Image and Reality of the Israel–Palestine Conflict

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Second edition cover

Image and Reality of the Israel–Palestine Conflict is a non-fiction book by Norman G. Finkelstein, first published in 1995. It is a study of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Finkelstein examines and scrutinizes popular historical versions of the conflict by authors such as Joan Peters, Benny Morris, Anita Shapira and Abba Eban. The text draws upon Finkelstein's doctoral political science work. The 2003 revised edition offers an additional appendix devoted to criticism of Michael Oren's 2002 bestseller Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East.

Finkelstein, expanding upon his doctorate thesis, writes that the modern Zionist historical tradition is based on a series of ideologically-charged systematic biases, all of which face considerable problems when measured up with the actual record in his view. For example, he specifically refers to the Palestinian exodus before Israeli independence and the purported causes. Finkelstein credits Zionist military aggression upon Palestinian villages and calls for a transfer of populations as driving Palestinian refugees out of their lands, rather than a voluntary exodus occurring mixed in with orders to leave from Arabic leaders and other factors as Israeli historians have written.

Supportive reviews appeared in publications such as The Guardian and the London Review of Books. Critical reviews drawing problems with Finkelstein's historical work appeared in publications such as the Middle East Quarterly.

Reviews and reception[edit]

Noam Chomsky remarked in The Guardian that he found the book to be "the most revealing study of the historical background of the conflict"[1]

London Review of Books published a review stating that the book served as "both an impressive analysis of Zionist ideology and a searing but scholarly indictment of Israel's treatment of the Arabs since 1948."[1]

Historian Avi Shlaim remarked that the "book makes a major contribution to the study of the Arab-Israeli conflict which deserves to be widely read, especially in the United States.”[1]

See also[edit]



Finkelstein, Norman G. (2003): Image and Reality of the Israel–Palestine Conflict, Verso Books, ISBN 1-85984-442-1

External links[edit]