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The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 (Cambridge Middle East Library) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Reprint. edition (February 24, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521338891
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521338899
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'This excellent myth-debunking book ... deserves a wide readership among those who want to understand what has happened in Israel over the last 40 years rather than repeat discredited propaganda which serves only to prolong the war.' The Spectator

'This latest addition to the Cambridge Middle East Library is a book of exceptional importance. It will be required reading for anyone who professes a serious interest in the Arab-Israeli conflict over Palestine. Its conclusions, which invalidate many of the assumptions commonly made about the origins of the conflict, need to be taken into account in any attempt to devise a solution to it.' Arab Affairs

'... the most comprehensive and detailed study yet published on the Palestinian refugees.' The Economist

Book Description

This book is the first full-length study of the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem. Based on recently declassified Israeli, British and American state and party political papers and on hitherto untapped private papers, it traces the stages of the 1947-9 exodus against the backdrop of the first Arab-Israeli war and analyses the varied causes of the flight.

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Customer Reviews

This book by Israeli author Morris is probably the most documented work one can read.
stefano sarfati nahmad
During the same time no concern has been expressed so distinctly by the UN for the plight of the Jewish refugees who fled severe persecution in arab lands.
Roman Nies
This book is a MUST read for anyone who wants to understand the roots of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Michelle Stowell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 73 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 15, 1997
Format: Paperback
The issue of how the great bulk of the indigenous Arab Palestinians who constitued a majority of the people and landholders of the territory that became Israel after the 1948-1949 war is a topic of heated controversy. Israeli author Benny Morris weighs in with the revisionist perspective. (This is not to be confused with "Holocaust revisionism" a bogus line of thinking attempting to claim the Nazis did not commit genocide against Jews). The revisionist approach holds that contrary to official and popular opinion fostered by Israel, the Arab Palestinians did not evacuate in response to a generalized call by Arab leaders to leave in order to make way for Arab armies but that the Arabs fled due to a variety of factors, a great deal of which consisted of military pressure and terrorist acts by Jewish forces and actual organized forced expulsion by pre-state and post-state Israeli armed forces. Morris, using internal Israeli archives and a broad search of other sources, attempts to go village by village to analyze the causes of Arab flight or departure. It is a grand work of bravery and integrity by an Israeli author. Although the "revisionist" view has been close to standard in academic and intelligence circles (as well as of course, Arab, left-wing, and anti-Zionist polemic) for some time; it is only now penetrating popular perception in Israel and the United States. Morris also bravely looks at and exposes early Zionist leaders' expressed hopes and plans for the eventual "transfer" of the Arab population.Read more ›
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Stowell on January 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
Benny Morris' book is a particularly important and influential work because he dispells the myth that Palestinians 'left' their homes voluntarily. Through his research of declassified information from the the 1948 War Morris proves that Palestinians were forced out of their home and that is how they became refugees. Morris' work posed such a serious threat to the myth of Israel's existence that when it first came out he was black listed. Now, however, after 10+ years many Israelis accept the truth of his findings and his work is being taught in Israeli universities. This book is a MUST read for anyone who wants to understand the roots of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
I first read this book in college obout 10 years ago, and I remember all the hoopla surrounding its publication. After re-reading it recently, I'm still amazed by how good a book this really is.
Morris does three things well, and without rancor or polemetization: 1)he explains how the Palestinans fled/left/were driven out of Palestine in 1947-1949 2)he explains how well the Israelis had prepared for war, compared to the Arabs, and 3)he de-mythologizes David Ben-Gurion and the early Isreali leadership like American scholars have de-mythologized Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, etc.
What is especially great about is that it describes the Palestinian refugee problem from a rational, historical and unbiased standpoint. The Jews are not devils, nor are they angels. Ditto with the Arabs, Nobody is sugarcoated.
Some on both sides of the issue may disagree with some of the details of this book. I really don't know enough to decide either way. But I do sense that Morris has stumbled on the truth, or what can reasonably pass for the truth, about this complicated and terribly relevant topic.
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful By stefano sarfati nahmad on July 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
As a diaspora jew with realtives and links in Israel, i am concerned with the problem of the Palestinian refugees. This book by Israeli author Morris is probably the most documented work one can read.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
In this book Benny Morris's meticulous research of declassified documents from Israeli, British, and American archives provides a detailed, accurate narrative of how Israeli conquest created the Palestinian refugee problem (revealing the specific causes that led Palestinian Arabs from each village, town, and city to flee). The book also demonstrates that the Peel Commission suggestions provided Ben-Gurion with the rationale he needed to favor a "transfer" policy to solve what Zionist leaders then described as "the Arab problem." While a few Israeli historians (Teveth, Karsch) have lashed out at Morris's works, anyone who gives this book an honest read will recognize that this is an important contribution to Israeli historiography. I also suggest students of the Israeli-Arab conflict study Avi Shlaim's "Collusion Across the Jordan," Uri Milstein's (recently translated from Hebrew into English) History of Israel's War of Independence (volumes 1-3), Tom Segev's "1949: The New Israelis," and Itamar Rabinovich's "The Road Not Traveled." These and other new historians debunk many myths disseminated for years by biased Labor Zionist historians who participated in the events themselves.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "djeheuty" on June 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
Mr. Morris lays out the particulars of a very intricate and sensitive issue with adeptness rarely seen. This book doesn't puport to be the final word but a factual statement of the matter at hand.
A must read for those wishing to learn more about the Palestinian and Israeli issues that are as relevant today as when this book was written.
If not more so!
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