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Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations

Acclaimed reflections on the causes and consequences of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
With characteristic rigor and readability, Avi Shlaim reflects on a range of key issues, transformations and personalities in the Israel–Palestine conflict. From the 1917 Balfour Declaration to the 2008 invasion of Gaza, Israel and Palestine places current events in their proper historical perspective, and assesses the impact of key political and intellectual figures, including Yasir Arafat and Ariel Sharon, Edward Said and Benny Morris. It also re-examines the United States’ influential role in the conflict, and explores the many missed opportunities for peace and progress. Clear-eyed and meticulous, Israel and Palestine is an essential tool for understanding the fractured history and future prospects of the region.

Reviews

  • “Highly recommended: Everyone interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—general readers and academics alike—will want to consult this book.”
  • “A valuable collection.”
  • “Shlaim … provides a realpolitik reading of the history, demolishing the heroic and innocent image of Israel in its relations with the Palestinians.”
  • “Wonderful … Not often today do we find historians who are this honest and this bleak and this able to express truth so simply.”
  • “Shlaim does not aim at a comprehensive overview of the conflict so much as a running rebuttal of Israel’s version of it; an insurgency in the public relations war.”
  • “… a welcome and timely addition to the continuing debate on the Palestine-Israel conflict and its possible resolution.”

Blog

  • 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.


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  • John Berger: The dead help the living to resist in Palestine

    As tensions escalate once again in occupied West Bank and Jerusalem in what is now being described by some as the Third Intifada, we share this extract from John Berger's Hold Everything Dear: Dispatches on Survival and Resistance about the devastating, deadly effects of the Israeli occupation. Earlier this week, Berger sent a letter to the Palestinian resistance in support of the upsurge. 


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  • On the one-year anniversary of Israel's attack on Gaza: An interview with Max Blumenthal



    Glenn Greenwald interviews Max Blumenthal, author of The 51 Day War. Originally published on The Intercept.

    One year ago today, Israel invaded, bombed and shelled Gaza, and continued to do that for the next seven weeks. According to the U.N., at least 2,104 Gazans were killed — 1,462 of whom (69 percent) were civilians, including 495 children. A total of 6 Israeli civilians, and 66 soldiers, were killed. The shockingly high civilian death rate in Gaza included the now-iconic imagery of four young boys from the same family being killed by Israeli warships while they played on a beach in front of a hotel filled with foreign journalists.

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