First of all, I'd like to say that this book is not without bias. History texts, especially in regard to this conflict, rarely represent both sides equally. However, it is quite possible for both "Arabists" and their Israeli counterparts to agree on some basic points. First, Palestine was not "depopulated" in 1850 - it was an area governed by the Ottoman Empire with a population somewhere in the neighborhood of 450,000, mostly Arabs. Approximately 25,000 Jews lived there at that time. Second, in regard to expulsion, Israelis will argue that the Arabs left at the behest of the Jordanian or Egyptian governments. That has never been substantiated, and the idea that they left simply because someone told them to is also utterly ridiculous. Why would someone just get up and leave EVERYTHING behind? It was because of the threat of Israeli aggression - and their departure prior to seeing a soldier could be called prudent. Better to flee than be shot. The idea that the Israeli Irgun and Haganah had nothing to do with the Palestinians leaving is the sign of a misinformed and delusional viewpoint on history. Third, the size of the police force agreed to in the Oslo peace agreement is woefully insufficient. If Israel continues to demand security for peace, the only way for the Palestinian Arabs to actually meet that demand is to recruit and train a police force sufficient to enforce the law. When the Arabs finally have their independence, then perhaps they might start working on building roads. Right now, paying for roads would only facilitate the destruction of Palestinian homes by Israeli tanks and bulldozers. And finally, the quarrel over historical points is very important. How else are people to wade through the vast amounts of propaganda circulated by both sides? Without an understanding of the past, how can one ever formulate an informed and effective foreign policy? Oftentimes, those who fear history wish others would place less emphasis upon it - perhaps the Israelis would even like to simply rewrite history completely. Finkelstein certainly offers a particular point of view of the past, one that is colored in some ways. However, it is a useful text, and it deals with many interesting ideas. Anyone interested in the history of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict would do well to use this book as a PART of their study. It is not an all-encompassing read, but you'll not find that anywhere.