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A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples

3.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521556323
ISBN-10: 0521556325
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Editorial Reviews


"...marked by clear, readable prose that should be the envy of many a contemporary historian. Pappe's latest work will inspire some readers and infuriate many others. He is an engaged historian, a notion that may strike some as a contradiction in terms. He has a points of view. He also possesses the intellectual rigor and honesty to set it out clearly as a voice among many that must be heard." The Toronto Star

"...here, for the first time, is a textbook on Palestine that narrates the real story as it happened -- a non-Zionist version of Zionism...To its credit, Cambridge University Press has published Pappe's pioneering and highly accessible work as an authoritative history. This means that the 'debate' over Israel's origins is ending, regardless of what the empire's apologists say." The New Statesman

"Throughout the reading, I was filled with admiration for [Pappe's] ability to grasp the core issue and toss out the chaff. And yet in his introduction he is resolutely demanding to be read as a pro-Palestinian Israeli historian, i.e. rejecting the demand for objective universality." Haaretz

"In this well-researched and challenging book, Israeli academic Pappe traces developments in Palestine from the early 1800s to the 1948 establishment of Israel through to the present conflict... The author utilizes sources in Hebrew, Arabic, and several Western languages to write a scholarly, yet accessible history. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries." Library Journal

"It is this excellent book that underlines why we should be fearful of worse to come, in the name of the Holocaust, inside Israel and Palestine," Bookforum

"a laudable attempt to write familiar histories in an entirely new way, which should be read carefully by serious historians." - Journal of Palestine Studies Rashid Khalidi, Journal of Palestine Studies

Book Description

Ilan Pappe writes the story of Palestine, a land inhabited by two peoples. It begins with the Ottomans and traces Palestine's history to the present day. While these events provide the background and explain the construction of Zionist and Palestinian nationalism, at center stage are the men, women and children who lived through these times. It is a story of coexistence, as well as oppression, occupation, and exile. Ilan Pappe's account is lucid and typically forthright. It is a unique contribution to the history of this troubled land.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (November 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521556325
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521556323
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,319,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a history of Palestine, and of Palestinians, since 1840 up to the beginning of the second Intifada. It only gives a few hints on Jewish colonization - as if this was not the most important subject. Even if the book is written by an Israeli Jew, it recounts not the history of Israel, but of Palestine, not of Zionism but of ordinary Palestinians.
The author is very sympathetic to the Palestinian narrative. In a way, this gives the idea that very much of the debate for and against Zionism is quite an intra-Jewish question (as if it were a sort of a family-problem).
Ilan Pappe succeeded in his job. His work is based on the knowledge of anthropological, social-religious questions, such as: How do groups build their own identities using national or religious narratives? His diagnoses of how groups invent themselves thanks to religions, and of what Jewish and Islamic fundamentalism mean, are careful and precise.
All the relevant facts are expounded, but this is not the principal interest of the book. I do not believe this is going to be the first text someone reads on the Israel/Palestine question - this means that who reads already knows the principal facts and the most important dates. The most interesting facts are expounded with an eye on what they meant for the most deprived strata of society (for example: how were Sephardi Jews "accepted" in Israel? Who bore the brunt of racism, in Israel and in the Occupied Territories?).
The book ends with an eye of the future: will the war between Israel and Palestine end, without an end to Israeli colonization? Will it end, before Israel recognizes what 1948 meant, for Palestine and Palestinian refugees?
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Format: Paperback
Pappe, the intellectually courageous Israeli "New Historian," has written a superb history for general readers. What's unusual about this book is (1) its attempt to present the histories of both peoples, (2) its effort to get outside the potted nationalist narratives of both peoples, and (3) its profound solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggles against expulsion and occupation. As Pappe says, "This book is written by one who admits compassion for the colonized, not the colonizer; who sympathizes with the occupied and not the occupiers; and sides with the workers not the bosses. He feels for women in distress, and has little admiration for men in command."
Pappe locates the struggle for land at the very center of this narrative, and he does not hesitate to call the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 an act of "ethnic cleansing," proceeding under the aegis of the Zionist "Plan D," which systematically drove 700,000 Palestinian Arabs from their villages. At the same time, he notes the chronically ineffective Palestinian leadership, from the clan rivalries of Palestinian "notables" that made any unified resistance to British and Zionist encroachments impossible, to the top-down rule of the Palestinian Authority, which cooperated in the disaster of Oslo and sidelined average, suffering Palestinians in Israel, under occupation, and in exile. He notes the complexities of opinion and experience among Jews in Palestine and Israel, including those early Zionists who hoped from the beginning for a binational secular state, and the Mizrahi or Arab Jews, who faced considerable discrimination at the hands of Ashkenazi or European Jews. And with a realistic but hopeful eye on Palestine's future, he highlights what "The Urge for Co-habitation" in Mandate Palestine, and even in Israel.
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Format: Paperback
This is a history of Palestine and its inhabitants from Ottoman rule to the Intifadas of 1987 and 2000. It complements, but does not replace, Avi Shlaim's superlative, and presciently titled, book `The Iron Wall'.
Palestine's British rulers tried from 1918 to get the two peoples to build a British protectorate, but failed. After the British allowed a division of the unitary economic system in 1929, Jewish leaders built up an independent, privileged Zionist enclave. They mobilised the Jews by intensifying enlistment, imposing coercive taxes, preventing emigration and encouraging immigration.
In the 1948 war, the Zionist leaders, under the cover of a war of national liberation against the British Empire and its puppet Arab royals, expelled most Palestinians from their homes. Pappe writes of the Zionists' military Plan D's two aims: "the first being to take swiftly and systematically any installation, military or civilian, evacuated by the British. ... The second, and far more important objective, of the plan was to cleanse the future Jewish state of as many Palestinians as possible." Atrocities carried out by Zionist forces, including the massacres at Dir Yassin and Balad al-Shaykh, forced 690,000 Palestinians to flee under threat of death.
Decades of partition and occupation followed. Now Israel is building yet more illegal settlements, blockading the Palestinians (causing 50% unemployment), manning an electric fence around the Gaza Strip, abusing people at checkpoints, demolishing houses, assassinating at will, conducting mass arrests, torturing detainees, and building a wall dividing the West Bank from Israel. In the last three years, Israeli forces have killed 2,750 Palestinian civilians, and Palestinian suicide bombers have killed 892 Israeli civilians.
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