Description: The Palestinians have been at the center of Middle Eastern and world history for nearly a century. The core issues of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict are still the ones that emerged in 1948, after what Palestinians term al-Nakba, the destruction of historical Palestine and the dispossession and expulsion of its people. At the center of this vortex of politics, diplomacy, oppression, resistance, and struggle are the Palestinians. The Palestinians are an ancient Arab people, with both Islamic and Christian adherents, and their traditional culture and present way of life under difficult conditions are greatly illuminated for students and general readers.
A clear historical overview of Palestine, the diaspora, and the conflict is provided, and the history colors the rest of the narrative, addressing crucial aspects of Palestinian society. Palestinians struggle to retain their traditions. Their modern social structure, values, social customs, and life, including education, in villages, refugee camps, and cities are covered. The importance of extended family and women’s roles in a continuing patriarchy are also addressed. The famed Palestinian embroidery and typical food dishes are celebrated. Chapters on modern literature and the arts and cinema stress the artistic focus on the conflict with Israel. A helpful timeline, copious bibliography, and glossary round out the coverage.
Description: For thousands of years, Palestine and the East Mediterranean have been subject to constant colonial interference which has denied the indigenous population an independent, authentic historical narrative. Basem L. Ra’ad uncovers this history and begins the process of reconnecting it to contemporary peoples. Perceptions of the region have been influenced by the operation of “Western civilization” and by many other inherited cultural-religious preconceptions. The region itself has been disenfranchised and prevented from developing its own comprehensive cultural history. Ra’ad’s findings are an important step towards reconstructing an alternative history, one which dispels many of the myths and traps relating to religions, languages, peoples and sites. This highly original work is an essential text for students of Middle Eastern history, politics and culture.
Description: Prior to the twentieth century, Arab society in Palestine was predominantly illiterate, with most social and political activities conducted through oral communication. There were no printing presses, no book or periodical production, and no written signs in public places. But a groundswell of change rapidly raised the region’s literacy rates, a fascinating transformation explored for the first time in “Reading Palestine”. Addressing an exciting aspect of Middle Eastern history as well as the power of the printed word itself, “Reading Palestine” describes how this hurried process intensified the role of literacy in every sphere of community life. Ami Ayalon examines Palestine’s development of a modern educational system in conjunction with the emergence of a print industry, libraries and reading clubs, and the impact of print media on urban and rural populations. Drawn from extensive archival sources, official reports, autobiographies, and a rich trove of early Palestinian journalism, “Reading Palestine” provides crucial insight into the dynamic rise of literacy that revolutionized the way Palestinians navigated turbulent political waters.
Description: Israel Shahak was a remarkable man. Born in the Warsaw ghetto and a survivor of Belsen, Shahak arrived in Israel in 1945. Brought up under Jewish Orthodoxy and Hebrew culture, he consistently opposed the expansion of the borders of Israel from 1967. In this extraordinary and highly acclaimed book, Shahak embarks on a provocative study of the extent to which the secular state of Israel has been shaped by religious orthodoxies of an invidious and potentially lethal nature. Drawing on the Talmud and rabbinical laws, Shahak argues that the roots of Jewish chauvinism and religious fanaticism must be understood before it is too late. Written from a humanitarian viewpoint by a Jewish scholar, this is a rare and highly controversial criticism of Israel that will both excite and disturb readers worldwide.
Description: Since the Holocaust, it has been almost impossible to hide large-scale crimes against humanity. In our communicative world, few modern catastrophes are concealed from the public eye. And yet, Ilan Pappe unveils, one such crime has been erased from the global public memory: the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1948. But why is it denied, and by whom? The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine offers an investigation of this mystery.
Description: Iran is a land of contradictions. It is an Islamic republic, but one in which only 1.4 percent of the population attend Friday prayers. Iran’s religious culture encompasses the most censorious and dogmatic Shi’a Muslim clerics in the world, and yet its poetry insistently dwells on the joys of life-wine, beauty, sex. Iranian women are subject to one of the most restrictive dress codes in the Islamic world, but make up nearly 60 percent of the university student population. In A History of Iran, a leading expert on Iran chronicles the rich history of this complex nation from the Achaemenid Empire of sixth century B.C. to the present-day Islamic Republic. In accessible prose, Michael Axworthy explains the military, political, religious, and cultural forces that have shaped one of the oldest continuing civilizations in the world. Concluding with an assessment of the immense changes the nation has undergone since the revolution in 1979, A History of Iran offers general readers an essential point of entry into a troubled region.
Description: Gerald Hawting’s book has long been acknowledged as the standard introductory survey of this complex period in Arab and Islamic history. Now it is once more made available, with the addition of a new introduction by the author which examines recent significant contributions to scholarship in the field. It is certain to be welcomed by students and academics alike.
Description: The tale of the exploration of Palestine in acquaintance with the Bible was been a tool for the Zionism to propagandize the historycal continuity between the biblical era and the present era, cancelling thousands of years of hystory and culture. And the haredi use these informations to assert their religious supremacy over other religions bring on the occupation of the Palestinian lands and the murder of thousands of people.
Description: In this long-awaited sequel to his international bestseller The Holocaust Industry, Norman G. Finkelstein moves from an iconoclastic interrogation of the new anti-Semitism to a meticulously researched exposé of the corruption of scholarship on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Bringing to bear the latest findings on the conflict and recasting the scholarly debate, Finkelstein points to a consensus among historians and human rights organizations on the factual record. Why, then, does so much controversy swirl around the conflict? Finkelstein’s answer, copiously documented, is that apologists for Israel contrive controversy. Whenever Israel comes under international pressure, another media campaign alleging a global outbreak of anti-Semitism is mounted.
Finkelstein also scrutinizes the proliferation of distortion masquerading as history. Recalling Joan Peters’ book From Time Immemorial, published to great fanfare in 1984 but subsequently exposed as an academic hoax, he asks deeply troubling questions here about the periodic reappearance of spurious scholarship and the uncritical acclaim it receives. The most recent addition to this genre, Finkelstein argues, is Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz’s bestseller, The Case for Israel.
The core analysis of Beyond Chutzpah sets Dershowitz’s assertions on Israel’s human rights record against the findings of the mainstream human rights community. Sifting through thousands of pages of reports from organizations such as Amnesty International, B’Tselem, and Human Rights Watch, Finkelstein argues that Dershowitz has misrepresented the facts.
Thoroughly researched and tightly argued, Beyond Chutzpah lifts the veil of controversy shrouding the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Supporters of this book will not include Alan Dershowitz, author of The Case for Israel (2003). Very little of Dershowitz’s widely acclaimed defense of Israel’s occupation policies escapes Finkelstein’s withering scrutiny. Behind Dershowitz’s firm assurances that Israel is dealing with its adversaries justly and humanely, Finkelstein discerns ugly realities, including brutal torture of Palestinian prisoners and lethal disregard for Palestinian children and noncombatants. In Finkelstein’s assessment, Israel is grievously violating Palestinian rights because its leaders deliberately choose to ignore both the humanity of the Palestinian people and the justice of international law. And in the claim that will perhaps stir the fiercest debates, Finkelstein asserts that when Dershowitz and his allies defend Israel with shoddy and mendacious scholarship, they actually stoke the very anti-Semitism they claim to be combating. Neither anti-Semitism nor global antipathy toward Israel will persist, Finkelstein avers, if Israel and its partisans will honestly confront and redress the malign consequences of current Israeli policies. This book, which has already sparked intense controversy, belongs in collections seeking to represent multiple points of view on significant topics of international interest. Bryce Christensen