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on 6 August 2014
I understand many people will not agree with my opinion but this book made me understand a lot about this long conflict. with the recent bombing in Gaza (regardless the reasons behind it) and the death of almost 2000 people many civilians with a third women and children, I found a lot of similarity of the way Palestinian are threaten (like imprisoning the men, bombing place not thinking about civilians etc.
It is sad and I can only feel sad for the Palestinian people and for the sake of next generation i really hope this conflict will end soon...sad sad reading but a must if u want to know more.
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on 20 October 2011
Professor Pappe refers to Israel in this book as "our beloved country". He is, indeed, a true patriot, since he wants the best for his home country, a country which, sadly, has adopted am ostrich-like stance in regard to its past, and is actively encouraging its young to despise and/or hate its Arab people and its Arab neighbours.It would seem that the "eternal" war on "terror" suits the Israeli ruling classes down to the ground, providing as it does wonderful cover for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine which goes on, relentlessly, day by day as I write (good source for this is the OCHAoPT website/ bulletin). It was once more or less acceptable for educated Israelis to agree that their country's foundation was the result of a brutal invasion by largely European Jews (one can easily check the origins of Ben Gurion and practically all of the leading soldiers and politicians for the first 30-40 years of Israel) For an example of the finer type of Israeli who admitted the "original sin" of the Jewish state, one can read S Yitzhar's story of one Hagana unit's activities in the 1948 invasion of Arab lands.Pappe establishes his account around much archive material and the memoirs of participants in the "mainstream" army and in the terrorist groups such as Irgun and the Stern gang. His account is chilling, and ,perhaps even more so , is our realisation that the current Netanyahus and Liebermans exploit the "wish to deny" that is the overwhelming response of Israelis today in regard to their ancestors' remorseless expulsion of Arabs , from something like 500 villages and from parts of the larger towns.With the odd massacre along the way.
We know that Benny Morris, one of the original researchers of this episode, does not deny the thrust of Pappe's argument viz. that the incoming Jews forced Arabs from their homes and massacred quite a few but regrets Ben Gurion's failure to complete the job, so that Israel still includes Palestinians as c. 16% of its population.In short, the Anglo-Israeli Morris feels that Israel would be better of as a 100% Jewish state , and could never contemplate the return of Arab refugees and their descendants to the lands and properties which were stolen from them in 1947-8. Given the general will to deny the "original sin", it is not surprising that Zionists vilify Pappe, and are less inclined to trumpet Morris's attitude, which would end in more open ethnic cleansing than is permissible in today's world (I think)
We in this country are, of course, loth to admit the crimes of our past and present , and our US friends actually revel in their aggressive brutalities which they also dress up as "humanitarian interventions" . One element which Pappe could explore and expose more is, I think, the (pseudo-?) religious overlay on the project. Zionism is a sort of hybrid, of the "religious" (Israel is eternally Jewish , the Promised Land of the Bible) and of the "conquistador" mentality, of, for example, a man such as Moshe Dayan and of the pure (!!)fanaticism of the Sternists etc.
However, the book is far more a factual account than a theoretical discourse, and rightly so, since, as European Jews must have known better than most at the time, forced expulsions are everyday cruelties - they do not actually need an ideological driving force, although at the extreme, such would help. In particular, it is essential not to allow individual soldiers doing the dirty work to think too much about their vicious treatment of , in this case, Palestinians. I refer again to S Yitzhar's poignant story, in the forlorn hope that any Zionist reading this review may ponder it, and repent.
To sum up: the book is a brave and convincing attempt to confront Israelis with the reality of their history in the hope that one day they will eschew hatred and aggression (the settlements) and embrace decent standards of behaviour towards the people they have wronged for so long. Any visitor to the Holy Land can easily observe that the occupying forces treat the Palestinians like dirt, and this "status quo suits the Israeli Right mightily . It would seem superfluous to mention Gaza 2009 and other recent murderous attacks by the hugely superior-armed Israeli forces. The surreptitious taking over and carving up of Palestine which goes on , I repeat, daily,is scarcely reported , and one suspects that most Israelis never give the matter mature and humane thought.In 1947-8, there was, as Pappe notes, some international concern over key incidents such as the Deir Yassin massacre, but the world was probably too war-weary to be over-alarmed.
Of course,UN resolution 194 stated the right of return for the displaced Palestinians , which Count Bernadotte had already stressed. For his courage, he was murdered by terrorist Jews from a group which the Israeli PM Shamir belonged to (similar background to Begin's )
We now have the Israelis confident that their "Defence Forces" are the most moral in the world.
A good dose of Pappe could suggest to the brainwashed conscripts of the IDF that their tradition is questionable.Here's hoping !!!
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on 9 August 2014
A very detailed account of the truly tragic history of the Palestinian people.
To make any sense of the current situation we must look back at the history. Israel, from the very beginning, rejected co-existence and peace by carrying out mass genocide of the indigenous population.

The two-state solution is a myth. The UN and the Arab world have shamelessly ignored the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and continue to do so.

To label Israel as being democratic is an insult to humanity! To behave as a genocidal government after your own people were subjected to genocidal crimes is a mental illness. Sadly, history has confirmed Israel as being an illegitimate state born out of the massacre and expulsion of the indigenous Palestinian people.
The author must be applauded for highlighting the monumental injustice to the Palestinians. The Palestinians have every right to resist the oppressive occupiers of their land. Recent events in Gaza have made this book an essential and relevant read!
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on 27 October 2006
Ilan Pappe does an incredible job recreating the gradual Zionist take-over of Palestine in the lead up to 1948 and beyond. The outline of the story is well known, and few would argue with the main facts of what happened and when, or the end result: the establishment of the State of Israel and the migration of almost a million Palestinians. Pappe's achievement here is to piece together the driving ideology, the game plans, and strategies that successfully achieved it.

Many will automatically accuse Pappe of having an agenda (as virtually every writer seems to have on this issue). However, he puts forward a persuasive argument that plans had been afoot to expropriate Palestine long before the War of Independence, and goes on to detail the discussions in which the plans were laid down, and give a blow by blow, village by village account of their execution. In the process, he marshalls an impressive array of facts to lay before the reader, from Ben-Gurion's personal diary entries that reveal a truly chilling cold-bloodedness vis-à-vis the indigenous Palestinians, extracts from the personal memoirs and diaries of a number of key players, and military archives including telegrams and orders to commando and army units.

Even if you distrust the detail, there is no arguing with the facts on the ground - almost a million Palestinians were refugees by the end of 1949, and over 400 villages had been destroyed. As Pappe notes in his introduction, if this had happened a mere 50 years later, it would have been called ethnic cleansing, and that is what he calls it. Regardless of why you think the Palestinians fled (deliberately forced from their homes or an inevitable by-product of war), the fact remains that they have not been allowed to return to their homes and lands, despite UN Resolution 194 defending their right to do so, and despite the fact that Israel's entry into the UN was conditional on their compliance with this resolution, to which they agreed.

Pappe writes with great humanity about the Palestinian plight and their inhumane treatment in the decades since, but argues passionately that Israelis have also lost in this fight for land and nationhood. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It should be compulsory reading for every believer in human rights, and after reading it, everyone should book an appointment with their MP and ask what - exactly - they are doing about the Palestinian refugee question. It's the least we can do.
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on 8 June 2014
A book that will make you angry at hypocrisy. Just as property stolen buy nazis should be returned so must land stolen from Palestinians.
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on 2 November 2007
An excellent and meticulously researched historical text.
The level of cold, calculated brutality and unprovoked savagery used against a largely peaceful peasant population usually offering little or no resistance, a population quite unprepared for a war, who were usually just 'going about their business', is absolutely shocking. As is the clinical pre-planning and ruthless, cold efficiency with which the plan was then carried out. It is no exaggeration to compare what happened with the Nazi push into the Baltic states and Russia in the early 1940's.
The reality of what actually happened during the years 1948-49, compared with the 'official' Israeli version, is astonishing. This is a subject I have had an interest in for some considerable time now, but despite my interest and knowledge of the subject, I was not prepared for the detail. The unnecessary nastiness and inhumanity of the jewish forces, is really hard to come to terms with.
It is also interesting to compare the present day horror and outrage that is expressed at the actions of a 'suicide bomber' with events in early 1948 [when there was no war]. The Stern Gang and Hagana routinely threw bombs into CIVILIAN Palestinian gatherings and blew up houses with all the occupants asleep inside, often killing scores of people, simply to terrorise the population into fleeing Palestine.
I am also deeply ashamed of the role [or non-role] played by the British forces, with one or two notable exceptions, [and the Bevin Government] who, until May 1948, were still officially charged with upholding law and order in Palestine.
Anyone who still buys the notion that the events at Quana, the murder of the UN workers [despite hours of telephone conversations], the very high civilian casualty rates during the 2006 push into Lebanon, the deaths on the beach in Gaza and so on, were all REALLY accidental, should read this book. This particular brand of terror is long established practice by the Israelis.
In fact, it is hard to understand how most of our media and politicians, people who have chosen to make a career informing the rest of us about what goes on, in and around the world, seem remarkably oblivious to this information. Well, there are no excuses now are there ?
I am not sure how anyone could [intelligently] argue that this is 'a piece of anti-zionist fiction' as one of your reviewers suggests, it is far too factually based and closely referenced. It IS a testament to the power of the Israeli lobby and their campaign of distortion and misinformation that we are still presented by most of the media for most of the time the image of Israel as the victim in the Middle East. Now THAT is a piece of PRO-zionist fiction. Excellent, though disturbing book.
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on 6 February 2007
Ilan Pappe has written a moving account of the dispossession of the Palestinians in 1948. The founding of the State of Israel at the expense of the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine has for a long time been surrounded by Zionist inspired myths, designed to delegitimize the claims of the Palestinians and reduce them to a non-entity.

The destruction of their villages and covering their ruins with forests and claims that Palestinians never existed, as were made by the late Israeli PM Golda Meir, are all part of this.

Accounts of how more thant 700.000 Palestinians lost everything they had in the Nakba of 1948, in what is known as the War for Independence in Israel, have been around for decades. The eminent Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi wrote a seminal account in From Haven To Conquest (1971) and numerous other Western authors have written about the plight of the Palestinians.

In the middle of the 1980s a number of Israeli historians (Simha Flapan, Benny Morris, Tom Segev, Avi Shlaim and Ilan Pappe) began to question the Zionist founding myths as more and more historic documents came available, shining light on the events of 1948.

That in 1948 more than 700.000 Palestinians were expelled by force of arms or fled Palestine and were never allowed to return is beyond doubt. The only question remains the degree of premeditation on the part of the Zionist leadership.

Palestinian historian Nur Masalha has showed convincingly that the concept of transfer of the indigenous Palestinian population was widely discussed among the Zionist leadership in the days of the Mandate. And founding father Theodor Herzl himself spoke in terms of "spiriting the penniless population across the border".

The aim of the Zionist movement was to create a homogenous ethnic Jewish state in the whole of Palestine. But the presence of a significant majority of Palestinian arabs (Moslems and Christians), owning more than 93% of the cultivated land in Palestine stood in the way. The only way therefore to create an exclusive Jewish state was through force of arms and by ethnic cleansing, which is exactly what happened in 1948.

This is the subject of Ilan Pappe's book and it is a tour de force. He describes the meetings of the Consultancy, a small group of decision makers led by Ben-Gurion, the finalising of Plan Dalet, which served as the masterplan for ethnic cleansing. He offers new evidence, like the Village Files, a detailed record of all the Palestinian arab villages, their composition, strength and weaknesses which was compiled by Zionist volunteers over decades. The Village Files gave vital information for the military forces, who attacked the villages during their cleansing operations.

The extent of the massacres of Palestinian villagers, that took place, the systematic destruction of hundreds of ancient villages and buildings of great architectural and historic value is heart breaking.

This is a truly moving account of the tragedy that befell the Palestinian people in 1948, a tragedy that continues to this day. In spite of all the pretenses that the State of Israel seeks peace it's objective is unchanged and that is to get as much Palestinian land as possible with the smallest number of Palestinians. What happens in the Occupied Territories is none other than ethnic cleansing in disguise.

Ilan Pappe's book is essential reading for all who want to understand the reasons why Palestinians are in conflict with the State of Israel. True peace between Palestinians and Israelis is not possible without addressing the crucial events of 1948. Israelis must end their state of denial in this respect.

With this book Pappe has made an invaluable contribution to the cause of peace.
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on 30 December 2012
I'm docking this book one star because its not as well referenced as it could be and there are said to be some mistakes (Benny Morris has condemned it on the basis of a not-very-long list).

However, it does have some very valuable entries - some of the 5 villages that Morris says were abandoned due to Arab orders were, according to Pappe, ethnically cleansed just like the other 400.

Most valuable is the work that Pappe did on the "Consultancy", the plotters intent on ethnic cleansing who started meeting regularly in October 1947, shortly before the partition resolution was forced through the UN General Assembly. The last meeting at which any of them proposed co-existence was in December and a three-day "Long Seminar" at the beginning of Janusary 1948 was the origin of Plan Dalet. All the Palestinians would be driven from their homes inside the "partition" area and as far as possible in all directions.
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on 7 June 2017
Cant rate this book enough....SHOCKING REAL AND AN EYE OPENER of historical fact...that is totally un believable ..unfortunatley not enough people on this world know the truth and horror of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palastine
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on 15 December 2013
Great analysis. I wish there were more books like this one. Unfortunately mainstream media will never allow these opinions to reach the masses.
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