In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands

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Yale University Press, Sep 21, 2010 - History - 448 pages
A powerful account of Jews living in Muslim lands and the surprising truths about their shared history
The relationship between Jews and Muslims has been a flashpoint that affects stability in the Middle East and has consequences around the globe. In this absorbing and eloquent book Martin Gilbert challenges the standard media portrayal and presents a fascinating account of hope, opportunity, fear, and terror that have characterized these two peoples through the 1,400 years of their intertwined 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.
In Ishmael’s House sheds light on a time of prosperity and opportunity for Jews in Muslim lands stretching from Morocco to Afghanistan, with many instances of Muslim openness, support, and courage. Drawing on Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sources, Gilbert uses archived material, poems, letters, memoirs, and personal testimony to uncover the human voice of this centuries-old conflict. Ultimately Gilbert’s moving account of mutual tolerance between Muslims and Jews provides a perspective on current events and a template for the future.

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User Review  - RobertP - LibraryThing

It is certainly time for Islam to have its own Reformation, and move away from medieval attitudes. A very sad book indeed, enlivened only by the evidence of human spirit among the 850,000 survivors expelled from Moslem lands. Read full review


List of Photographs
List of Maps
A Note on Transliteration and Dating
Before Islam
The Prophet Mohammed and the Jews
Protection or Persecution?
The First Years of the Twentieth Century and the Emergence of Zionism
The First World War and After
The Nineteen Thirties
A Time of Danger
Towards Liberation and an Uncertain Future
The United Nations Palestine Partition Resolution
The Creation of the State of Israel 14 May 1948
Iraq 19481952

The First Four Hundred Years Under Islam
Jews and Muslims in the Age of the Crusades
The Ottoman Sultans and Other Muslim Rulers 1324 0151699
The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Towards the Twentieth Century
Egypt 19511961
The Exodus Continues 19501967
The SixDay War of 1967 and Its Aftermath

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About the author (2010)

Sir Martin Gilbert is the author of more than eighty books, including the six-volume authorized biography of Winston Churchill.

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