Jerusalem 1913: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Jerusalem 1913: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

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by Amy Dockser Marcus
     
 

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A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter examines the true history of the discord between Israel and Palestine with surprising results

Though the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict have traditionally been traced to the British Mandate (1920-1948) that ended with the creation of the Israeli state, a new generation of scholars has taken the investigation…  See more details below

Overview

A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter examines the true history of the discord between Israel and Palestine with surprising results

Though the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict have traditionally been traced to the British Mandate (1920-1948) that ended with the creation of the Israeli state, a new generation of scholars has taken the investigation further back, to the Ottoman period. The first popular account of this key era, Jerusalem 1913 shows us a cosmopolitan city whose religious tolerance crumbled before the onset of Z ionism and its corresponding nationalism on both sides-a conflict that could have been resolved were it not for the onset of World War I. With extraordinary skill, Amy Dockser Marcus rewrites the story of one of the world's most indelible divides.

Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle
A richly insightful, highly readable, and acutely felt offering, one that is also critical and even handed . . . a page-turning, heartbreaking narrative.
Publishers Weekly

In Ottoman Jerusalem, families of different religions picnicked together at popular shrines and vouched for each other at the bank; Muslims and Jews were business partners and neighbors; and Arab children dressed in costumes for the Jewish holiday of Purim. How then did this city of ethnic diversity become a crucible of sectarian conflict? Marcus (The View from Nebo), a Pulitzer-winning former Wall Street Journalcorrespondent, focuses on the year 1913 as a turning point, when leaders at the Zionist Congress argued for both cultural and demographic domination of Palestine, while at the same time Jews and Arabs were negotiating a possible peace. Marcus also highlights three men who helped shape the destiny of the future Israeli capital. Albert Antebi was a non-Zionist Syrian Jew who advocated for Jewish economic solvency and strong relationships with Muslims; ardent Zionist Arthur Ruppin directed the establishment of Jewish settlements; and Ruhi Khalidi, a prominent Muslim , although not an Arab nationalist, actively opposed Jewish immigration and land purchases. Marcus masterfully brings a Jerusalem of almost a century ago to pungent life, and her political dissection of the era is lucid and well-meaning although she never explains the gulf between moderate Muslims of 1913 and today's Islamist and radical movements. (Apr. 23)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A searching contribution to the history of the troubles in Palestine by Wall Street Journal reporter and former Middle East correspondent Marcus. Many Western historians locate the birth of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the British Mandate, which governed Palestine from 1920 to 1948. Marcus pushes the date back to 1913, when the Zionist movement had established itself in Palestine and begun to enlist European settlers, mostly from Russia. One recruiting device, a film by Russian Zionist Noah Sokolovsky of the Jewish enterprise, conveyed "a pulsing nationalism that did not need words or sound to vividly express itself." Arab leaders, naturally, were wary of such expressions of nationalism, and as the Zionist presence grew and with it Arab resentment, the previously broadly agreed upon "notion of a country made up of various peoples united by a common identity seemed to be receding." To the credit of both, the Zionist and Arab leadership made efforts at detente, or perhaps even entente, during an international conference devoted to dismantling the Ottoman Empire. However, the growing numbers of Jews in the Arab land spawned violence and terrorist actions; the infamous "Rehovot incident" sharply divided the two camps, and with that came an end to the idea that a multiethnic secular state might emerge once the Ottomans left. Leaders such as the German-born attorney Arthur Ruppin foresaw that the problem would only grow, and he encouraged the development of the kibbutz system and Jewish settlements that were located close to one another for easier defense, quickening the pace of land acquisition and with it Jewish immigration. Interestingly, Marcus notes, the Turkish government recentlyreleased some 14,000 pages of documents related to land sales in and around Jerusalem. "It wasn't clear yet what the archive would reveal," she writes, "but the shadow cast by 1913 seemed to loom ever larger over the city's future."A thoughtful, well-written addition to the literature on a bitterly debated subject.
From the Publisher
"A richly insightful, highly readable, and acutely felt offering, one that is also critical and even handed . . . a page-turning, heartbreaking narrative."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"Marcus masterfully brings a Jerusalem of almost a century ago to pungent life, and her political dissection of the era is lucid."
-Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440632709
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/25/2008
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
697,043
File size:
731 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Joyce Bean [makes] it a story about people, and her inflections make the principals seem human without giving them theatrical characters. Her motherly voice disarms a subject so controversial it has caused unending war." —-AudioFile

Meet the Author

Joyce Bean is an accomplished audiobook narrator and director. In addition to being an AudioFile Earphones Award winner, she has been nominated multiple times for a prestigious Audie Award, including for Good-bye and Amen by Beth Gutcheon.

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