by Rashid Khalidi
A landmark history of one hundred years of war waged against the Palestinians from the foremost US historian of the Middle East, told through pivotal events and family history
In 1899, Yusuf Diya al-Khalidi, mayor of Jerusalem, alarmed by the Zionist call to create a Jewish national home in Palestine, wrote a letter aimed at Theodore Herzl: the country had an indigenous people who would not easily accept their own displacement. He warned of the perils ahead, ending his note, "in the name of God, let Palestine be left alone." Thus Rashid Khalidi, al-Khalidi's great-great-nephew, begins this sweeping history, the first general account of the conflict told from an explicitly Palestinian perspective.
Drawing on a wealth of untapped archival materials and the reports of generations of family members -- mayors, judges, scholars, diplomats, and journalists -- The Hundred Years' War on Palestine upends accepted interpretations of the conflict, which tend, at best, to describe a tragic clash between two peoples with claims to the same territory. Instead, Khalidi traces a hundred years of colonial war on the Palestinians, waged first by the Zionist movement and then Israel, but backed by Britain and the United States, the great powers of the age. He highlights the key episodes in this colonial campaign, from the 1917 Balfour Declaration to the destruction of Palestine in 1948, from Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon to the endless and futile peace process.
Original, authoritative, and important, The Hundred Years' War on Palestine is not a chronicle of victimization, nor does it whitewash the mistakes of Palestinian leaders or deny the emergence of national movements on both sides. In reevaluating the forces arrayed against the Palestinians, it offers an illuminating new view of a conflict that continues to this day.
"The Hundred Years' War is one of the best-researched general surveys of 20th and early 21st century Palestinian life, but it's also a deeply personal work... For a people whose history is all but criminalized, this act of retelling is itself a form of resistance." -- The Nation
"For those who want to learn about the course of the Israel-Palestine conflict up till now, and are open-minded: read this book. It comes over as a brilliant synthesis of high scholarship and experience, fair-minded, and highly readable." -- Jacobin
"Heart-wrenching... powerful... brave... The Hundred Years' War on Palestine is a valuable violation of the taboo against injecting personal narrative into historical accounts... Though it is difficult to look to the future with any degree of optimism, Khalidi manages to find hopeful signs of the growing international support for Palestinian rights." -- Weekly Worker
"A riveting and original work, the first to explore the century of war against the Palestinians on the basis of deep immersion in their struggle -- a work enriched by solid scholarship, vivid personal experience, and acute appreciation of the concerns and aspirations of the contending parties in this deeply unequal conflict." -- Noam Chomsky, author of Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians and Interventions
"This is the first true people's history of the hundred-year struggle of the Palestinian people, a beautifully written text and a call for justice and self-determination." -- Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States
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