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

Groundbreaking new work from the controversial author of The Invention of the Jewish People
Following his acclaimed and controversial 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 the region. The modern concept of the "Land of Israel" came into being in the nineteenth century, he argues. It motivated the early Zionists to colonize the Middle East and establish the State of Israel, and today it threatens Israel's political stability and continued existence.


  • “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...Truth-telling may be painful but necessary.”
  • “Extravagantly denounced and praised.”
  • “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'.”


  • Shlomo Sand: Jewish state or binational state: between ethnocracy and utopia

    Shlomo Sand, author of The Invention of the Jewish People, The Invention of the Land of Israel and most recently How I Stopped Being a Jew, has contributed to Rony Brauman's Pour les Palestiniens: manifeste (Autrement, October 2014) alongside Frank Eskenazi, Caroline Abu-Sa'da, René Backmann, Gilbert Achcar and others. Below is an excerpt of Sand's contribution, translated from french by David Broder:

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  • Shlomo Sand: "I wish to resign and cease considering myself a Jew"

    Shlomo Sand's new book, How I Stopped Being a Jew, charts the author's journey as a secular Israeli to his break with what he calls "tribal Judeocentrism." From the historical tragedies of the twentieth century to the current state of Israel, Sand's book offers a personal reflection on the changing meaning and status of Jewish identity.

    In an exclusive extract in the Guardian, Sand writes that, although he cannot officially his change nationality from "Jew" to "Israeli," he wishes to renounce the legal privileges that come with his status as a Jew in Israel.

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  • The Verso Undergraduate Reading List


    Feeling underwhelmed by your orthodox assigned readings? Expand your knowledge of left theory, give your political arguments some bite, and spark a love for revolutionary writers with this updated list of essential Verso books for undergraduates.

    Whether you're a student of history, sociology, political science, or geography, look no further for key radical texts and indispensable primers on today's top thinkers. 

    The list is divided into Politics, Philosophy, Feminism, Postcolonial Studies, History and Geography - see below for our recommended reading in these areas.

    All of these books will be discounted by 50%, with free shipping and bundled ebook, when you buy through our website until midnight on Tuesday September 16th! Not all books are available in all regions (apologies!) and - of course - only whilst stocks last.

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Other books by Shlomo Sand Translated by Geremy Forman