The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017

Holt. Nov. 2019. 336p. ISBN 9781627798556. $30. HIST
Khalidi (Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab studies, Columbia Univ.; Brokers of Deceit) outlines the development and expansion of Israel since the 1917 Balfour Declaration. He explains why Zionist state-building in the 1920s and 1930s was successful: Palestinians could not protect their interests and some may have been naive about the impact of British support for Zionism. The Zionists demonstrated their political and military strength in creating their own state in 1948, and again in 1967 during the Six-Day War, when Israel defeated a coalition of Arab nations and took the Golan Heights from Syria, the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip from Egypt, and East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan. Khalidi shows how Israel used U.S. support to strengthen its military might, and wielded diplomacy to maintain U.S. backing. He sympathetically conveys the desires of the Palestinian people for self-determination and equal rights, and rues the ineptitude and shortsightedness of their leadership. He skillfully balances his professional analysis of historical and diplomatic documents with insights of his own and his relatives who had leadership roles throughout the 20th century.
VERDICT Highly recommended as a valuable and accurate presentation of a century of struggle between Jews and Palestinians seeking to build a nation on the same territory, vastly unequal in resources and efficacy. Khalidi weaves his personal and family perspective into his academic study.
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