Old Historians, New Historians, No Historians
This polemical volume tackles the thorny and controversial issue of the vastly different narratives told (or manufactured) by the two parties of the conflict in the Middle East (the Arabs and Israel), focusing on 1948, where it all started. While...
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This polemical volume tackles the thorny and controversial issue of the vastly different narratives told (or manufactured) by the two parties of the conflict in the Middle East (the Arabs and Israel), focusing on 1948, where it all started. While all sides in this debate have vested interests, this author included, an attempt has been made here to reflect the factual truth on the events, although their interpretation will always remain controversial. Although the book argues principally with Benny Morris, the founder and leader of the so-called New Historians, it encompasses a wide array of controversial topics, like the evaluation of the 1948-49 War, the morality of the war (or the necessity to wage it as it was), and its main reverberations, such as the continuing conflict after seven decades, the aggravation of the Palestinian minority in Israel, and the essence of what history means. Israeli argues that the current debate between the so-called Old Historians and the New Historians--itself healthy if and when it is kept to the point and not allowed to degrade into personal libel and recriminations--is not really as unbridgeable as is often claimed. Both sides have erred at points and both sides have some important and complementary light to shed on the contentious events surrounding the birth of Israel.
Raphael Israeli is professor of Islamic, Chinese, and Middle Eastern history at the Hebrew University. He has authored over thirty books, including Islamikaze, The Iraq War, Muslim Minorities in Modern States, and Blood Libel and Its Derivatives, as well as over a hundred scholarly articles in the fields of Islamic radicalism, Islamic terrorism, the modern Middle East, and Islam in China and Asia.