February 19, 2013

The Frontline Club

The Invention of the Land of Israel — book launch with Shlomo Sand and Independent Jewish Voices

A panel discussion with Donald Sassoon and Geoffrey Bindman

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? 

Join Sand and a panel with historian Donald Sassoon and human rights lawyer Geoffrey Bindman in discussing the mysterious sacred land that has become the site of the longest-running national struggle of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. 

Following the acclaimed and controversial The Invention of the Jewish People, Sand's pioneering new work The Invention of the Land of Israel deconstructs the age-old legends surrounding the Holy Land and the prejudices that continue to suffocate it.  

The Invention of the Land of Israel 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.

This event is organised by Verso Books and Independent Jewish Voices and is dedicated to Eric Hobsbawm.  

The Panel:

Professor Shlomo Sand studied history at the University of Tel Aviv and at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, in Paris. He currently teaches contemporary history at the University of Tel Aviv. His books include The Invention of the Jewish PeopleOn the Nation and the Jewish People.

Professor Donald Sassoon is Professor of Comparative European History at Queen Mary College, University of London. He received his PhD, supervised by Eric Hobsbawm, from Birkbeck College. His books include One Hundred Years of Socialism and The Culture of the Europeans: 1800 to the present. 

Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC (Hon) founded Bindmans in 1974 and throughout his long and distinguished legal career, has specialised in civil liberty and human rights issues.He is a Visiting Professor of Law at University College London and at London South Bank University, an Honorary Fellow in Civil Legal Process at the University of Kent, and a Fellow of the Society of Advanced Legal Studies  

Praise for The Invention of the Jewish People

“Perhaps books combining passion and erudition don't change political situations, but if they did, this one would count as a landmark.” – Eric Hobsbawm, Books of the Year, Observer

"Anyone interested in understanding the contemporary Middle East should read this book.” – Tony Judt

“A radical dismantling of a national myth.” – Guardian


7.00pm – 8.30pm

The Frontline Club

13 Norfolk Place
London, W2 1QJ