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From Coexistence to Conquest: International Law and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1891-1949 Paperback – 20 Jun 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (20 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745325785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745325781
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 2.8 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 819,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


This is an elegant and forceful narrative by a young Palestinian scholar. (Boutros Boutros Ghali, Former UN Secretary-General)

By placing international law within its proper political and historical context, Victor Kattan offers a fresh analysis of a conflict with far-reaching implications for the region and beyond. ... A welcome addition to the search for a peace in the Middle East with human dignity for all its peoples at its centre. (His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan)

Differing historical narratives and competing legal claims have characterized the Palestinian issue for over a hundred years. Victor Kattan gives them new meaning in his excellent study, which contains much new historical material and many new legal insights. (John Dugard, Professor of Public International Law Emeritus, Leiden University and UN Special Rapporteur to the Occupied Palestinian Territories 2000-2008)

A well-researched and extremely informative book... One of the best on the subject. (Dr Anis al-Qasem, former Chairman of the Legal Committee of the Palestinian National Council)

Lucid and Scholarly work. Kattan explains how Jews and Palestinians were tragically caught up in the net of Great Power politics. His critique of Zionism, while robust, fully acknowledges the oppression that the Jews of Europe suffered through antisemitism, a subject that he treats with sensitivity and insight. ... This book could contribute to its resolution. (Brian Klug, Senior Research Fellow and Tutor, St. Benet's Hall, University of Oxford.)

This is a book that students of the Israel / Palestine question will find impossible to ignore. It serves as a very readable introduction to the dispute from its origins up to 1949, but approaches the material from the angle of an international lawyer as well as a historian ... It is in Kattan’s fresh examination of the legal questions that the book’s chief originality lies. (John McHugo, Executive Member of The Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU))

Detailed and well-researched… powerful and controversial… From Coexistence to Conquest delves deeply into the historical context of the struggle for Palestine while posing thought-provoking and sometimes difficult questions about prevailing perspectives of the region's transition and the historical effectiveness of international law. (Elliot Shackleford, Berkeley Journal of International Law)


The Palestine-Israel conflict often raises questions about international law, related to both Israel's legitimacy and violent Palestinian resistance to occupation. This book is the first of its kind to study the international legal methods used to create Israel, shedding light on the conflict as it exists today. Kattan shows that international law was both flouted and manipulated in order to create a Jewish homeland in 1947 and that this disregard for international legality caused much of the dispute and violence that exists today. The period of the British Mandate is analysed very closely, revealing the lobbying tactics that were dressed up as legal imperative and used to deny Palestinians rights to land and self-determination. This revealing and painstakingly researched book is a must for students of international law and anyone interested in the origins of the long-running Arab-Israeli conflict.

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21 October 2011
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