Palestine Betrayed Paperback – 1 Feb 2011
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"'Ephraim Karsh's Palestine Betrayed tells in rich detail the story of the fall of the British Mandate and the rise of Israel, going a long way towards doing justice to the history at hand.' (Seth Frantzman, Jerusalem Post) 'A thoroughly researched, sound historical account of the struggles that ensued between the Jewish and Arab communities when the British decided to leave Palestine.' (Sol Schindler, Washington Times)"
About the Author
Efraim Karsh is professor and head of the Middle East and Mediterranean Studies Programme, King's College London. His books include Islamic Imperialism: A History; The Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Palestine War, 1948; Saddam Hussein: A Political Biography; and Empires of the Sand: The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East, 1789-1923. He lives in London.
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Top Customer Reviews
In my own opinion this authoritative, timely and well written study is destined to become a classic in relation to this contentious subject. Those who have already embraced the revisionist history of the 'new historians' will probably want to give it a miss as the detail and depth of this work tends to blow their case completely out of the water.
Citing many documents which have been declassified over the past decade, both the Arab and Jewish perspectives of this conflict are addressed from the very start. The political/diplomatic manoeuvering of many prominent individuals on both sides and in the international arena are all given due reference.
Recent declassification of millions of documents from the era surrounding the British Mandate are shown to have been ignored or distorted by the 'new historians' in order to paint a picture that the author claims 'is completely at odds with the anti Israel caricature that is so often the order of the day'.
This compelling investigation makes it clear to the reader that Israel is being robbed of its political, historic and geographic legitimacy, whilst being made to appear to rob the Palestinians of the nation it never had.
At the outset the author draws attention to the differing positions of the then Jewish and Arab leadership leading up to the 1947 UN resolution calling for the partition of 'Palestine' into two independent states - Arab and Jewish - plus the internationalisation of Jerusalem.Read more ›
The problems are exposed when Karsh refers to Jewish reprisals for Arab atrocities (rightly referred to as such). While Karsh correctly expends little effort in defending the irgun terrorist organisation, he does imply that Hagana's use of, for instance, car-bombings, was, by some arcane means, acceptable, in a way that the Arabs' use of car-bombings never could be. The reality is that a car-bombing is an intentionally indiscriminate way of killing, whether an Arab or a Jew sets the detonator. Today's Israelis would never use a car-bomb, for exactly that reason (well, a bomb in a car, perhaps, to kill a terrorist kingpin, but not a car as a bomb). Karsh certainly does demonstrate that the Jews/Israelis behaved, overall, far better than their opponents, but they still weren't entirely the paragons he would suggest. This is a fairly good book, but a distinctly slanted one, which would benefit from a less obvious bias.
This book is extremely well annotated. The fact that Efraim Karsh has mined a vast number of sources doesn't obviate what I have said above, but, even if one doesn't always draw the same conclusions as he does, he has provided his evidence. The Middle East might be a better place, if other writers followed his example.
Under Turkish rule until the Turks' defeat in the first world war, Palestine was inhabited by Arabs - Muslim, Christians, Druze - and by a significant minority of Jews, in largely separate but interacting communities. Under the British mandate that followed, intergroup rivalry and Arab nationalism grew, and the increasing Jewish immigration from post-Holocaust Europe alarmed the Arabs. Anti-Jewish sentiment was encouraged by neighboring Arab governments and inter-communal violence grew to the point at which Britain decided to withdraw from Palestine and the United Nations determined that Palestine should be partitioned into two parts - one Arab and one Jewish.
Karsh,using newly released documents from British, Israeli and Arab sources, gives a detailed and fascinating account of the period following the proposed partition. The Arabs, encouraged and supported by neighbouring states that - as Karsh reveals - had their own cynical agendas, promptly attacked the Jews and were thrown back. Israel was formed, Transjordan took over the West Bank to become Jordan and Palestinian Arabs missed their opportunity for statehood.
The tragedy of inter-Arab and Arab-Jewish relations in that period still impacts relations today. Karsh lets the documents speak for themselves. They illuminate a period of Middle East history and are an antidote to all the disengenous spin to which it has been and is still subject.
Highly recommended, a serious read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Best history by far of the roots of the Israel/Palestine dispute. The research is unparalleled.Published 1 month ago by A L.
PLEASE NOTE TYHAT THE ONE-STAR NEGATIVE REVIEWS HERE ARE FROM ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVISTS THEY ARE LIARS. A hell of a lot of facts. Read morePublished 6 months ago by L. Seavor
Thanks very much. Just what I expected and a good price too, David.Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
Fine in the detail but does not give a broader view. For example, I never was sure when the British were still there and when the British had left and the Arab league had actually... Read morePublished on 20 April 2014 by E. Bowman
"If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. Read morePublished on 18 Mar. 2013 by G. Polley
If you like your history told in simple black and white, "goodies versus baddies" style then this is the book for you. Read morePublished on 30 Mar. 2012 by T. Dawas
Professor Karsh offers a unique perspective on the peoples of Palestine, as not only a first-rate historian, but one who has fluent Arabic and has direct experience of Arabs on the... Read morePublished on 17 Oct. 2011 by bill
If you are a committed supporter of Israel who is looking for a debating primer, I would thoroughly recommend this book. Read morePublished on 16 July 2011 by Edward Hubbard
This book gives all the necessary facts, documents and explanation to demolish the hoary myth that palestinians were the meek victims of fate. Read morePublished on 14 Jun. 2011 by Gamla