for six decades. The book provides an indispensable context for understanding the origins and consequences of the conflict. It also makes by far the most compelling case for peace with justice-not apartheid." --Nur Masalha, Reader in Religion and Politics, St. Mary's University College (UK), and author of The Bible and Zionism (2007)

About the Author

Ben White is a freelance journalist and writer specializing in Palestine/Israel. He also writes on the broader Middle East, Islam and Christianity, and the 'war on terror.' Ben has been to Palestine/Israel many times since 2003 and has a BA in English Literature from Cambridge University.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (August 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745328873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745328874
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,060,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly candid April 8, 2010
"Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide," by the independent British journalist, Ben White, is an excellent introduction to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but it also is a useful book for anyone who studies the issue. In less than a hundred and fifty pages, White definitively answers any question about Israel being an apartheid state, concisely summarizes the history, accurately describes the current deplorable situation, and offers some strategies and resources for moving forward. He has managed to cull from dozens of resources the most salient facts necessary to understand the issue, while the book's frequent sidebars provide personal stories of Palestinians, in their own words.

"Israeli Apartheid" begins with a discussion of the definition of apartheid, and how it applies to Israel. Part I provides a concise 30-page history of Israel and how the apartheid situation was created. The writings of Zionist leaders show that the expulsion of Arabs was always a part of the Zionist plan to create a Jewish state in a land where the indigenous people were not Jewish. Part II illustrates the current situation in Israel and in the Occupied Territories; the section about discrimination within Israel is particularly important because the topic is so rarely discussed. The final section provides a look at some organizations that are combating apartheid, such as the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and strategies that people and organizations are using to nonviolently oppose Israel's violations of basic human rights.

Ben White abstains from the usual euphemistic language in discussing Israel's actions. What Jimmy Carter termed Israel's "confiscation of land," White calls "land theft.
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33 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide by Ben White October 18, 2009
By Rocky
Great book.Much insight into the truth of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, which has been systematically hidden from mainstream media.
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31 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide October 17, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ben White's little/big book is reliable and powerful. The Palestinian 's point of view changed my perception of all history. Flowing. Easy to read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! April 10, 2014
By Justice
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for anyone who wants to know the truth! If all you watch is FOX news, then you are in for a surprise!
This book exposes the biased media outlet, especially FOX news and the BBC.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ben White does an exemplary job of educating his reader of the facts of the Israel/Palestine situation. The facts are directly put, efficiently supported and accurately cited. It doesn't matter whether one is a Zionist or not when reading this book. The facts speak for themselves. No amount of hasbara spin is going to change that. Ben and his writings are often the target of Zionist propagandists who would like the world to go on believing whatever the Israeli government would have them believe. But it takes a book like this to bring the truth to the table so that all who read it, can make up their own minds about the Israeli occupation and the oppression of the people of Palestine. To deny Ben's facts is to deny the truth.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Primer October 4, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is wonderfully concise. It covers all the reasons for the viewpoint discussed (Israel as Apartheid State) without overburdening you with details, but still touching on every major aspect of the Israeli Apartheid argument in depth. Anyone who wants to understand Israel as an apartheid state should read this book first. Though a larger book would typically present both sides, a beginner's books should not. The other side of the argument (Israel as a state defending itself) is not discussed in depth, and I would not expect it to be in a book which serves as a beginner's guide. This book is excellent for being concise and opening your eyes to more directions for exploring this viewpoint, should you desire to delve further. If you want to understand the perspective of Israel as an apartheid state, get this book first! It's fact-filled and intelligent; an absolute page turner.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful introduction to the Palestine/Israel conflict October 17, 2011
Journalist Ben White has written a very useful introduction to the Israel/Palestine dispute. He first looks at a definition of apartheid under international law and notes some points of comparison with apartheid South Africa.

In Part 1 he explores how the Zionist settlement in Palestine developed, how the Zionist leaders were clear about their intention to expel the indigenous Palestinians (Ben Gurion wrote in 1937, "We must expel Arabs and take their place") and how this was achieved in the Naqba of 1948. He examines the notions of `a land without a people' and looks at the `transfer' (the Zionists' euphemism for ethnic cleansing) - the expulsions of 700,000 Palestinians from their homes, achieved through massacres like Deir Yassin.

Part 2 shows how Israeli apartheid has been maintained for the last 60 years, legally and practically, and what this has meant for the day to day lives of Palestinians. Israel is a state for only some of its citizens: only its Jewish citizens are nationals. By Israel's Basic Law, it is `the state of the Jewish people'.

Its illegal occupation of Palestine entails land theft, colonisation, ethnic separation, discrimination (Chaim Weizmann, Israel's first President, wrote, "There is a fundamental difference in quality between Jew and native"), illegal settlements, separate `bypass roads', checkpoints, the illegal Separation Wall, detention, torture, home demolitions, military brutality, the bantustisation of Palestine, and the killing of children (200 in the first Intifada, 545 in the second). White concludes, "Perhaps the core of Israeli apartheid as it affects the country's Palestinian citizens is the `exclusionary land regime', a reflection of the historic objective of political Zionism: the land of Palestine without the Palestinians."

In Part 3, he looks briefly at Palestinian and international resistance to Israeli apartheid. Finally, he answers some frequently asked questions.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Just not accurate
This book just seemed so one-sided and biased that it was hard to take seriously. I would prefer to read a more accurate description of what has happened, what is happening. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Attempt at privacy
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent brief summary of a humanitarian crisis
White has done a great job summarizing and incredibly complex issue in just over 120 pages. I was admittedly worried when, on the first page he refers to exposing "the truth... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Avid Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars clear, factual and well argued
I would very much recommend this book to anyone interested in gaining a clear-sighted perspective on the nature of the current Israeli state from an impartial perspective. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Adam A. Waterhouse
1.0 out of 5 stars Makes a great read. If you're a Nazi and want to call Israelis Nazis,...
This comparison betrays an acute ignorance -- both of the meaning of the word "apartheid" and of the nature of the State of Israel. Read more
Published on January 23, 2012 by Arzon
1.0 out of 5 stars Biased Report
I understand that both sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict have done some deplorable things. But I have never read such a biased piece of journalism. Read more
Published on December 10, 2011 by adlitchman
3.0 out of 5 stars Hitler run his apartheid only 12 years - Izrael already 3rd...
60 years from WWII and still many unanswered questions remain. How would world look if Hitler's Germany would win? Germany most philosophical nation of 19 century. Read more
Published on July 13, 2010 by Z. Hanzlik
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