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Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict Paperback – 27 May 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books; New ed of 2 Revised ed edition (27 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859844421
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859844427
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 247,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Norman Finkelstein is one of the most radical and hard-hitting critics of the official Zionist version of the Arab-Israeli conflict and of the historians who support this version. ... a major contribution to the study of the Arab-Israeli conflict which deserves to be widely read, especially in the United States." -- Avi Shlaim, St. Antony's College, Oxford University "Anyone interested in seeing justice brought to the Middle East must read this book." -- Charles Glass, former ABC Middle East correspondent "... this thouroughly 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, The Guardian "... a thought provoking work which calls into question many of the accepted 'truths' associated with the Israeli-Palestine conflict." -- Middle East Journal "... both an impressive analysis of Zionist ideology and a searing but scholarly indictment of Israel's treatment of the Arabs since 1948." -- London Review of Books

About the Author

Norman G. Finkelstein currently teaches Political Theory and History at DePaul University in Chicago. He is author of The Holocaust Industry, The Rise and Fall of Palestine, and (with Ruth Bettina Birn) of A Nation on Trial, named a notable book for 1998 by the New York Times Book Review.

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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By lexo1941 on 3 Dec 2008
Format: Paperback
Somebody, I forget exactly who, pointed out that Norman Finkelstein's books about the Arab-Israeli conflict are not actually works of Middle Eastern history but books about American history. This is essentially true, in that Finkelstein does not write narrative history or even critical history; he is essentially a scholarly critic of American opinion on the conflict, and the general tendency of his work is to point out the gap between what American writers have tended to say about the conflict and what the historical record actually shows. So, the meat of this book is his relentless, meticulous and devastating demolition job on Joan Peters' book "From Time Immemorial", a work that no professional historian is now willing to cite but which still has a loyal and uncritical readership out there among people who think that the Israeli government can do no wrong.

It can be seen, therefore, that criticising Finkelstein for having an "agenda" is beside the point. It's never very to the point anyway, since everybody who writes a book about anything whatever has an agenda, in that they have something that they want to say about the subject. Finkelstein's agenda is simply open for anyone to see. This book also contains his relatively brief and offhand dismissal of Michael Oren's "Six Days of June", which is interesting partly because that book is often cited as an "objective" history of the Six Day War, and Finkelstein doesn't find it difficult to prove that it is nothing of the sort, being heavily biased in favour of the Israeli side.

He performs an essential public service, and has been vilified and slandered for doing so.
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Feb 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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By BlueSkiesForever on 10 Jun 2010
Format: Paperback
Impassioned and mercilessly detailed analyses of various aspects of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Finkelstein is quite obvious in his political biases, which in many ways makes it easier to trust him because you know what you need to adjust for. A distinctly American kind of radical, and that's not a put down.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Jan 1997
Format: Paperback
This book is a meticulous exposition of the multitude of
propaganda theories that have been peddled as truth, and
are now accepted as the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is concise and very well researched. An
essential read for anyone who is interested in the history of this conflict.
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77 of 88 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Nov 1998
Format: Paperback
First of all, I'd like to say that this book is not without bias. History texts, especially in regard to this conflict, rarely represent both sides equally. However, it is quite possible for both "Arabists" and their Israeli counterparts to agree on some basic points. First, Palestine was not "depopulated" in 1850 - it was an area governed by the Ottoman Empire with a population somewhere in the neighborhood of 450,000, mostly Arabs. Approximately 25,000 Jews lived there at that time. Second, in regard to expulsion, Israelis will argue that the Arabs left at the behest of the Jordanian or Egyptian governments. That has never been substantiated, and the idea that they left simply because someone told them to is also utterly ridiculous. Why would someone just get up and leave EVERYTHING behind? It was because of the threat of Israeli aggression - and their departure prior to seeing a soldier could be called prudent. Better to flee than be shot. The idea that the Israeli Irgun and Haganah had nothing to do with the Palestinians leaving is the sign of a misinformed and delusional viewpoint on history. Third, the size of the police force agreed to in the Oslo peace agreement is woefully insufficient. If Israel continues to demand security for peace, the only way for the Palestinian Arabs to actually meet that demand is to recruit and train a police force sufficient to enforce the law. When the Arabs finally have their independence, then perhaps they might start working on building roads. Right now, paying for roads would only facilitate the destruction of Palestinian homes by Israeli tanks and bulldozers. And finally, the quarrel over historical points is very important. How else are people to wade through the vast amounts of propaganda circulated by both sides?Read more ›
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