Image & Reality of the Israel Palestine Conflict

Image & Reality of the
Israel - Palestine Conflict
: New,
'Second Edition,'
[A5+] Paperback - 326 pages,
by Norman G Finkelstein,
by Verso Publications.


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First published in 1995, this acclaimed study challenges generally accepted truths of the Israel-Palestine conflict as well as much of the revisionist literature. This new edition critically reexamines dominant popular and scholarly images in the light of the recent failures of the peace process.

    " In recent years, academics in Israel and many outside it seemed to move from historical research onto a historiographical debate when dealing with Zionism or the Arab-Israeli conflict. In Israel itself, the focus of the academic debate has been on the role and importance of Zionist ideology in the local scholarly reconstruction of the past. This current debate suffers in two ways: Those who write about metahistorical questions have little experience in reconstructing the past according to new theories or methodologies, or even in a non-Zionist way; while those who do write proper historical works are totally innocent of any knowledge of metahistorical questions, which include debates about history that could benefit anyone writing about Palestine's history. The book under review tries to overcome both deficiencies by deconstructing Israeli historiographical texts on Zionism and the Arab-Israeli conflict and simultaneously offering the author's version on the same topics dealt with by the scholars he examines.

    This is a novel and intriguing contribution. Historians are not interested or knowledgeable enough to carry such an intricate task. The best-known among the "new historians," Benny Morris, attacks this tendency to deal with the subject of metahistory or methodological questions in the revised edition of his book 1948 and After (Oxford Univ. Press, 1990). Therefore, he probably would be totally dismayed to see the allegation made by Finkelstein in a full chapter of his book, "Making of the Palestinian Refugee Problem," that Morris is as Zionist in his scholarly work as are the old guard historians of Israel. In fact, Morris is cited together with the same historians he "deconstructed": Anita Shapira and Yosef Gorny. To these three, Finkelstein adds Abba Eban, Chaim Herzog, and Joan Peters. Finkelstein confronts the main arguments of their books with an alternative analysis and description.

    The book under review is very elegant and readable, notwithstanding its extensive academic apparatus. The book includes a large number of footnotes, which allow Finkelstein to transcend the chronological and thematic scopes chosen by the historians he examines. He challenges the general outline on which the Israeli historiographical picture of Zionism is based. He does that first by questioning the main themes in the Zionist historical narrative and then by examining in great detail the empirical evidence brought by Israeli historians to substantiate their claims. Thus, his refutation of Israeli historiography is both ethical and empirical." ---Ilan Pappé is a professor of political science at Haifa University, Israel.


More Reviews

"... the most revealing study of the historical background of the conflict and the current peace agreement."---Noam Chomsky,  Guardian.

"Norman Finkelstein is one of the most radical and hard-hitting critics of the official Zionist version of the Arab-Israeli conflict and of the historians who support this version ... The book makes a major contribution to the study of the Arab-Israeli conflict which deserves to be widely read, especially in the United States."---Avi Shlaim.

"Anyone interested in seeing justice brought to the Middle East must read this book."---Charles Glass.

"... this thoroughly documented book is guaranteed to stimulate and provoke. It will be required reading in the continuing war of the historians."---William Quandt,  Foreign Affairs.

"... a thought-provoking work which calls into question many of the accepted ‘truths’ associated with the Israel-Palestine conflict."---Middle East Journal.

"... both an impressive analysis of Zionist ideology and a searing but scholarly indictment of Israel’s treatment of the Arabs since 1948."---London Review of Books.





More Palestine related books,
Also see 
Current Affairs.



Dimensions :  23.5 x 16cm.





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This product was added to our catalog on Friday 01 December, 2023.

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