9781781680834-max_221

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.

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...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'.”

Blog

  • Anti-Semitism Real and Imagined

    As the British Labour Party leadership is once again the subject of a crisis over its alleged tolerance of anti-semitism, we present an extract from Alain BadiouEric Hazan, and Ivan Segré's Reflections on Anti-Semitism. The book dissects the various ways false accusations of anti-Semitism are used to stifle opposition to the Israeli state and to facilitate the subjugation of the Palestinian people. In this extract the authors consider the role of anti-Semitism in contemporary France. 


    Continue Reading

  • How I Learned to Fall in Love With Sanctions

    For years, Shlomo Sand opposed boycotts and sanctions. Now, he announces his support for the BDS movement amid intensification of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once more. He presents his change in position in an article originally published in Haaretz, in which he argues that sanctions applied to Israel are increasingly legitimate.

    Sand's statement comes as the British government announces plans to ban boycotts of Israeli goods by public bodies. Hugh Lanning, chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, condemned this move as “a gross attack on our democratic freedoms and the independence of public bodies from Government interference”. “As if it is not enough that the UK Government has failed to act when the Israeli government has bombed and killed thousands of Palestinian civilians and stolen their homes and land, the Government is now trying to impose its inaction on all other public bodies,” he said to the Independent.


    Continue Reading

  • Ewa Jasiewicz: I saw a man beheaded

    I want to share this account* as a small intervention to re-frame ideas and experiences of violence and terror.

    I was an ambulance volunteer during Israel's Operation Cast Lead. It was a 22 day war on the Gaza Strip in 2008-2009 that killed 1409 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. It was the heaviest Israeli attack on Palestinian territory since 1967. The 2014 Gaza War has since eclipsed this in terms of deaths, injury and destruction in Gaza.

    On the afternoon of Friday the 16th of January we picked up the body of a man who had just been decapitated by an Israeli air strike.

    Dominant cultural narratives on violence in the global north now only see beheading as a terrorist act by ISIS or Al Qaeda or similar groups. The perpetrator is a Muslim. The colonial fantasy of the savage is coming back in to focus. 

    The role of the state, armed with heavy aerial power – drones, F16s, Apache Helicopters, MIG jets – is not part of the story of beheading. I think it's important to bring the role of states back in to the story, all the more so given that UK air strikes on Syria could be about to intensify.


    Continue Reading

Other books by Shlomo Sand Translated by Geremy Forman