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Customer Review

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really good book about Zionism and its relationship to the British Empire, 27 Mar. 2010
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This review is from: One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate (Paperback)
...which was never as one-dimensional as either Zionists or their enemies seem to want to portray it. Overall, the British favoured the Zionists in their plans to take over Palestine and turn it into a Jewish state. In fact, it's pretty clear that without the British, Zionism would have been an interesting footnote in the history of Palestine. But lots of Brits on the ground didn't like the Zionists and went to some lengths to favour the Palestinian Arabs. The book is generally sympathetic to the latter, but doesn't attempt to hide some of the more unpleasant aspects of the opposition to Jewish immigration. It's not surprising that the Arabs didn't want Jews who planned to take over their country, and had plans to 'transfer' them away, to immigrate. It's not surprising that they lined up with other people around the world who were also enemies of Jews - most obviously the Nazis. It's not even surprising that the resistance to Zionism was occasionally violent and bloody - though for the most part the Arabs were too incompetent, divided, and weak to make any difference in their resistance.

For completeness it might have been good to hear more about the forces driving the Jews to emigrate. Of course, not all of them wanted to go to Palestine, and not all of the ones that ended up there were Zionists - at least not in their motivations to go to Palestine. But the material conditions that gave rise to Zionism as a mass movement among Jews, particularly in Eastern and Central Europe, are absent from this book - not suprisingly, because it's about Palestine.

A good answer to the questions about what happened in the past and how Israel was created; not necessarily helpful in saying where we go from here, though that's not what it's supposed to be.

Lots of brilliant detail and anecdotes - a great book.
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