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

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Sussex Academic Press, 2006 - History - 436 pages
Based on new or newly interpreted Israeli, British and Arab documents, this book attempts to integrate present controversies concerning the development of the Jewish-Palestinian war from December 1947 to mid-May 1948 and the consecutive Israeli-Arab 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 war's 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.

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It appears that the author sought to justify the many crimes committed against Palestinian civilians and nothing else. An indication of the lacking rigor of the work is that the author could not find a reputable academic press to publish it. Instead, the book is published by Sussex Academic Press, which is not affiliated to any university, has a terrible website (you think they'd know how to publish a website being publishers), no reputation, and shows odd thematic commonalities in their publishing. The kindest thing I can say is that this seems to be the type of press that would publish anything and not the type of press that an outstanding scholar would select as its publisher.  

About the author (2006)

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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