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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

  • Nakba Day Reading List



    Nakba Day, an annual day of commemoration of the displacement that preceded and followed the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948, falls on the 15th of May each year. In an attempt to understand the catastrophe, we bring you a reading list of key books on the Israel-Palestine conflict, from Ghada Karmi, Mahmoud Darwish, Naji al-Ali, Ilan Pappe, Edward Said, Shlomo Sand, and more.

    Two recently released books explore the brutal history of the foundation of the state of Israel and historiography's connection to nationalism in Israel and beyond.

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  • How Shlomo Sand Stopped Being a Jew, directed by Bruce Robbins — trailer

    Shlomo Sand is the subject of a new documentary by scholar and filmmaker Bruce Robbins. Watch the trailer below. 


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  • The Israel-Palestine Conflict: A Reading List

    On Friday 23rd December the UN passed a resolution demanding a stop to Israeli settlement in the occupied territories as, in a shock move, the US refused to veto the resolution. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exploded, calling it a 'declaration of war' (having recently been granted a $38 billion military aid package by the US), and Secretary of State John Kerry criticised Israel's approach to the peace process. But with Trump tweeting that Israel should 'stay strong' until his inauguration, progress still seems unlikely.

    Verso presents a list of books from Israeli, Palestinian, and anti-imperialist authors, to explain the conflict and provide some perspectives on the future. 

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Other books by Shlomo Sand Translated by Geremy Forman