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The Idea Of Israel: A History Of Power And Knowledge (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 4. Februar 2014

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"Israel’s bravest, most principled, most incisive historian."—John Pilger

"An essential read for anyone trying to understand the politics and history of the Middle East."—Frontline

"Along with Edward Said, Ilan Pappe is the most eloquent writer of Palestinian history."—New Statesman

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Ilan Pappe is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. His many books include The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and Gaza in Crisis (with Noam Chomsky). He writes for, among others, the Guardian and the London Review of Books.

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75 von 81 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Reading Israel Palestine 21. April 2014
Von Eugene Schulman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Reading Israel/Palestine

A book review of Ilan Pappe's "The Idea of Israel"
by Eugene Schulman

Of all the books about Israel that have flooded the market these past few months, one stands out among all the others. We have seen Max Blumenthal’s “Goliath” describe what is happening in the occupied territories to make Palestinian life miserable; we have seen John Judis’ “Genesis” explain how the Zionists in America convinced Harry Truman to accept the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine; we have seen Alison Weir do the same with her “Against Our Better Judgement”: And we have seen Ari Shavit offer his apologetic history of Israel with his “My Promised Land”, and Simon Schama offer his own version of that history with his recent two volume “Story of the Jews”. It seems like there is something for every taste and to support every opinion.

But, to my mind, none of these compares to Ilan Pappe’s “The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge”. Pappe is known as one of the “new historians”, and became infamous with his “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”. He has written other books, but none that created the sensation that the latter has. In his new book Pappe focusses on the 1948 War of Independence. Or, for the Palestinians, the Nakba (catastrophe).

It is around the 1948 war that all the founding myths of Israel have been woven. How when Israel declared its independence (from what?) the Arab hordes attacked the new small state from all sides and tried to drive it into the sea. How the brave underdogs fought back and defeated the invaders. How the new state saved the refugees from the Holocaust and gave them a safe haven in a new and democratic state, among their own people. How the Israelis, the new Jews, made the deserts bloom and built a new country in a land without people for a people without a land. The Zionist propaganda describing these doings was geared toward convincing those still living in the diaspora that Israel is, and would be, the home of all Jews; that all would be welcome in a democratic Jewish state. It is around the 1948 war that Pappe weaves his story of how these myths came about, and how false they are.

Pappe divides his book into three sections: (1) The original Zionist idea of Israel, which describes the way generations of historians framed the 1948 conflict as a liberation campaign, creating a myth that was unquestioned until the 1990s; (2) post-Zionism, in which the “new historians” unravelled that myth and told the truth about how the Israelis cleansed the land of some 700 thousand Palestinians, driving them out of their villages and raising them to the ground to make way for new Israeli towns, settled by massive immigration from Europe and Mizrachi Jews from the surrounding Arab countries; and (3) Neo-Zionism, which has been fostered by right wing anti-Arab hatred, and still drives Israeli policies to absorb all of Eretz Israel, i.e., all of mandate Palestine into one Jewish state.

Without going into too much detail, I can say that many Jews living in the diaspora, as well as apathetic Israelis, will be shocked by what Pappe tells us the Zionists have fostered while building “the only democratic state in the Middle East.”

One main point I find lacking in this story is the absolute dependence Israel has had on the United States in order to accomplish what it has so far, and its influence on and collaboration with the United States in fostering that country’s own policies in the Middle East. The author rectifies this lack slightly in the final paragraph of this informative and important book:

“Israel is seen more and more as a colonialist state that survived the twentieth century but is maintained because of its usefulness to the United States and its effective role in the global capitalist economy. There is no longer any moral dimension for the global support, and when the more functional side of this support starts to weaken, the scenarios shared, for better or for worse, by post- and neo-Zionists alike - of life in a pariah state that maintains an apartheid regime - may come true. This book was written with the hope that these grim scenarios would not transpire, but with the uncomfortable sense that they are already unfolding before our eyes.” Indeed!
14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Clear-Headed Analysis 8. November 2014
Von The Peripatetic Reader - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
At the very heart of the crisis in the Middle East is what to do about the Palestinians dispossessed from their homeland when the State of Israel was created. Resolve this issue and the root cause of all other issues in the Middle East are or can be resolved. This book examines the legitimacy of the State of Israel in a clear-headed manner. This book is extremely relevant to issues of our times.

The Idea of Israel is a mirror placed in front of the State of Israel. It is also a highly readable alternative history.

This is not a book about Zionism. That topic could easily take up a separate volume. In interviews Pappe has remarked that the idea of Israel is riddled with an inherent internal contradiction. On the one hand, a point mentioned but not fully elucidated in the book, the State of Israel was founded on the ideals of Zionism, which in turn is a product of the Western liberal tradition, and because of this shares the hallmarks of that egalitarian tradition. On the other hand, a set of justifications supporting the legitimacy of the State of Israel have developed that are in direct contradiction to the liberal origin of Zionism. These two sides are direct polar opposites and are destructive, one to the other. This book is not about the ideals of Zionism, but about these set of justifications which were promulgated when the State of Israel was established and how these justifications have evolved into what they look like now.

Pappe fully discusses the merits of those justifications in full in the first one third of his book. Those justifications included:

• Before 1882, the land of Palestine was an empty homeland;

• From the very beginning, Palestinian terrorism was always present;

• The Arab-Israeli War of 1948 was waged to prevent the total annihilation of the Jewish community living in Palestine;

• In 1948, Israel was a virtual “David” facing the all-pervasive Arab “Goliath.”

• Palestinians were not forced to leave their homes, but either left voluntarily or were told to leave by their leaders.

• Prior to the 1948 war, Israel had agreed to the creation of a Palestinian state which was proposed by the United Nations, but this proposal was rejected by the Palestinians.

• In 1948 the Arab world was determined to destroy the Jewish state.

Pappe carefully analyzes the historical record and exposes these justifications for what they are: myths, misconceptions, distortions, historical inaccuracies and/or untruths, or outright lies.

Pappe goes on the describe how the idea of Israel changed with relevant local and international events. The Oslo Accords in the early 1990s brought what Pappe calls the “post-Zionist” movement. It was a resilient movement and survived even the assassination of Yidzak Rabin, but could not take hold. The occurrence of the Second Intifada in the late 1990s, early 2000, created a reactionary neo-Zionist movement. The hallmarks of this movement is the legalization of an apartheid system in the State of Israel, one which applied to Palestinians, of course, but paradoxically to the so-called Arab Jews, the Seraphim and Mizrachai Jews, and other repressive measures.

Good alternative histories should demonstrate that, as the Firesign Theater says, “Everything You Know is Wrong.” This is revisionist historical analysis at its best. It is clearly and engagingly written, even though its message may not be welcomed and succeeds admirably in its task.

This is required reading for anyone seeking insight into the State of Israel and its relation to its neighbors.
24 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Consequences of Zionist unchallenged idealogy and practices 5. Juni 2014
Von Asfred Maldonado - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This book deserves to be mandatory reading for anyone wanting to better understand how social, political, economic, geographical and historical forces play out to inform and form Israel - Israelis, and the seemingly endless conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The truth of the Zionist racist project to marginalize, uproot, de-populate Israeli Palestinians as well as Palestinians outside its territory and rid itself of all Arabs and other non-Jewish ethnic population, is exposed.
23 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Zionism and Americanism: Joined at the hip. 26. August 2014
Von Jerry Harmon - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This has been an eye-opener to me. As an American conservative Christian I am appalled by the enthusiastic support that conservative Christians give to the Jewish (Zionist) State. And until a few years ago, I was one of those cheerleaders. Gradually I have become aware of the disconnect between the actions and attitudes of the Jewish State and the what Christians should be supporting. As I read and pondered the ideas and historical perspective presented in this book, it seems to me that there is strong parallel between what the Jewish State is doing to the Palestinian people and the "Other" non-elite folks and what the American State has done with respect to the original natives of North America and continues to do with respect to everyone else in the world today. The Jewish State is at war with nearly everyone, first the Palestinians, then everyone else. Similarly the American State is as well. Zionism and Americanism are strangely similar. Perhaps this is why the Jewish State and the American State are so closely aligned. Otherwise they each would be without a friend in the world. They need each other and the last thing they desire is peace, otherwise they lose their grip on their own people. I am blessed that there are people like Ilan Pappe who can so competently and credibly present a perspective that honors the reality that people experience. Professor Pappe's presentation and perspective is validated by the shameless shunning he endures in Israel.
27 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
"The Idea of Israel" is a must read 5. April 2014
Von Hassan Fouda - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This is another well written and well sourced book by celebrated Israeli historian Ilan Pappe. The new information and fresh analysis will be appreciated by expert historians and by the general public. It is must read for everyone.
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