Yale’s Book of the Month for June is The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel, a vivid and incisive analysis of the complex relationship between Israel and its Palestinian citizens by the acclaimed Israeli historian Ilan Pappé.
For more than 60 years, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have lived as Israeli citizens within the borders of the nation formed at the end of the 1948 conflict. Occupying a precarious middle ground between the Jewish citizens of Israel and the dispossessed Palestinians of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Palestinians have developed an exceedingly complex relationship with the land they call home; however, in the innumerable discussions of the Israel-Palestine problem, their experiences are often overlooked and forgotten.
In this book, historian Ilan Pappe examines how Israeli Palestinians have fared under Jewish rule and what their lives tell us about both Israel’s attitude toward minorities and Palestinians’ attitudes toward the Jewish state. Drawing upon significant archival and interview material, Pappe analyzes the Israeli state’s policy towards its Palestinians citizens, finding discrimination in matters of housing, education, and civil rights. Rigorously researched yet highly readable, The Forgotten Palestinians brings a new and much-needed perspective to the Israel-Palestine debate.
About the Author
Ilan Pappé is a professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter. He was formerly a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa. He is the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, The Modern Middle East, A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples, and Britain and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Pappé is one of Israel’s “New Historians” who, since the release of pertinent British and Israeli government documents in the early 1980s, have been rewriting the history of Israel’s creation in 1948. He is a prominent supporter of the One State Solution envisaging one state for Palestinians and Israelis.
Ilan Pappé on YouTube
Ilan Pappe on Being an “Enemy of the State of Israel.”
Other Recent Books on the Middle East and Israel-Palestine
by Efraim Karsh
The 1947 UN resolution to partition Palestine irrevocably changed the political landscape of the Middle East, giving rise to six full-fledged wars between Arabs and Jews, countless armed clashes, blockades, and terrorism, as well as a profound shattering of Palestinian Arab society. Its origins, and that of the wider Arab-Israeli conflict, are deeply rooted in Jewish-Arab confrontation and appropriation in Palestine. But the isolated occasions of violence during the British Mandate era (1920-48) suggest that the majority of Palestinian Arabs yearned to live and thrive under peaceful coexistence with the evolving Jewish national enterprise. So what was the real cause of the breakdown in relations between the two communities? Efraim Karsh tells the story from both the Arab and Jewish perspectives, arguing that from the early 1920s onward, a corrupt and extremist leadership worked toward eliminating the Jewish national revival and protecting its own interests. It is an arresting story of delicate political and diplomatic manoeuvering by leading figures – Ben Gurion, Hajj Amin Husseini, Abdel Rahman Azzam, King Abdullah, Bevin, and Truman – over the years leading up to partition, through the slide to war and its enduring consequences.
In Ishmael’s House A History of Jews in Muslim Lands
by Martin Gilbert
Relationships between Jews and Muslims have known many flashpoints, affecting stability in the Middle East and with consequences around the globe. In this absorbing and eloquent book, Martin Gilbert challenges the standard media portrayal, presenting instead a fascinating account of hope, opportunity, fear and terror that have characterised these two people throughout the 1,400 years of their entwined history. Harking back to the Biblical story of Ishmael and Isaac, Gilbert takes the reader from the origins of the fraught relationship – the refusal of Medina’s Jews to accept Mohammed as a prophet – through the ages of the Crusader reconquest of the Holy Land and the great Muslim sultanates to the present day. He explores the impact of Zionism in the first half of the twentieth century, the clash of nationalisms during the Second World War, the mass expulsions and exodus of 800,000 Jews from Muslim lands following the birth of Israel, the Six-Day War and its aftermath, and the political sensitivities of the current Middle East.
The Forgotten Palestinians is available now from Yale University Press