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The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland

Groundbreaking new work from the controversial author of Invention of the Jewish People.

What is a homeland and when does it become a national territory? Why have so many people been willing to die for such places throughout the twentieth century? What is the essence of the Promised Land? Following the acclaimed and controversial The Invention of the Jewish People, Shlomo Sand examines the mysterious sacred land that has become the site of the longest-running national struggle of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

The Invention of the Land of Israel deconstructs the age-old legends surrounding the Holy Land and the prejudices that continue to suffocate it. Sand’s account dissects the concept of “historical right” and tracks the creation of the modern concept of the “Land of Israel” by nineteenth-century Evangelical Protestants and Jewish Zionists. This invention, he argues, not only facilitated the colonization of the Middle East and the establishment of the State of Israel; it is also threatening the existence of the Jewish state today.

Reviews

  • “Anyone interested in understanding the contemporary Middle East should read this book.”
  • “Perhaps books combining passion and erudition don't change political situations, but if they did, this one would count as a landmark.”
  • “His achievement consists in debunking a nationalist mythology which holds sway in large sections of popular opinion. It also normalises Jews, since it challenges the belief in exceptionalism...Truth-telling may be painful but necessary.”
  • “A thought-provoking, readable, and important work.”
  • “… there is much to enjoy and learn in the evidence in the potentially incendiary material [Shlomo Sand] assembles here.”
  • “[Sand] critically consider the ways in which the Zionist colonization of Palestine and the establishment of the State of Israel have been justified by claims of ancestral lands, historical rights, and millennia-old national yearnings, all of which he proceeds to critically undermine as either justifiable reasons for mastery over the land of Palestine/Israel or even representative of longstanding mass Jewish aspirations.”
  • “This groundbreaking new historical work from a highly controversial author undoes the myth of the Jewish people's historical right to the 'Land of Israel'.”

Blog

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    And sorry, sorry, sorry to all our Canadian customers. We thought we could ship to you but an insurmountable technical glitch meant that it wasn't possible. We're working on it and we have promised to do a special offer for our Canadian customers.

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    We're delighted to announce that we are now selling books directly through our website - meaning that we can offer generous discounts and free postage & packing to our customers. In addition, and where available, for every print book you buy you will receive the bundled ebook for free! Over time you can build up your own library of ebooks, hosted on the site, available to re-download as you wish to any device.

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    That means you can buy recent bestsellers such as Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work for only £4.49/$7.47; Utopia or Bust: A Guide to the Present Crisis for £4.49/$7.47; and Arun Kundnani's The Muslims Are Coming! for £7.49/$13.47 - with free postage and packing, worldwide.

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  • Explaining the Israel-Palestine Conflict

    Key facets of the Israel-Palestine conflict have been thrust back into a wider public limelight, due to the news that actress Scarlett Johansson has left her role as an Oxfam ambassador. The split comes after criticism over her decision to promote Sodastream, the drinks company which operates out of a factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Oxfam opposes all trade with groups based in Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories, creating a confict which has caused a serious rift between the humanitarian group and its celebrity supporter.

    "Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years," said a statement this week. "She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam."

    Vijay Prashad
    has written in the Guardian that Johansson's involvement with Sodastream brings much-needed scrutiny to illegal settlement activity and wider Western support for Israel. Once again we see that his is an issue that is not going to go away any time soon.

    These are Verso's key books on the Israel-Palestine conflict, from explanations to considered outcomes – what others should we include?

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  • 2013 Highlights from Verso Books

    From scaling the very highest rooftops to political scandal through the eyes of Alexander Cockburn, we bring you our seasonal highlights for 2013.

    THE CITY / URBAN EXPLORATION



     
    Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City
    Bradley L. Garrett

    "Garrett perceives the city like no one else I know. Seen through his eyes, it is newly porous, full of “vanishing points”, “imperfect joinings” and portals – service hatches, padlocked doorways – that you wouldn't usually notice... The city's accessible space extends far down into the earth (sewers, bunkers, tunnels) and far up into the air (skyscrapers, cranes), with the street level only serving as a median altitude." – Robert Macfarlane, Guardian 

    "[Combines] erudite references (Montesquieu, Walter Benjamin) with compelling photographs of men in hoodies in strange places." – Rowan Moore, The Observer Architecture Books of the Year

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Other books by Shlomo Sand Translated by Geremy Forman