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The Palestinian-Arab Minority in Israel, 1948-2000: A Political Study (SUNY Series in Israeli Studies) [Hardcover]

As'ad Ghanem
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (24 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791449971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791449974
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,834,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Relying on personal interviews and documentary evidence, Ghanem (political science, U. of Haifa; Peace Research Institute, Givat Haviva) examines the predicament of the Palestinian-Arab citizen in Israel who is doubly-marginalized: a minority in a Jewish state, and isolated from brethren living under the Palestinian Authority. The author shows that

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Had the potential to be better 6 Sep 2006
By Wally
This book is on a potentally very interesting and often overlooked topic, the Palesinians who hold Israeli citizenship. However it is poorly edited and is written more like a political science text book than a book for someone generally interested in this topic.

Normally a review would not focus on the editing of a book, but in this case the editing was so bad as to be amusing. It looks like in order to make this book more acceptable to an American audience, the editors of this book systematically replaced contentious terms such as 'Palestine' or 'the Occupied Territories'. However this has changed the meaning of many sentences.

The editors have clearly replaced all uses of the word Palestine with the phrase 'the West Bank and Gaza Strip', even where the author is clearly discussing parts of Palestine other than the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. Similarly the editors have used the same phrase to replace the words 'occupied territories'. This leads to amusing sentences such as one in the section on the Syrian Golan Heights where the book states that Palestinian-Israelis believe that the West Bank and Gaza Strip should be given back to Syria. The author must have originally written that the occupied territories (meaning the Golan Heights, the topic being discussed in that section of the book) should be returned to Syria, but his perfectly sensible sentence has been mangled by the worlds most inept editors.

This book also contains many tables, graphs and statistics riddled with errors. Percentages often add up to more or less than 100 percent, and it is often difficult to tell what a statistic refers to, or how it was arrived at. All of these editing flaws detract from the book and make it a lot more difficult to appreciate.
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good place to start 4 Mar 2009
By Matthew Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As I stated in my title I think this book is a great place to start for anyone looking to learn more about the evolution of Palestinian politics within Israel. This is a very focused study of the beginnings of the politicalization of what was left of the Palestinians within the Green Zone after the war of 48 all the way up until year 2000. While the fact that the book only goes up until 2000 is a problem since this leaves out some dramatic happenings that have changed the situation drastically, this book is still a great historical account of the political lives of the Palestinians up to that point. Good books that focus exclusively on the Palestinians that are also unbiased are hard to find which makes this work all the more valuable.

What I found most interesting was just how disruptive the war in 48 was for the Palestinians. Of course I understood this was a defining moment, but one aspect this book does a good job detailing is how much the expulsions and the exodus eroded the natural order of the Palestinians lives. In many areas traditional leadership was either decimated or had completely been removed. Not only that but groups of people had been displaced and moved into areas and villages that were alien to them. Add this fact to the imposition of military rule that was designed to disenfranchise and to keep the Palestinians pacified and disorganized, and one sees why it took decades for any real leadership to emerge from the ashes of this war.

The other area of great importance is the difficulties inherent in being a minority in a state that is based on ethnicity. The fact that the state of Israel is officially a state for the Jewish people makes any kind of equality for the Palestinians almost an impossibility. I think whether or not a state that bases is itself on ethnicity can truly be a democratic state or not is a debate worth having. While this was outside this studies purview, the author does a great job discussing the day to day problems for the Palestinian minority trying to work inside a political system that is purposefully stacked against their interests.

The author speaks at length about the differing streams of political thought that exists within the Palestinian minority inside Israel. He goes through and details each political stream by who they are, their political philosophy and how they have chosen to go about implementing those philosophies. Each stream of thought has differing ideas of how best to deal with state, and each stream chooses differing levels of cooperation with the Jewish state. Some groups like the Israeli-Arab stream believe in full cooperation with the Zionist state and its political parties whereas other streams like the Islamists believe only in supporting local government institutions while excluding national participation. The author thoroughly explains each group's motivation for pursuing their own goals and strategies for attaining those goals.

My main criticism is that the author thoroughly explains the problems within the Palestinian leadership, but then in his conclusion he suggests the solution lies in a binational state for territory encompassing the Palestinian Mandate. My problem is that all of the author's previous chapters outline how the Palestinians have no leadership that would be able compete with the Israeli side which is very politically mature and adept. It seems to me this would have been a recipe for some type of disaster. Of course subsequent events have, in my opinion made this issue moot.

In the end this is an important book that will add perspective and insight into the Israeli state and its interactions with its Arab minorities. Any student or casual observer of this issue will find merit in this work no matter what their political affiliation. This is an unbiased accounting of an important issue. I recommend this book.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The theory of ethnocraty 21 Mar 2009
By Roman Nies - Published on Amazon.com
As'ad Ghanem is working at the School of Political Sciences at the University of Haifa. He researches in ethnical relations, politics of Arabian-jewish relations in Israel.
For him an ethnocraty is any regime, which wants to dominate and "ethnosize" an ethno-national minority. It can be defined as democratic when it allows the citizens to take part in politics, and when they enjoy the human rights. The majority thinks the regime has its legalisation. The minority does not because they feel discriminated. There are three reasons for the existence of an ethnocraty. The first is settlement-colonialism, the second is ethno-nationalism which strengthens the dominance of the majority for the disadvantage of the minority. The third is ethic logic which fosters the uneven distribution of economics. It is apparent that this could apply for Israel. But it could also apply for the neighbours of Israel. Israels experiences with arabs are not positive. If they do not want arabs in their country or are at least mistrustful it is no wonder since arabs wanted from the very beginning of the state of Israel up to this day to leave the country, and to underline their claims they used violence and terrorism and declare openly what they want, to expel all Jews from the Middle East. Therefore Jews have to be careful. They sruggle since 60 years to survive. Why should they give their enemies even one finger? Even though they did.
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