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Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict Paperback – August 17, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-1859843390 ISBN-10: 1859843395 Edition: 2nd

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Paperback, August 17, 2001
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; 2nd edition (August 17, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859843395
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859843390
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,530,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“... this thoroughly documented book is guaranteed to stimulate and provoke. It will be required reading in the continuing war of the historians.”—William Quandt, Foreign Affairs

“... the most revealing study of the historical background of the conflict and the current peace agreement.”—Noam Chomsky, Guardian Weekly

“... a comprehensive critique of the Zionist premises of Israeli historical writing ... new interpretations of the origins of the 1967 and 1973 Arab–Israel wars ...”—Middle East Report

“... a thought-provoking work which calls into question many accepted ‘truths’ associated with the Israel–Palestine conflict.”—Middle East Journal

“Here is a book not to be missed.”—Le Monde Diplomatique

“... both an impressive analysis of Zionist ideology and a searing but scholarly attack on Israel’s treatment of the Arab’s since 1948.”—Lord Ian Gilmour, London Review of Books

“... hard-hitting and iconoclastic, but with ... arguments securely buttressed by thorough and comprehensive research.”—Middle East International

“... well-documented, scholarly ... a valuable addition to any collection on the Israel–Palestine conflict.”—The Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine

“... will challenge the most cherished beliefs of Israel’s supporters ...”—The Royal Institute of International Affairs

“... one of the best and boldest critical works on the Israel–Palestine conflict.”—Millennium (Journal of International Studies)

About the Author

Norman G. Finkelstein is the author of A Nation on Trial (with Ruth Bettina Birn), named a notable book for 1998 by the New York Times Book Review, and Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

458 of 545 people found the following review helpful By "harrifingers" on April 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
Norman Finkelstein is a brave man who has received a lot of flak for writing this book. One response that authors who criticise Israel always have to contend with is the accusation that they are motivated by anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism. Jewish authors (Finkelstein is the son of Holocaust survivors)are additionally accused of being 'self hating' Jews. It's almost as if, in the eyes of Israel's unquestioning supporters, there can be no legitimate reason to criticise anything that Israel does. Maybe Israel, unlike any other country which has ever existed on Earth, is a perfect society which is completely above criticism - or is it?
The aim of this brilliant book is to ask questions about the view of Israel's history that Zionists would like the rest of us to believe. Many aspects of this history are hotly disputed so it's a perfectly legitimate area of study. Reading the book will probably challenge your preconceptions of the Arab-Israeli conflict and will make some people feel distinctly uncomfortable. But like nasty tasting medicine that ultimately does you good, it's essential reading for anyone who really wants to understand what's going on in that tragic part of the world. And the fact that all Finkelstein's opponents can do to counter his arguments is come out with the same old knee-jerk reactions says it all. Buy it!
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119 of 143 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
This work is very important for people to read as it provides a worthwhile alternative view to Israeli history.
I can't determine from my own research whether the author is totally right or wrong in his thesis, but the one thing that I can say is that like all history, it is important to hear all sides of a story.
Anyone who believes (as portrayed in the mainstream media) that Israel is the font of reason and love in the middle east and simply wants to be left alone to exist, and that it is the Arab States (and Palestinians) which cause all the problems in the area must read this book simply to inform themselves of other perspectives. To believe what is said in the media these days, you would never know about the history of land encroachment etc by Israel. The settlements which are still expanding to this day were going on since 1948! These things came as news to me, and simply points to the need to inform oneself about history from both sides, including the Arab side. You very rarely (never?) see or hear this side of the argument in the US. It is that very fact which should indicate that reading this version of history is important - ignorance is the foundation of an unfair world.
Read this book!
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122 of 151 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 1997
Format: Paperback
Dr. Norman Finkelstein has written a brilliant and scholarly expose of
the Israel-Palestine conflict. He is not a dispassionate historian/scholar
nor does he pretend to be. He dedicates the book to his parents,
survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Nazi extermination camps:
"May I never forget or forgive what was done to them."

Finkelstein's keen intellect is breathtaking. His painstaking research
which supports the evidence how the "reality" of the causes of the
conflict is vastly different than the "image" presented to us by the media
is a marvel to behold.

My favorite chapters in the book are chapters 2 and 4.

In Chapter 2, he discusses Joan Peters book "From Time Immemorial"
and masterfully exposes it as a hoax. The crux of Peters' thesis was
that "Palestine was, literally, 'uninhabited' on the eve of the Zionist
colonization; and that if the Arab population did not materialize, literally,
ex nihilo in Palestine, it did surreptitiously enter to exploit the economic
opportunities that the Jews created when they made the 'desert bloom'." By that logic, most Palestinians were not even there in 1948 to be expelled from their homes.
The fact that such a threadbare hoax can be published in this country
is not surprising. But the fact that this book received accolades from
journalists and scholars alike, from such luminaries as Daniel Pipes,
Sidney Zion, Holocaust historian Lucy Dawidowicz, and Nobel
peace prize laureate Elie Wiesel, speaks volumes about the American
commissar culture.
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96 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Edwin Nahas on March 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you want to understand the origins of the on-going tragedy of the Intifada, read this book. But it will take nerves of steel. You will be confronted with facts that will upset every one of your preconceived notions about Israel and the Palestinian conflict. If that prospect sacres you, don't read this book. Otherwise, reading this work is a great, liberating experience.
Norman Finkelstein (Princeton University PhD & Professor at De Paul University) wows his reader with his scholarship but also his integrity. One can only admire his intellectual courage and probity for having painstakingly analysed the complex array of social, political and ideological forces that shaped the rise of the Zionist movement and which led simultaneously to the creation of Israel and the tragic displacement of the indigenous Palestinian population. And he accomplishes this remarkable feat in 240 pages.
As a scrupulous historian, his most important contribution is the courage to debunk so many of the myths that surround the rise of the Israeli state and that pass as common currency in America. Finkelstein is loathe to advance a fact without detailed argumentation, backed up by very thorough research and abundant footnotes. 27% of his book is made up of very carefully crafted notes, each drilling down further his searh for historical veracity. He chases down the truth/falsehood of every fact, exposing the fraudulent work of so-called "experts" (Joan Peters), challenges the political bias of some of today's leading Israeli historians (Benny Morris), and punches holes through the inconsistencies of respected Zionist apologists (Anita Shapira), letting the historical cards fall where they may, without allowing Nationalist ideology to warp or intimidate his findings.
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