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A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples [Paperback]

Ilan Pappe
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples 3.8 out of 5 stars (4)
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Book Description

3 Nov 2003
Ilan Pappe writes the story of Palestine, a land inhabited by two peoples. It begins with the Ottomans in the early 1800s and traces a path through the arrival of the early Zionists at the end of that century, through the British mandate at the beginning of the twentieth century, the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, and the subsequent wars and conflicts which culminated in the intifadas of 1987 and 2000. While these events provide the background to the narrative and explain the construction of Zionist and Palestinian nationalism, at centre stage are those who lived through these times, men, women and children, Jews and Arabs. It is a story of coexistence, as well as oppression, occupation, and exile. Ilan Pappe is well-known as a revisionist historian of Israel. Lucid and typically forthright, his account is a unique contribution to the history of this troubled land.


Product details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; New Ed edition (3 Nov 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521556325
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521556323
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.5 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 941,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Pappe's latest work will inspire …'. James Cullingham, Seneca College

'Along with the late Edward Said, Ilan Pappe is the most eloquent writer of Palestinian history. He is also one of the most scholarly … 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.' New Statesman

'Ilan Pappe is a 'new historian' and this book is true to this label. It adopts a revisionist approach and it challenges the old ways in which the history of Palestine is written which makes it such an exciting read.' Ahron Bregman, King's College London, , International Affairs

' … Ilan Pappe has written a book that is lucid and fort[hright]. It is a unique contribution to the history of this troubled land, and all those concerned with developments in the Middle East will have to read … Ilan Pappe's book is a valuable contribution to the historical research of Palestine as a general survey for those studying the subject. Designed for students and general readers, the book's new approach to the analysis of well-known events will be of interest to academics, journalists, foreign-policy makers, and to all those concerned with Palestine's complex past and its uncertain future. The inclusion of illustrations, maps, short biographies, a glossary of terms, a bibliography, and a reliable index further increases the usefulness of the book.' Quarterly Journal of African and Asian Studies

'Pappe's new book is lucid and readable: its historical scope, taking up the story in 1856, is useful and welcome because unusual, as is its desire to distance the narrative of the peoples living on the land of Mandate Palestine from their respective nationalisms - and to incorporate the subaltern classes to balance out the overwhelming prominence of elites in the existing historiography.' Tribune

'… excellent analysis of the historical background to the present state of the Israel-Palestine conflict. … a thoughtful and well-researched volume which needs to be read by anyone who has an interest in the region's histories, politics and faiths.' Reviews in Religion and Theology

'The author's approach is valuable and fresh …' Yearbook of Overseas History

Book Description

Ilan Pappe writes the history of Palestine, one land inhabited by two peoples. While he explains the construction of Zionist and Palestinian nationalism and the resulting conflicts, in essence it is a story of coexistence. The account is lucid and forthright, a unique contribution to Middle East history.

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On the eve of the Crimean War, about half a million people lived in the land of Palestine. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful study of Palestine 3 July 2004
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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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Through Palestinians' eyes 31 May 2004
By Paola Canarutto - Published on Amazon.com
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?
85 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Binationial solidarity 23 Feb 2004
By JAMES R HOLSTUN - Published on Amazon.com
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. He finds resources for hope in the history of his own Haifa during the 1920s, when it "became the site of the most exciting experience of class solidarity and bi-national, or even a-national cooperation." For instance, Jewish workers and Arab workers (Palestinian, Syrian, and Egyptian) came together in the first Palestinian trade union, which united workers in the railway, telegraphic, and postal services against their British employers.
Pappe's keen, historians' eye for the complexities of lived experience on both sides is particularly welcome today, when reductive scholar-warriors like Benny Morris are willing to present Palestine's past and future as a conflict between Zionist "civilization" and Arab-Islamic "barbarism," and when Ariel Sharon seems to see a wall of concrete tombstones festooned with guard towers as Israel's last best hope.
46 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful study of Palestine 3 July 2004
By William Podmore - Published on Amazon.com
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.
The US state massively subsidises the Israeli state. Bush fully backs Sharon the career terrorist: ten days after assuming the Presidency, Bush told the National Security Council, "We're going to correct the imbalances of the previous administration on the Mideast conflict. We're going to tilt it back towards Israel."
US and EU interference have inflamed, not resolved, the conflict. Outside attempts to achieve a solution by backing one people against another will always fail.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A work in progress 18 April 2004
By Craig Bolon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ilan Pappe is often referred to as a "revisionist" historian from Israel. His work published in 2004, "A History of Modern Palestine," shows him instead to be "an historian." As nearly every likely reader of the book appreciates, at the point of its publication there were at best only one or two other histories of modern Palestine deserving of the name, all but lost among a torrent of mythology and polemic. Pappe's work is supported by background sources in Arabic, Hebrew, English and at least two other languages.
That said, "A History of Modern Palestine" is best understood as a work in progress. Its 268 pages of main text in the paperback edition are far too few for such a ambitious topic. Its research apparatus includes endnotes, bibliography, glossary and chronology, but their lack of coordination makes them difficult to use in a paper format. Endnotes and glossary should have been running footnotes.
The content of "A History of Modern Palestine" relating to periods before 1940 is based largely on tertiary sources; it is cool and disappointing. Pappe apparently knows more than he says, but what he says often leaves out people and culture. No person becomes any more than a cardboard character or a point in time. Periods after 1940 become warmer in detail, but they too are usually reduced to summaries lacking context and associations. A reader who does not already know most of what Pappe knows will find it difficult to learn what Pappe knows.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars need to be told 24 Oct 2006
By Abubeker M. Osman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
if you do want in depth about the land of palestine... here you have one on your shelf.
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