The first comprehensive account of the formation of the state of Israel and the 1948 war, based on newly opened archival material.
Arabs and Jews describe the first Arab-Israeli war of 1948 in completely different ways. Among Arabs, and especially Palestinians, the events of that year are known as the nakba - the catastrophe, the trauma, the disaster. For Jews, and in particular for Israelis, their victory in the war of 1948 is a veritable miracle in which, against tremendous odds and through heroic military effort, the Jewish community succeeded in thwarting attempts by the Arab states to destroy it.
In this book Ilan Pappe integrates new archival material with the findings of recent scholarship to present the reader with a comprehensive and general history of the origins and consequences of the 1948 war. He shows, in sharp contrast to the recollections and myths of both sides, that the military events of 1948 were not decisive. The victory of the Zionist organization and the fate of the Palestinians was determined by politicians on both sides - in the discussions and decisions of the United Nations in 1947-8 and in the Arab League - long before a shot had been fired. Pappe argues that Israel's failure to take advantage of the genuine opportunity for peace with the Arabs at the UN-sponsored Lausanne Conference in 1949 resulted in the prolonged and tragic conflict between Israel and the Arab states still very much alive today.
Ilan Pappe is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. His many books include "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" and, most recently, "Gaza in Crisis" (with Noam Chomsky). He writes for, among others, the "Guardian" and the "London Review of Books".
Preface Preface to the Paperback Edition Introduction
The Diplomatic Battle
The Civil War in Palestine
The Making of the Refugee Problem
The Arab World Goes to War, or Does it?
Seeking a Comprehensive Peace
The Complete Takeover and the Israeli Struggle against Bernadotte's Legacy
The Armistice Agreements
From Mediatiion to Conciliation : The Establishment of the Palestine Conciliation Commission
The Lausanne Conference
The Final Quest for Peace
Conclusion Notes Bibliography
[A]ny one looking for an authoritative account of 1948... should go straight to this book. Yezi Sayigh, Middle East International 'Pappe has added significantly to our understanding of a formative period in the making of the Arab-Israeli conflict' Avi Shlaim, London Review of Books 'This is an important bookand especiallyrelevant to the current process of Arab Issraeli negotiations.' Leonard Goren, International Affairs
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