Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict

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Verso, 2003 - History - 287 pages
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This acclaimed study surveys the dominant popular and scholarly images of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Finkelstein opens with a theoretical discussion of Zionism, locating it as a romantic form of nationalism that assumed the bankruptcy of liberal democracy. He goes on to look at the demographic origins of the Palestinians, with particular reference to the work of Joan Peters, and develops critiques of the influential studies of both Benny Morris and Anita Shapira. Reviewing the diplomatic history with Aban Eban's oeuvre as his foil, Finkelstein closes by demonstrating that the casting of Israel as the innocent victim of Arab aggression in the June 1967 and October 1973 wars is not supported by the documentary record.

This new edition critically reexamines dominant popular and scholarly images in the light of the current failures of the peace process.


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Anti-Jewish and extremely one sided. This book represents the new face of hate against Jews, transformed through the generations and now hiding under the title of "anti-Israel" or "anti-Zionism." When reading this book, remembering who the author is explains the results of his "research". The discussion is framed from the beginning and the only possible conclusion of this work is the anti-Jewish one. The facts are chosen selectively to paint the desired picture. If you want to find excuses for your hate of the Jewish people and their struggles, this is your book.  

Selected pages


Zionist Orientations
A Land Without a People
Born of War Not by Design
Settlement Not Conquest
War and Peace
To Live or Perish
Language of Force
Oslo The Apartheid Option
Abba Eban with Footnotes

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Page ix - The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much.
Page xvi - Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force; 2.
Page 4 - Whether I knew or did not know, or how much or how little I knew, is totally unimportant when I consider what horrors I ought to have known about and what conclusions would have been the natural ones to draw from the little I did know. Those who ask me are fundamentally expecting me to offer justifications. But I have none. No apologies are possible.

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About the author (2003)

Norman G. Finkelstein is the author of A Nation on Trial (with Ruth Bettina Birn), named a notable book for 1998 by the New York Times Book Review, and Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict.

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