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Palestinian Identity [Paperback]

by Rashid Khalidi
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 29, 1997 0231105150 978-0231105156

Khalidi critically assesses the narratives that make up Palestinian history and identity and examines the ways in which the Palestinian national consciousness has come full circle.

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Noted Palestinian historian Khalidi presents the most credible argument to date in English for the existence of an amorphous Palestinian territory with an identifiable population existing before the emergence of political Zionism. The author's primary purpose is to establish the origins of a Palestinian national consciousness, which he does superbly, even with the obvious animus toward Israel and Zionism. Khalidi's research was greatly enhanced by his access to the family library in Jerusalem, bringing to light certain documentation for the first time. His historiographic method is path-breaking, including coverage of nonelite elements of Palestinian society involved in the development of a nationalistic sentiment. Essential reading along with Muhammad Muslih's The Origins of Palestinian Nationalism (Columbia Univ., 1990), this is highly recommended for specialists and general readers alike.?Sanford R. Silverburg, Catawba Coll., Salisbury, N.C.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

An impressively thoughtful, layered, and well documented study of key aspects of the evolution of modern Palestinian nationalism. Those expecting either a comprehensive history of the modern Palestinian movement or a polemic against Zionism and Israel should look elsewhere. Khalidi, who teaches history and directs the Center for International Studies at the University of Chicago, and who was a member of the Palestinian delegation to the Mideast peace negotiations, focuses almost entirely on the late Ottoman and early Mandate period (1880s through 1920s). He sees Palestinian nationalism emerging far earlier than is generally thought--in the preWW I period, when absentee landlords in Beirut and elsewhere sold large tracts of Palestinian land to the Jewish Colonization Association. Yet while modern Palestinian history is inextricably intertwined with that of Zionism, Khalidi focuses as much on other constituents of modern Palestinian identity, which include ``patriotic feelings, local loyalties, Arabism, religious sentiments, [and] higher levels of education and literacy.'' He demonstrates how the long-term influence of modernization, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and concomitant European incursion in the preWW I era, followed by the betrayal of promises made by both the British and French, contributed as much to Palestinian nationalism as the 1917 Balfour Declaration and Zionist immigration. The only flaw here is that Khalidi races through the last 70 years of the development of Palestinian identity. Even here, however, he offers a fascinating analysis of why Palestinian nationalism seemingly became ``submerged'' after the first Arab- Israeli War (194749) and until the PLO's founding in 1964. At a time when the end of the hundred years' war between Zionism/Israel and the Palestinians appears on the horizon, this illuminating study will help readers gain a sophisticated understanding of how the Palestinians came to be who they are. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (March 29, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231105150
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231105156
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,216,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rashid Khalidi is the author of Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East (Beacon Press, 2013) and six other books about the Middle East--Sowing Crisis, The Iron Cage, Resurrecting Empire, Origins of Arab Nationalism, Under Siege, and the award-winning Palestinian Identity. He is the Edward Said Chair in Arab Studies at Columbia University and editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies. He has written more than eighty articles on Middle Eastern history and politics, including pieces in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and many journals. Professor Khalidi has received fellowships and grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the American Research Center in Egypt, and the Rockefeller Foundation; he was also the recipient of a Fulbright research award. Professor Khalidi has been a regular guest on numerous radio and TV shows, including All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, Morning Edition, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and Nightline.

Photo Credit: Alex Levac, 2011.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Achieves its goal eloquently March 24, 2001
Khalidi's goal is to make a case for Palestinian Nationalism's existence as not necessarily presuppossing the existence of Zionism; therefore, he places the locus of its origin before the *nakba* of 1948. To be specific, Khalidi situates the crucial years during the late and post-Ottoman period in Palestine. The author is not a primordialist, but rather, he is a constructivist. Taking nationalism as peculiar phenomenon to modernity, it locates him in a precarious position in which to create room for his argument, for he insists that Palestinian identity can be seen as a process which could have potentially evolved w/o Zionism as its interlocutor (though, of course, it did not). His arguments and presentation are masterful.
Recommended for anyone who studys the area and/or conflict, essential read.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seeing Beyond the Terrorist: Palestinians Exposed October 29, 2008
As an American Jew who spent a decade living in Israel and loathing "the Arabs" - this book has done more for my own personal transformation of "understanding the other" than any other experience. Khalidi is meticulous, yet dispassionate in his gathering of primary sources in which he documents the every day details of Palestinian life, particularly in the periods of Ottoman Empire rule and the British Mandate (before the founding of Israel). REGARDLESS of your views on "the conflict" this book is essential reading in exposing the HUMANITY of Palestine and Palestinians to the West. I found it particularly refreshing that unlike some researchers, Mr. Khalidi does not lament the tragedy of the Palestinian as solely a "travesty perpetrated by the Zionists". Rather, he takes to task his own people calling them on the failures that have perpetuated their misery, and the complicity of neighboring Arab states as well in the complex, sad, and often shadowy events that have befallen the Palestinian people.
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18 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book November 1, 1999
By A Customer
Palestinian identity is indeed an outstanding book.Rashid Khalidi was always able to bring facts into existence.I highly recommend reading this book of great contribution to all those who wish to be enlightened about the history of the palestinian identity.
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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great work with real facts January 3, 2007
By Kaleem
Just cause some few people lived somewhere thousands of years ago doesnt justify displacing, killing, humiliating millions and depriving them of basic human rights. Israel always use the same old - jews lived here before so its ok for us to displace millions of Palestinians, create a entirely new country that never existed, destroy a country that existed for several years. Arab jews lived in Israel so they have rights to live there but just because you are jewish and can be from Europe or somewhere else doesnt mean you need to live there. Why not form separate countries for Buddhists also and also for athiests cause we are tired of living with other people of other religions. And why not displace millions more and make them refugees to create new countries. We talk about secularism and democracy but then form nations on pure basis of religion. How much sense does that make. I guess at least now Israeli government should recognize the Palestinians as human beings and not animals. All the root cause of problems in the middle east for which we all pay in one form or another no matter where you live would be gone by this kind act. Allow the poor palestinians to live with peace and help rebuild Lebanon which was destroyed by the poor Israelie who were trying to get back their kidnapped soldiers. By the way anyone ever read whatever happened to the kidnapped soldiers apparently for whom Israel bombed everything in Lebanon even little children. Where did they go? What was the reason for that crazy war and death of thousands of civilians. This book just shows the facts but forget the facts and just see the current most recent history.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One has to admire such Deep Digging BUT October 6, 2012
The Fact is the Arabs themselves did not have any such consciousness save for a Few intellectuals.
So that even after Arabs lost the 1948 War and had possession of the West Bank, Jordan ANNEXED it.
Only ceding it to 'Palestinians' after they lost it.

post-1967 War Resolution 242 also doesn't even mention 'Palestinians' but the only the vague 'refugees' of Both sides.
(which is why They Rejected it, not accepting until pressured in the run-up to Oslo)

People's who Are people's don't need to search for crumbs, they know it.
Jews, Tibetans, Japanese, and Ironically Arab-oppressed Kurds, etc, have Real and long history, (and Ethnicity, Language, etc) not as Palestinians, an anti-history. (reaction to Israel)

"Palestinians" [are an] Arab people no one heard of before 1967 before Israeli governments certified this piece of propaganda... As has been noted many times before, prior to 1948, that is before Jews had begun to call themselves Israelis, the ONLY persons known as "Palestinians" were Jews, with the Arabs much preferrring to identify themselves as part of the great Arab nation.
- David Basch

"...Palestine does not belong to the "Palestinians" and never did. They did not even call themselves Palestinians until the middle 1960s. Before that, the word "Palestinian" meant "Jewish," while the local Arabs called themselves simply "Arabs."
The creation of the PLO by Gamal Abdul Nasser in 1964 was a brilliant ploy to distort the parameters of the dispute, largely for propaganda purposes.
It was inconvenient to have a conflict between 20-odd Arab states with an area 530 times greater than Israel, a population more than 30 times greater than Israel's and enormously richer natural resources.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally the truth has been told
For anyone who is interested in knowing the truth behind Palestine, this is what the media wont tell you. One of the best books out, and well known across the globe.
Published 2 months ago by Karkat
1.0 out of 5 stars fiction
Rashid's work is an example of jihad of Mohammed said, "War is Deceit", and this is the basis for arab narrative. Read more
Published 8 months ago by austin
1.0 out of 5 stars Fabricated History
Maybe, Rashid Khalidi can explain the following: "Palestine" is an English name invented by 19th century European Christians based on the Latin name "palaestina" the Romans renamed... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kitchen Magician
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent book based on HISTORY, not religious folklore
That Palestinians do not have a "glorious" or "traditional" history is irrelevant.

And I use the word "history" with good reason; history must be based on fact or it... Read more
Published on June 20, 2010 by Constitutional Lawyer
1.0 out of 5 stars What history means to a Palestinian
This book provides one the false paradigms and loony historical perceptions required if one is to conjure up a nationalism out of thin air. Read more
Published on March 9, 2009 by Ben Uziel
1.0 out of 5 stars Fake
For many years, Middle East departments of American universities including Columbia have provided intentionally fake and fraudulent education on Middle East problem and history to... Read more
Published on February 21, 2005 by Mark Bernadiner
5.0 out of 5 stars Seth Frantzman -- didn't read it
I'm pretty sure Seth Frantzman didn't read Khalidi's book. It doesn't even begin to approach any of the claims he makes in his "review. Read more
Published on December 12, 2004 by LekhLekha
1.0 out of 5 stars Propaganda and a lousy thesis
If my eleventh grade son had written this book, I would have given it a D-.

When Rashid Khalidi write it, it gets a triple F. Read more
Published on November 15, 2004 by Eric Kent
5.0 out of 5 stars The creation of Palestinians
The Palestinian Identity was created by the resistance to Israel. This is the most interesting revelation that comes from this study. Read more
Published on May 24, 2004 by Seth J. Frantzman
2.0 out of 5 stars Slanted History
Rashid Khalidi's book Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness attempts to surmise the modern history of Palestinian identity. Read more
Published on September 10, 2003 by Dustin Stein
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