Palestinians: The Making of a People

Palestinians: The Making of a People

by Baruch Kimmerling, Joel S. Migdal
     
 

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In the hundred-year struggle for Palestine, history itself has been a battlefield, Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs seek to undermine each other's claim to national identity. Whatever the outcome of the current phase in regional affairs, no real progress toward peace can occur before agreement is reached about the events that have shaped the present and will remain… See more details below

Overview

In the hundred-year struggle for Palestine, history itself has been a battlefield, Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs seek to undermine each other's claim to national identity. Whatever the outcome of the current phase in regional affairs, no real progress toward peace can occur before agreement is reached about the events that have shaped the present and will remain dominant influences over the future. Baruch Kimmerling and Joel Migdal have taken the first significant step in this direction with a timely and authoritative account of the origins and history of the Palestinian people. This is the story of an agrarian society, ruled for centuries by outside powers and lacking indigenous political traditions, whose historical experience has been overwhelmingly negative. Kimmerling and Migdal give a sensitive and detailed portrait of this society as it struggled to survive the dissipation of the Ottoman Empire, the devastations of World War I, the transfer to British authority, and the subsequent destabilizing impact of Western economies. In the midst of these upheavals, such events as the first Zionist settlement in 1870 and even the Balfour Declaration of 1917 went almost unnoticed. But Jews became a swiftly growing presence in Palestine, acquiring land, expanding settlements, and introducing modern farming and commercial practices that further strained the region's social fabric. The authors closely document this process, and reveal that what had always been a diffuse, clan-centered Arab population began to acquire national self-consciousness as a result of these violent changes. Thus, the authors argue that the Palestinians came into existence as a people over time, largely through their interaction with the Jewish people and the Israeli state. Kimmerling and Migdal believe that, although recent events have dealt the Palestinians a number of serious blows, they have reached a turning point in their tortured history, as a new generation of leaders arise who may

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674652231
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
07/15/1998
Edition description:
1st Harvard University Press pbk. ed
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.15(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.15(d)

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