The 1948 war led to the creation of the state of Israel, the fragmentation of Palestine, and to a conflict which has raged across the intervening sixty years. The historical debate likewise continues and these debates are encapsulated in the second edition of The War for Palestine, updated to include chapters on Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. In a preface to this edition, the editors survey the state of scholarship in this contested field. The impact of these debates goes well beyond academia. There is an important link between the state of Arab-Israeli relations and popular attitudes towards the past. A more complex and fair-minded understanding of that past is essential for preserving at least the prospect of reconciliation between Arabs and Israel in the future. The rewriting of the history of 1948 thus remains a practical as well as an academic imperative.
About the Author
Eugene L. Rogan is University Lecturer in the Modern History of the Middle East and a Fellow of St Antony's College, University of Oxford. He is the author of Frontiers of the State in the Late Ottoman Empire (1999) and editor of Outside In: On the Margins of the Modern Middle East (2002). He is editor of The Contemporary Middle East series published by Cambridge.
Avi Shlaim is Professor of International Relations and a Fellow of St Antony's College, University of Oxford. He was a British Academy Research Professor in 2003-6 and he was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2006. His previous publications include War and Peace in the Middle East: A Concise History (1995), The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (2000) and Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace (2008).
Table of Contents
Preface to the second edition; Introduction; 1. The Palestinians and 1948: the underlying causes of failure Rashid Khaldi; 2. Revisiting the Palestinian exodus of 1948 Benny Morris; 3. The Druze and the birth of Israel Laila Parsons; 4. Israel and the Arab coalition in 1948 Avi Shlaim; 5. Jordan and 1948: the persistence of an official history Eugene L. Rogan; 6. Iraq and the 1948 war: mirror of Iraq's disorder Charles Tripp; 7. Egypt and the 1948 war: internal conflict and regional ambition Fawaz A. Gerges; 8. Syria and the Palestine War: fighting King 'Abdullah's 'Greater Syria Plan' Joshua Landis; 9. Collusion across the Litani? Lebanon and the 1948 war Matthew Hughes; 10. Saudi Arabia and the 1948 Palestine War: beyond official history Madawi Al-Rasheed; 11. Afterword: the consequences of 1948 Edward W. Said.