Good Arabs: The Israeli Security Agencies and the Israeli Arabs, 1948-1967

Good Arabs: The Israeli Security Agencies and the Israeli Arabs, 1948-1967

by Hillel Cohen
     
 

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Based on his reading of top-secret files of the Israeli police and the prime minister's office, Hillel Cohen exposes the full extent of the crucial, and, until now, willfully hidden history of Palestinian collaboration with Israelis—and of the Arab resistance to it. Cohen's previous book, the highly acclaimed Army of Shadows,told how this hidden…  See more details below

Overview


Based on his reading of top-secret files of the Israeli police and the prime minister's office, Hillel Cohen exposes the full extent of the crucial, and, until now, willfully hidden history of Palestinian collaboration with Israelis—and of the Arab resistance to it. Cohen's previous book, the highly acclaimed Army of Shadows,told how this hidden history played out from 1917 to 1948, and now, in Good Arabs he focuses on the system of collaborators established by Israel in each and every Arab community after the 1948 war. Covering a broad spectrum of attitudes and behaviors, Cohen brings together the stories of activists, mukhtars, collaborators, teachers, and sheikhs, telling how Israeli security agencies penetrated Arab communities, how they obtained collaboration, how national activists fought them, and how deeply this activity influenced daily life. When this book was first published in Hebrew, it became a bestseller and has evoked bitter memories and intense discussions among Palestinians in Israel and prompted the reclassification of many of the hundreds of documents Cohen viewed to uncover a story that continues to unfold to this day.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Israeli writer Cohen (Army of Shadows) makes extensive use of the thousands of recently declassified Israeli government and police files to argue that Israel has attempted, from its earliest days, to control and co-opt the lives of its Palestinian citizens (roughly 20% of the population) and has utilized classic tools of social control—informants, censorship, offers of reward and threats of punishment—to neutralize a potentially “seditious” faction and to turn the community “from members of the imagined Palestinian community/nation... into members of Israeli civil society.” He explores how deeply Israel infiltrated Palestinian communities, political groups and refugee camps to secure informants and create a veritable “collaborator class” to “ensure a maximal control over the political and social behavior of Israel’s Arab population.” Stressing that the behavior of both sides is typical of national majority-minority relationships everywhere, he shows the extent to which Israel has treated its Arab citizens as one-dimensional characters open to manipulation, and shrewdly observes that the irony for Israel is that because the state couldn’t offer non-Jewish citizens “a real path to participation... the state actually reinforced Arab identity among its Arab citizens.” (Jan.)
Jerusalem Post

“Paints a remarkably balanced and comprehensive picture. It is a fascinating tale, but his account . . . does not make for pleasant reading.”
The National

“The book’s power derives from its resonance for the present day, and the way that it illuminates the attitude that Israel has taken – and still takes – toward the Palestinians.”
Jewish Book World

“A fascinating study . . . with revelations about the past that help explain later developments between the State and Israeli Arabs.”
The Historian - Shalom Goldman

“Readers will be engaged and informed by his skillful narrative and analysis of a much-contended topic.”
Assoc Of Jewish Libraries Nwsltr

“This is a very important study, scholarly yet accessible to all levels of readers.”
The Jerusalem Report

“Excellent book. . . . Good Arabs achieves an unusual poignancy.”
American Historical Review - Ilana Feldman

“This book sensitively and convincingly illuminates the complexity of life as an ‘Israeli Arab’.
Choice

“Highly recommended.”
Magill's Literary Annual / Salem Press

“This book was, understandably, a best-seller in Israel.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520269767
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
03/29/2011
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
817,996
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Paints a remarkably balanced and comprehensive picture. It is a fascinating tale, but his account . . . does not make for pleasant reading."—Jerusalem Post

"The book's power derives from its resonance for the present day, and the way that it illuminates the attitude that Israel has taken - and still takes - toward the Palestinians."—

"A fascinating study . . . with revelations about the past that help explain later developments between the State and Israeli Arabs."—Jewish Book World

"Excellent book. . . . Good Arabs achieves an unusual poignancy."—The Jerusalem Report

"Highly recommended."—Choice

Meet the Author


Hillel Cohen is Research Fellow at the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the author of Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaborators with Zionism 1917-1948 (UC Press), The Present Absentees: Palestinian Refugees in Israel since 1948, and The Marketplace is Empty: The Rise and Fall of Arab Jerusalem 1967-2007.

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