Palestine, 1948: War, Escape and the Emergence of the Palestinian Refugee Problem

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Sussex Academic Press, 2001 - History - 399 pages
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There have been flashier histories of Israels war of independence, and longer ones, but none as well informed, more sensible and more compelling than Gelbers magisterial account. Middle East Quarterly Yoav Gelber's contribution to the literature on 1948 is useful for its detailed chronology of Israels most significant and triumphal campaign against the Arabs The books value lies in its shedding light on the loose alliances unfolding in the Middle East. Studies in Contemporary Jewry Recommended for its contribution to a continuing debate over a controversial issue. Choice Based on new or newly interpreted Israeli, British and Arab documents, this book attempts to integrate present controversies concerning the development of the JewishPalestinian war from December 1947 to mid-May 1948 and the consecutive IsraeliArab war. It follows the organization of both sides at the beginning of the war and the shaping of their respective war policies. Further, it describes the creation of the invading coalition and its disintegration in the wake of the Arab armies military failure. The book stresses mainly the processes that led Palestinian society to its collapse and mass flight and the Israeli reactions and policies that turned this temporary escape into a long-lasting refugee problem. Emphasizing the different historical and cultural perspectives of the adversaries and the context of the wars development, it criticizes the approach of the Israeli New Historians who tend to isolate the refugee problem from the broader issues of the war and treat it separately. Includes a glossary of Arab/Israeli wartime operations

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About the author (2001)

Yoav Gelber is a professor of history at the University of Haifa and the head of the Herzl Institute for Research and Study of Zionism. He is the author of a number of books on Middle East affairs, including Jewish–Transjordanian Relations, 1921–1948.

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