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The Rise and Fall of Palestine: A Personal Account of the Intifada Years Paperback – November, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press (November 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816628599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816628599
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #911,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Palestinian friends Finkelstein made during his numerous visits to the occupied territories are not the terrorists and stone-throwing thugs of news stories, but hardworking, sensitive family men and women who want only to live in freedom and with respect. "History will not forgive what was done to the innocent people of Palestine," his friend Moussa tells him after the 1993 Oslo agreement. "We lost everything because everyone was against us. Even our leadership." Finkelstein can be sententious, especially when he compares the Palestinians to the Cherokee Nation, and when he explores the double standard with which the international community views Israel and the Palestinians. But as the son of Holocaust survivors, he brings a unique perspective to his subject; he sees the intifada as analogous to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, and Yitzhak Shamir's reaction to the death of civilians on a bus overturned by a vengeful Gazan as similar to that of Josef Goebbels's to the incident that provoked Kristallnacht. Taken out of context, it's appalling, but Finkelstein is trying to show the Palestinians as victims of an arbitrary, senseless and cruel Israeli government whose actions are designed to "reduce them to despair and force them to go away."
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

An American Jewish academician with strong sympathies for Palestinian causes provides a personal perspective on what has been commonly referred to as the intifada. Finkelstein (Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, Routledge, 1995) focuses on the quality of life of the Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation. He argues that Palestinian-initiated violence in the area and support for Iraq during the Persian Gulf War must be understood as a reflection of frustration at Israeli control over Palestinians' daily lives. The author was a frequent visitor to Israel and the occupied territories during the period 1988-92 and conducted extensive interviews with Palestinian activists and politicians. While the ideological similarities between him and his subjects may be seen by some as an inability to assess objectively the relationship between violence and political goals in the Palestinian community, this witness statement is worth critical analysis by a wide range of audiences. For academic and larger public collections.?Sanford R. Silverburg, Catawba Coll., Salisbury, N.C.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 110 people found the following review helpful By "becky-in-ann-arbor" on February 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
As a Jewish woman living in the U.S. it was difficult for me to hear but one side of the story in the Israeli-Arab conflict. That side was the Zionist perspective. It wasn't until I spent time in Israel (ironic as this is) that I began to understand the fallacies in the arguments I grew up hearing. I read this book after picking it up at a friend's house, and now I'm feeling brave enough to buy a copy of my own. That courage comes from Finkelstein. I feel like I'm in good company. There ARE other Jews who can see and dare to shed some light on the OTHER SIDE--the Palestinian viewpoint. Finkelstein presents us with the Palestinian perspective in the context of the Israel-Arab conflict with such integrity and simplicity. As descendents of a terribly oppressed group of people, I whole-heartedly support all efforts to stop dehumanizing the "enemy." Finkelstien shows us the humanness of Palestinians.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Haidyn (vbarrios@pigseye.kennesaw.edu) on September 29, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book provides a welcome dissent from typical American Jewish political views, and provides refreshing objectivity towards the Arab/Israeli conflict. Finkelstein portrays West Bank Palestinians before and during the Gulf War: the effects of thirty years of brutal repression on these people, their lives, hope and aspirations--and why they might have cheered Saddam's scud missiles. One chapter is dedicated to Finkelstien's methodical summary of American foriegn policy toward Israel on one hand, and Iraq on the other--Finkelstein refrains from judging either of these two countries during his comparison--and the result demonstrates an undeniable double standard in the application of international law. There is much evidence--much of it taken from declassified Israeli documents--that suggests Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon was entirely an offensive operation, the sole purpose of which was to avoid having to come to political terms with the PLO, and Finkelstein touches on this as well. Overall, an excellent, insightful book well worth reading.
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69 of 80 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
Finkelstein's book is that rare gem of a monumental work housed within a slim volume. What makes his ideas so astonishing, in addition to their being meticulously researched and footnoted, is that his parents were survivors of the Nazi holocaust. Based on encounters with Elie Wiesel and the like, one would not expect a Jew of this background to have such a profound understanding of the Palestinian people and of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This book is a must-read in that it convincingly defies, with powerfully sculpted arguments and towering research, the tired and frequently hypocritical views of the New York Times and other news authorities.
Finkelstein will convince you.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Here are some comments about the book by the following authors:

"In the best sense of the old term, Norman Finkelstein has fulfilled an obligation to 'witness.'"

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, columnist for Vanity Fair and The Nation

"This book is that very rare thing, a book of human experience informed by massive historical scholarship, prodigiously detailed political analysis, and exceptional wisdom. I do not know any book like it that deals so intimately and yet so clearly with the tragic quandaries of the Palestinian situation.

EDWARD W. SAID, Columbia University

"Critical and very well informed..."The Rise and Fall of Palestine" is also quite unusual, virtually unique, because of the rich framework of past and current history that Finkelstein brings to bear in a most illuminating way, because of the interweaving of very thoughtful (and often moving) personal experiences, and because of the singular nature of Finkelstein's perspective, which is sharply different from those that dominate discussions of the situation in Palestine."

NOAM CHOMSKY, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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