Old Historians, New Historians, No Historians: The Derailed Debate on the Genesis of Israel

Old Historians, New Historians, No Historians: The Derailed Debate on the Genesis of Israel

by Raphael Israeli

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Overview

This polemical volume tackles the thorny and controversial issue of the vastly different narratives told (or manufactured) by the two parties of the conflict in the Middle East (the Arabs and Israel), focusing on 1948, where it all started. While all sides in this debate have vested interests, this author included, an attempt has been made here to reflect the factual truth on the events, although their interpretation will always remain controversial. Although the book argues principally with Benny Morris, the founder and leader of the so-called New Historians, it encompasses a wide array of controversial topics, like the evaluation of the 1948-49 War, the morality of the war (or the necessity to wage it as it was), and its main reverberations, such as the continuing conflict after seven decades, the aggravation of the Palestinian minority in Israel, and the essence of what history means. Israeli argues that the current debate between the so-called Old Historians and the New Historians--itself healthy if and when it is kept to the point and not allowed to degrade into personal libel and recriminations--is not really as unbridgeable as is often claimed. Both sides have erred at points and both sides have some important and complementary light to shed on the contentious events surrounding the birth of Israel.

""Israeli is exceptionally distinguished by his independent thinking, rigorous research, and compelling writing style. In this new and highly germane volume, he surveys competing historical presentations of Zionism and Israel's founding, as a backdrop to the nagging question of the legitimacy of the reconstituted Jewish state. Israeli's readiness to jump into the intellectual and political arena--and offer a cogent historical scrutiny--provides a major contribution to the interested readership and public.""
--Mordechai Nisan,The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

""Israeli has published a monumental account on Israel's right to exist as any other nation in the world. The debate within the small circle of Israeli historians on this subject is portrayed in detail against the background of the intensifying ideological battle between the liberal West and jihadist Islam. Israeli offers a new path, namely a rethinking of Jordan as the future Palestinian homeland, which offers a more realistic prospect to implement the Palestinians' right to self-determination.""
--Marc Cogen, Professor of International Law, Brussels

Raphael Israeli is a native of Morocco and did a PhD at Berkeley in Chinese and Islamic History. Until retirement he served as a professor in both fields at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has published some fifty research books, and over one hundred scholarly articles in professional journals.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498279185
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 04/19/2016
Pages: 236
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Raphael Israeli is a native of Morocco and did a PhD at Berkeley in Chinese and Islamic History. Until retirement he served as a professor in both fields at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has published some fifty research books, and over one hundred scholarly articles in professional journals.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction Varieties of History: Jewish, Arab/Muslim, Chinese, and European 1

Chapter 1 Old Historians and New Historians: The Contours of the Controversy, Themes, and Personalities 11

Chapter 2 The Arab-Muslim Background of Hatred and Enmity towards a Jewish Political Entity 63

Chapter 3 Themes of the Controversy 98

Chapter 4 The Arab Historians and the Israeli New Historians 140

Chapter 5 Israel and the Arabs in War and Peace and their Cost 190

Conclusions 204

Bibliography 213

Index 219

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