The Hundred Years' War on Palestine
A landmark history of one hundred years of war waged against the Palestinians from the foremost US historian of the Middle East, told through pivotal events and family history.In 1899, Yusuf Diya al-Khalidi, mayor of Jerusalem, alarmed by the Zionist call to create a Jewish national home in Palestine, wrote a letter aimed at Theodore Herzl: the country had an indigenous people who would not easily accept their own displacement. He warned of the perils ahead, ending his note, "in the name of God, let Palestine be left alone." Thus Rashid Khalidi, al-Khalidi's great-great-nephew, begins this sweeping history, the first general account of the conflict told from an explicitly Palestinian perspective.Drawing on a wealth of untapped archival materials and the reports of generations of family members - mayors, judges, scholars, diplomats, and journalists - The Hundred Years' War on Palestine upends accepted interpretations of the conflict, which tend, at best, to describe a tragic clash between two peoples with claims to the same territory. Instead, Khalidi traces a hundred years of colonial war on the Palestinians, waged first by the Zionist movement and then Israel, but backed by Britain and the United States, the great powers of the age. He highlights the key episodes in this colonial campaign, from the 1917 Balfour Declaration to the destruction of Palestine in 1948, from Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon to the endless and futile peace process.Original, authoritative, and important, The Hundred Years' War on Palestine is not a chronicle of victimization, nor does it whitewash the mistakes of Palestinian leaders or deny the emergence of national movements on both sides. In reevaluating the forces arrayed against the Palestinians, it offers an illuminating new view of a conflict that continues to this day.Cover photograph Amnon Bar Or—Tal Gazit Architects LTD

The Hundred Years' War on Palestine Details

TitleThe Hundred Years' War on Palestine
Author
ReleaseJan 28th, 2020
PublisherMetropolitan Books
ISBN-139781627798556
Rating
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Politics, Religion

The Hundred Years' War on Palestine Review

  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars for a book that is both depressing and illuminating. This book tells the story of an indigenous people colonized and deprived of their own land over a 100 year period. The first colonization was by the British who conquered Palestine during World War I from the Ottoman Empire. They had issued the Balfour declaration in 1917, stating their intention to provide a national home for Jewish people in Palestine. Although 94% of the population in Palestine in 1917 was Palestinian, the 5 stars for a book that is both depressing and illuminating. This book tells the story of an indigenous people colonized and deprived of their own land over a 100 year period. The first colonization was by the British who conquered Palestine during World War I from the Ottoman Empire. They had issued the Balfour declaration in 1917, stating their intention to provide a national home for Jewish people in Palestine. Although 94% of the population in Palestine in 1917 was Palestinian, the declaration did not promise them the same political or national right guaranteed the Jews. Britain then embarked on a program granting Jewish immigrants preferred status in their new colony.Britain even armed Jewish immigrants to help suppress the great revolt against the British from 1936-1939. Britain was following an old colonial strategy of divide and rule, setting two groups against each other. It had used this strategy before, in India, Muslim against Hindu and Ireland, Protestant against Catholic. Britain savagely suppressed the revolt, killing , wounding or exiling 10% of the adult male population. This provided the Zionist movement 2 advantages: they had a nascent military force and it greatly weakened the native population. The subsequent 1947-48 war between the Palestinians and Jewish settlers saw the Zionists win and steal land and homes from thousands of Palestinians. This theft is continuing today. Israel calls it "settlements."The Palestinian point of view is rarely presented in the US today. The author frequently compares the Irish rebellion of 1919-21 to the Palestinian rebellion of 1936-39. he comments that the British even used veteran "Black and Tan" soldiers of the Irish rebellion. The "Black and Tans" were renowned for their cruelty. Many of them were criminals that Britain released in return for being part of the force suppressing the Irish rebellion.The US is actually complicit in the theft of Palestinian land, in that gives billions of dollars yearly to Israel.There are extensive footnotes, some of which have links to documents in the public domain.Thanks to the author and Henry Holt & Co for sending me this eARC through NetGalley.#TheHundredYearsWarOnPalestine #NetGalley
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  • Marc Cullison
    January 1, 1970
    I was excited to read this book since I knew little of the Middle East. The only information I'd had is from the American mainstream media. As I delved into the book, I was astounded at the accusations and condemnation of the Israelis and Arab states. Of course, this confounded my notions of the Israelis and the Zionist movement. I plodded through the repetitive narrative, absorbing new information about the Palestinians all the while cognizant of the overt bias of the author. It was as if I was I was excited to read this book since I knew little of the Middle East. The only information I'd had is from the American mainstream media. As I delved into the book, I was astounded at the accusations and condemnation of the Israelis and Arab states. Of course, this confounded my notions of the Israelis and the Zionist movement. I plodded through the repetitive narrative, absorbing new information about the Palestinians all the while cognizant of the overt bias of the author. It was as if I was reading the same chapter three or four times. Nevertheless, it served to cement the details in my mind. It is unfortunate that the Israelis chose to do to the Palestinians what the Europeans had done to them. The Israeli government was quite adept at propaganda and clever enough to establish such a robust government and military machine. Even through the author’s resentful bias against the Israelis and the surrounding Arab states, his points are well taken as a historical gauge of the inhuman treatment of the Palestinian people. It is a book well worth reading to gain an understanding of the current situation in the Middle East.
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  • Dan Mccarthy
    January 1, 1970
    Rashid Khalidi brings a personal up lose reflection to the struggle for Palestinian national survival and recognition in his book The Hundred Years War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017. From an educated Palestinian family who played roles in the governing of the province under Ottoman Rule up through World War One, struggled against the British Mandate in the interwar periods, survived the siege of Beirut in 1980, and personally was a part of numerous Rashid Khalidi brings a personal up lose reflection to the struggle for Palestinian national survival and recognition in his book “The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017.” From an educated Palestinian family who played roles in the governing of the province under Ottoman Rule up through World War One, struggled against the British Mandate in the interwar periods, survived the siege of Beirut in 1980, and personally was a part of numerous delegations and negations on behalf of the Palestinian people, Khalidi brings a close-up focus to the story of the struggles of the Palestinian people as only one who has survived it can.Khalidi breaks up the history of the relationship between the Palestinian Arabs and the Zionist settlers and later Israelis based on six “Declarations of War”, each covering a crucial moment in the geopolitical foundations of the modern-day Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He first reflects on the major issues faced by the fledgling post World War One Palestinian community, at a time when nations across the world were first beginning to recognize their will and ability to self-rule, and their inability to grasp their situation as the Balfour Declaration places their new British Imperial rulers behind the European Zionist movement. As I have often seen, Khalidi compares the struggles of the early-years of Palestinian conflict with the British to the same occurrences in Ireland and India at the same time, correctly placing the narrative in a wider colonial context.From the early years, Khalidi traces the armed conflicts of 1948, 1967, and 1982. In a chapter on each period of conflict, he reflects on the attitudes of the Palestinian leaders, often based on personal recollections, and discussed the challenges they faced; Lack of geopolitical knowledge often allowing Israel to bend the narrative to their benefit, a failure to recognize the need for the aid and approval of the wider world, a reliance on other Arab nations with their own motives as refugee home-bases, and all exacerbated by a never-ending list of assassinated leaders (often replaced by more inexperienced persons). The final two chapters bring the narrative up to the present day, through the First and Second Intifada and the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza.Throughout the book, we can see the distinct fingerprints of settler colonialism and indigenous struggle, and the impact of the ‘Western literacy’ that the Israeli settlers possessed, and the Palestinian leadership lacked. Eqbal Ahmad, quoted in the book, summed it up: “August 1947 marked the beginning of decolonization, when British rule in India ended. It was in those days of hope and fulfillment that the colonization of Palestine occurred. Thus at the dawn of decolonization, we were returned to the earliest, most intense form of colonial menace…exclusivist settler colonialism.” Israel’s policy of refusal to negotiate with Palestinian leadership on equal footing, or even recognizing that they should, is reminiscent to the treatment of indigenous peoples in the Americas and Australia. The methods of Palestinian resistance are taken directly from the playbook of other oppressed people facing a militarily superior foe. All of which is portrayed competently by Khalidi, the author of seven books on the subject and a professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University.But you would not know any of this if you read the New York Times’s book review. While the reviewer seems to not dispute the historicity of Khalidi’s book, or that his insights are “thought-provoking”, the review takes a ‘so what stance’ on the narrative: “But the bigger weakness of this book, to my mind, can be distilled to a simple question: Where does it get you? Even if one fully accepts Khalidi’s colonialist thesis, does that move us any closer to some kind of resolution? This may seem an unfair criticism. After all, it is not incumbent on a historian to offer up possible remedies — except this is the closing task Khalidi sets for himself. It is also where his insights become noticeably threadbare.”Yes, that is an unfair criticism, and no, Khalidi does not set out to offer remedies for one of the most difficult geopolitical issues of the modern day. Even so, these remarks make me wonder if the reviewer just did not read the conclusion of the book, which I nearly feel the necessity to quote verbatim as evidence of just how not ‘threadbare’ Khalidi’s thesis is. Instead I will attempt to boil it down: Israel and Palestine cannot reach a peaceful solution without negotiations, Israel cannot negotiate unless you recognize those you wish to negotiate with, and Israel cannot recognize Palestine without also recognizing the one-hundred years of settler colonialism imposed on the Palestinian people. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/28/bo... 
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  • Amit
    January 1, 1970
    The Zionist movement wanted a country for the adherents of Judaism. It could not have been anywhere else but in Palestine. Why? Because the leaders of Zionism realized that the it was only the promise of the returning to holy land that could persuade millions of people to uproot themselves and move to a new place. There was a small complication - this land had been settled by another people for almost 1,500 years, so the Zionists had to embark on a campaign to conquer and resettle it. From the The Zionist movement wanted a country for the adherents of Judaism. It could not have been anywhere else but in Palestine. Why? Because the leaders of Zionism realized that the it was only the promise of the returning to holy land that could persuade millions of people to uproot themselves and move to a new place. There was a small complication - this land had been settled by another people for almost 1,500 years, so the Zionists had to embark on a campaign to conquer and resettle it. From the start they knew that overwhelming force was essential, as were alliances with dominant powers, something that has been true for all colonial projects. Rashid Khalidi tells the story of the Zionist conquest from the perspective of the Palestinians, the people that were conquered. As you read, you can feel the pain in his words and sense his disappointment with Palestinian political leadership and other Arab governments. This book is a stark reminder of the fact that even that we are not in a post-colonial world yet. If you like this book, I would recommend two others:1. "Enemies and Neighbors: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017|34218167", by Ian Black. A history of the same era, written by a veteran British journalist. Though based on a broader set of sources, it reaches the same conclusions.2. "In Distant Lands: A Short History of the Crusades|34935991]", by Lars Brownsworth, a book about the Christian settler project in Palestine. Though separated by almost 900 years, it is reminder of how a settler state in Palestine cannot exist without the support of strong western powers. For the crusaders, it was France. For the state of Israel, it is the United States.
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  • Zoe's Human
    January 1, 1970
    As a citizen of the US, almost everything I've ever seen on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been from a definitively pro-Israeli perspective with extreme bias against the Palestinian point-of-view. Despite this, I've always found the information unsettling, sensing on some level that the terrible acts committed upon Palestinians by Israel were being dismissed far too lightly and that the wrongs of Palestinians were being brought to the forefront in a vacuum as if unprovoked.While I doubt As a citizen of the US, almost everything I've ever seen on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been from a definitively pro-Israeli perspective with extreme bias against the Palestinian point-of-view. Despite this, I've always found the information unsettling, sensing on some level that the terrible acts committed upon Palestinians by Israel were being dismissed far too lightly and that the wrongs of Palestinians were being brought to the forefront in a vacuum as if unprovoked.While I doubt that anything which could be truly classified as unbiased will ever exist on this topic within my lifetime, I think that Rashid Khalidi has done a remarkable job of presenting a well-sourced history of the Palestinian experience of this conflict while not disregarding or diminishing the actions of suicide bombers and groups such as Hamas. To be honest, this is dry AF at some points. It could fairly be accused of being academic to a fault in certain sections. With that said, it's also an extremely important read and deserving of your time and attention.
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  • Arifa Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    This book is an essential read to understand the historical perspective with respect to Palestinian issue. Historical analysis of major events that the book offers is both powerful and authentic. The book is a poignant recollection of injustices suffered by Palestinian people but at the same time it owns up the mistakes that were committed by them as well. The book offers a Palestinian narrative that is often diminished and ignored. It reminded us that in this historic conflict both parties are This book is an essential read to understand the historical perspective with respect to Palestinian issue. Historical analysis of major events that the book offers is both powerful and authentic. The book is a poignant recollection of injustices suffered by Palestinian people but at the same time it owns up the mistakes that were committed by them as well. The book offers a Palestinian narrative that is often diminished and ignored. It reminded us that in this historic conflict both parties are not on equal footing. Story of Palestine is a story of colonial conquest in a post colonial world.
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  • Nelda Brangwin
    January 1, 1970
    It wasnt until I was in Saudi Arabia on a teacher exchange that I saw the Arabian point of view in the middle east. This book helped but also created more questions for me. I understand the authors belief that Palestine was always just a pawn in western colonization. The authors comparison of the Palestinian conflicts with the Irish conflicts sums the story up. Neither side was perfect, but the colonizers never took the point of view of those who lived there into consideration when making It wasn’t until I was in Saudi Arabia on a teacher exchange that I saw the Arabian point of view in the middle east. This book helped but also created more questions for me. I understand the author’s belief that Palestine was always just a pawn in western colonization. The author’s comparison of the Palestinian conflicts with the Irish conflicts sums the story up. Neither side was perfect, but the colonizers never took the point of view of those who lived there into consideration when making decisions. Lots and lots of source material is given.
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  • Rick Homuth
    January 1, 1970
    My favorite part of this book wasn't the book itself (which was good, it is a good book, I liked the book) but rather the dumbass NYT reviewer who wrote about this book and critiqued it b/c it doesn't "move us any closer to some kind of resolution." AKA, don't write a book about how fucked up the situation in Palestine is if you're not also gonna solve it for us in a way that doesn't involve ceding any annexed land
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  • Shira Reiss
    January 1, 1970
    This NY Times article review of the book says it all. You can read it and get the gist of the entire book: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/28/bo...
  • Gaby Chapman
    January 1, 1970
    An in-depth, clear-eyed history of the largely successful attempt by Zionist Jews to push out the indigenous settlers of the land they believed the bible meant to be theirs and theirs alone, finished off with a path forward for justice to prevail.
  • Vahid عسکرپور Askarpour وحید
    January 1, 1970
    بحث در باب کشمکش صد سال اخیر سواحل شرقی مدیترانه از منظر استعمارگرایی متأثر از انسانشناسی سدهٔ نوزدهم راه حل کاملا متفاوتی را میتواند برای بحران فلسطین دامن بزند. ایدهای که در این کتاب بهشکلی بسیار جامع و منسجم طرح و تبیین میشود. بحث در باب کشمکش صد سال اخیر سواحل شرقی مدیترانه از منظر استعمارگرایی متأثر از انسان‌شناسی سدهٔ نوزدهم، راه حل کاملا متفاوتی را می‌تواند برای بحران فلسطین دامن بزند. ایده‌ای که در این کتاب به‌شکلی بسیار جامع و منسجم طرح و تبیین می‌شود.
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  • Andréa
    January 1, 1970
    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
  • Jesse
    January 1, 1970
    Depressing but eye opening. A very important book.
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