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Out of Palestine: The Making of Modern Israel Hardcover – December 29, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top Customer Reviews
For the past twenty-five years Israeli journalist Hadara Lazar has conducted a series of interviews of those involved when The British Mandate ended in 1948. Fuad Shehadeh is an Arab whose family moved from Jerusalem to Ramallah in 1949. His description of Jerusalem in the last years of the Mandate sets the tone of a stunning series of memoirs as he recalls an upbeat community until the 1948 War that displaced many Arabs. James Livingstone of the British Consul remembers how much changed in 1946 from his previous assignments in Jerusalem as social life was limited to the British community. Meir Dreszner grew up in mixed Haifa while his wife Miriam in mixed Jerusalem. Under the Mandate Meir felt like a foreigner in an Arab restaurant; while Miriam says Jerusalem was a city of separate neighborhoods.
There are many more interesting anecdotal memoirs that provide readers the foundation of what has become entrenched enemies. Readers will appreciate the fascinating look back as Hadara Lazar interviews and obtains the thoughts and memories of numerous Jewish, Arab, and British people who lived in Palestine just after WWII as the Mandate was ending and the Jewish state formed.
How do I tell you that your book is wonderful without sounding obligatory.
I started the 'gift' with a certain amount of apprehension and ended by having trouble putting it down. What I really appreciated was the delicate manner in which you are very present thought out and yet not at all intrusive. I looked forward to your insights and views almost more than those you interviewed.
It was written in a way that was both historically informative with
a literary style that really held my interest-- through out.
The book is a wonderful peep hole in the past that
created a new and different awareness of your country.
I want to thank you for including me as a bystander and
wish you all the success that this book and you deserve..
Publishers: Atlas & Company
Hadara Lazar was born in Haifa and is the author of five novels, as well as non-fiction books that explore life in Israel and the British-Mandate Palestine. Her latest foray, Out of Palestine: The Making of Modern Israel was published by arrangement with the Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature and translated by Marsh Pomerantz.
About twenty-five years ago, Lazar began interviewing witnesses and other participants to the events that brought about the 1948 Partition dividing Palestine into two separate hostile nations. As she succinctly sums it up, "The Jews and the Arabs had great dreams, but the carriers of those dreams, the British, woke up first." She further explains that it was a fragile coexistence in a land claimed by two people and yet it seemed that a military solution was not necessarily the only one. Her objective was to deal with this tumultuous period, which still exists today, in her own way and the culmination was Out of Palestine: The Making of Modern Israel "where Jews, Englishmen, and Arabs lived in a historic time and neither wanted to nor could escape its significance."
Her interviewees include Palestinians, Arabs and various political figures from England that played in one way or another a role at the time of the creation of the State of Israel. As she points out in her introduction, she wished to know what people remembered about what had happened at the time the British Mandate was coming to an end and "to find some connections between their words and the myth of those days, to describe how their memories changed with time.Read more ›
and shakers of the British Mandate and yet refused to ask the hard questions
These v famous people - English, Arab, Jewish
- had given her access.
And then. - out of courtesy or cowardice?
All she elicited were bland and self serving
comments and evasions from them. Apparently
She didn't even try to develop a relationship
Or pursue more than a polite conversation.
The interviewees had priceless memories and
and unique insights into the roots and causes
of the whole Israeli / Palestinian conflict.
Sadly only tantalizing hints of all that are served up
To the frustrated reader