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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting anecdotal memoirs
In 1923 the League of Nations placed Palestine, no longer part of the defeated Ottoman Empire, as a Mandate under British control. The Southern part would become a "national home for the Jewish People" while the Arabs were expected to live side by side with their Jewish neighbors in peace. Both groups were euphoric with the Mandate. In 1948, Palestine was divided into...
Published on December 26, 2011 by Harriet Klausner

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Perspectives & Observations
Author: Hadara Lazar
ISBN: 978-1-935633-28-0
Publishers: Atlas & Company

Hadara Lazar was born in Haifa and is the author of five novels, as well as non-fiction books that explore life in Israel and the British-Mandate Palestine. Her latest foray, Out of Palestine: The Making of Modern Israel was published by arrangement with the Institute for the...
Published on March 1, 2012 by Norm Goldman


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting anecdotal memoirs, December 26, 2011
This review is from: Out of Palestine: The Making of Modern Israel (Hardcover)
In 1923 the League of Nations placed Palestine, no longer part of the defeated Ottoman Empire, as a Mandate under British control. The Southern part would become a "national home for the Jewish People" while the Arabs were expected to live side by side with their Jewish neighbors in peace. Both groups were euphoric with the Mandate. In 1948, Palestine was divided into two adversarial nations. Over the next six plus decades, there have been several wars and throughout the ultimate Cold War.

For the past twenty-five years Israeli journalist Hadara Lazar has conducted a series of interviews of those involved when The British Mandate ended in 1948. Fuad Shehadeh is an Arab whose family moved from Jerusalem to Ramallah in 1949. His description of Jerusalem in the last years of the Mandate sets the tone of a stunning series of memoirs as he recalls an upbeat community until the 1948 War that displaced many Arabs. James Livingstone of the British Consul remembers how much changed in 1946 from his previous assignments in Jerusalem as social life was limited to the British community. Meir Dreszner grew up in mixed Haifa while his wife Miriam in mixed Jerusalem. Under the Mandate Meir felt like a foreigner in an Arab restaurant; while Miriam says Jerusalem was a city of separate neighborhoods.

There are many more interesting anecdotal memoirs that provide readers the foundation of what has become entrenched enemies. Readers will appreciate the fascinating look back as Hadara Lazar interviews and obtains the thoughts and memories of numerous Jewish, Arab, and British people who lived in Palestine just after WWII as the Mandate was ending and the Jewish state formed.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars M.Paul Friedberg, February 15, 2012
This review is from: Out of Palestine: The Making of Modern Israel (Hardcover)
I was given the book and as I state in my letter to Hadara I knew I was obligated to read it. This is an obligation that I am now thankful for. The book give the reader an insight that cannot be achieved by an historian. The range of attitudes and emotions that this tiny country evokes makes each interview a discovery. I am a fairly avid reader and this has been one of the most interesting and important books that I have read in the recent past--I highly recommend the book to anyone who would like to better understand why the situation in Israel may never be totally resolved.

Dear Hadara,
How do I tell you that your book is wonderful without sounding obligatory.
I started the 'gift' with a certain amount of apprehension and ended by having trouble putting it down. What I really appreciated was the delicate manner in which you are very present thought out and yet not at all intrusive. I looked forward to your insights and views almost more than those you interviewed.
It was written in a way that was both historically informative with
a literary style that really held my interest-- through out.
The book is a wonderful peep hole in the past that
created a new and different awareness of your country.
I want to thank you for including me as a bystander and
wish you all the success that this book and you deserve..

M.Paul Friedberg
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Perspectives & Observations, March 1, 2012
This review is from: Out of Palestine: The Making of Modern Israel (Hardcover)
Author: Hadara Lazar
ISBN: 978-1-935633-28-0
Publishers: Atlas & Company

Hadara Lazar was born in Haifa and is the author of five novels, as well as non-fiction books that explore life in Israel and the British-Mandate Palestine. Her latest foray, Out of Palestine: The Making of Modern Israel was published by arrangement with the Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature and translated by Marsh Pomerantz.

About twenty-five years ago, Lazar began interviewing witnesses and other participants to the events that brought about the 1948 Partition dividing Palestine into two separate hostile nations. As she succinctly sums it up, "The Jews and the Arabs had great dreams, but the carriers of those dreams, the British, woke up first." She further explains that it was a fragile coexistence in a land claimed by two people and yet it seemed that a military solution was not necessarily the only one. Her objective was to deal with this tumultuous period, which still exists today, in her own way and the culmination was Out of Palestine: The Making of Modern Israel "where Jews, Englishmen, and Arabs lived in a historic time and neither wanted to nor could escape its significance."

Her interviewees include Palestinians, Arabs and various political figures from England that played in one way or another a role at the time of the creation of the State of Israel. As she points out in her introduction, she wished to know what people remembered about what had happened at the time the British Mandate was coming to an end and "to find some connections between their words and the myth of those days, to describe how their memories changed with time." These actors would include the British who left, the Arabs who fled or stayed, and the Jews, whom she states she knew first hand, as a native eager to hear their memories. Lazar informs her readers that she had no intention of dealing with this era in any methodical manner. The chapters are constructed according to what ever interested her where some are built around a certain subject or a certain meeting, while others pertaining to an earlier period or a later one. All of these chapters were dictated by the subject, the cast of characters, and the nature of the quest. It should be mentioned, that everything in the book is a direct quote. Lazar states that although she took the liberty of omitting some quotes, she never added to their words. The important element was to find out what people remembered when they confided in her and this the book is one of testimony- a work of remembrance and not history.

Out of Palestine: The Making of Modern Israel is an ambitious endeavor containing testimonies that are replete with some fascinating perspectives and observations tendered by a cross-section of individuals where some are more accurate than others, but nonetheless important in helping us to make some sense of a decisive period in the history of the Middle East. Lazar has succeeded in weaving together an oral history of an era marked by dozens of contentious issues that still exist today.

Among the dozens of participants we meet are Shimon Avidan who headed the German squad of the Palmach and later commanded the Givati Brigade during the War of Independence and concluded his military service as head of military operations,. Khalil Daoudi, who was born in Jerusalem in the family's ancestral home on Mount Zion and who worked for the Mandatory Administration in Jerusalem. Daoudi left his home in 1948 and moved to Brighton, England. Sir Henry Gurney who served as chief secretary of the Mandatory Administration from 1946 until May 14, 1948. Gurney was later murdered in Malaysia in the early Fifties.

One of the shortcomings of this book is that although most of the information contained is engrossing, it is, however, unfortunately capriciously organized. In many instances there was an absence of any kind of separation as to whom Lazar was interviewing causing confusion that forced me to re-read sections to determine if she had moved onto her next participant. Nonetheless, as the promotional material states and I agree, it is an important book for anyone wishing to have a better understanding of the unresolved conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing for those knowledgable of the Mandate Period., November 24, 2012
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This review is from: Out of Palestine: The Making of Modern Israel (Hardcover)
I was disappointed by this book. The author interviewed the real movers
and shakers of the British Mandate and yet refused to ask the hard questions

These v famous people - English, Arab, Jewish
- had given her access.
And then. - out of courtesy or cowardice?
All she elicited were bland and self serving
comments and evasions from them. Apparently
She didn't even try to develop a relationship
Or pursue more than a polite conversation.
The interviewees had priceless memories and
and unique insights into the roots and causes
of the whole Israeli / Palestinian conflict.

Sadly only tantalizing hints of all that are served up
To the frustrated reader
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Making Of Modern "Palestine", April 18, 2013
This review is from: Out of Palestine: The Making of Modern Israel (Hardcover)
It is so-called "palestine" that is modern, the modern European name for Israel. The palestine spoken of today was invented by European powers after collapse of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, when the British named southern Syria--Israel "palestine" and invented the artificial name "palestiniani" to call all inhabitants, including Jews, of the British Mandate.

Before World War I, there was no such palestine.

Israel, on the other hand, dates back 3000 years. The Koran references Israel over and over, while "palestine" appears not even once. An entire chapter of the Koran, surah 17, is entitled, "Bani Isra'il" Children of Israel.

Israel appears 2500 times in the Bible, while palestine appears not once. Jesus is called the King of Israel in the New Testament

Going back further in time, the archaeological record verifies the existence of Israel over 3000 years ago.

Israel is real in ancient history. The invention of palestine, not so much
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Out of Palestine: The Making of Modern Israel
Out of Palestine: The Making of Modern Israel by Hadara Lazar (Hardcover - December 29, 2011)
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