The 1947 UN resolution to partition Palestine irrevocably changed the political landscape of the Middle East, giving rise to six full-fledged wars between Arabs and Jews, countless armed clashes, blockades, and terrorism, as well as a profound shattering of Palestinian Arab society. Its origins, and that of the wider Arab-Israeli conflict, are deeply rooted in Jewish-Arab confrontation and appropriation in Palestine. But the isolated occasions of violence during the British Mandate era (1920–48) suggest that the majority of Palestinian Arabs yearned to live and thrive under peaceful coexistence with the evolving Jewish national enterprise. So what was the real cause of the breakdown in relations between the two communities?
In this brave and groundbreaking book, Efraim Karsh tells the story from both the Arab and Jewish perspectives. He argues that from the early 1920s onward, a corrupt and extremist leadership worked toward eliminating the Jewish national revival and protecting its own interests. Karsh has mined many of the Western, Soviet, UN, and Israeli documents declassified over the past decade, as well as unfamiliar Arab sources, to reveal what happened behind the scenes on both Palestinian and Jewish sides. It is an arresting story of delicate political and diplomatic maneuvering by leading figures—Ben Gurion, Hajj Amin Husseini, Abdel Rahman Azzam, King Abdullah, Bevin, and Truman —over the years leading up to partition, through the slide to war and its enduring consequences. Palestine Betrayed is vital reading for understanding the origin of disputes that remain crucial today.
|Publisher:||Yale University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Efraim Karsh is professor and head of the Middle East and Mediterranean Studies Programme, King's College London. His books include Islamic Imperialism: A History; The Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Palestine War, 1948; Saddam Hussein: A Political Biography; and Empires of the Sand: The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East, 1789-1923. He lives in London.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Replete with references the Professor & Head of the Middle East and Mediterranean Studies Programme at Kings College, London has provided an excellent, detailed, objective analysis of both the origins as well as the history surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict. In my own opinion this authoritative, timely and well written study is destined to become a classic in relation to this contentious subject. Those who have already embraced the revisionist history of the 'new historians' will probably want to give it a miss as the detail and depth of this work tends to blow their case completely out of the water. Citing many documents which have been declassified over the past decade, both the Arab and Jewish perspectives of this conflict are addressed from the very start. The political/diplomatic manoeuvering of many prominent individuals on both sides and in the international arena are all given due reference. Recent declassification of millions of documents from the era surrounding the British Mandate are shown to have been ignored or distorted by the 'new historians'. These ignored documents painting a picture that the author claims 'is completely at odds with the anti Israel caricature that is so often the order of the day'. This compelling investigation makes it clear to the reader that Israel is being robbed of its political, historic and geographic legitimacy, whilst being made to appear to rob the Palestinians of the nation it never had. At the outset the author draws attention to the differing positions of the then Jewish and Arab leadership leading up to the 1947 UN resolution calling for the partition of 'Palestine' into two independent states - Arab and Jewish - plus the internationalisation of Jerusalem. From the easily readable text the reader can assess how the Jewish leadership openly accepted the detailed UN plans for parition while the Arab side utterly rejected any such plan and showed that compliance with any UN resolution was of no consequence as they declared all out war with the declared intention of eradicating the reborn Jewish state. Full quotes and detailed references from both sides are provided for the reader's attention. The book reveals in no uncertain terms that if the Palestinian Arabs and the neighbouring Arab states had accepted the UN resolution there would have been no war and no dislocation of a single Arab refugee. The simple reason being that the Zionist movement was amenable to the co-existence with the Palestinian Arabs and a 2 state solution even at that time. The Arab world choosing to instead wage a war of annihilation. Citing how such reality was to become erased form public memory by decades of relentless pro-Arab propaganda, the writer clarifies that it is to reclaim this and other historical truths that this book has been written. A whole plethora of issues are addressed including those of a Zionist and Pan Arab perspective covering many decades prior to, and culminating in, the above. The role of the British and the Mandate is studied in some detail revealing much of the alleged British appeasement of the Arab world and it's 'White Paper' restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine while Jews were fleeing the persecution and slaughter within Europe during the rule of Hitler. Covering events and the people involved even up to the present day and the so called 'peace process', I can but heartily recommend this study to anyone remotely interested in the M