Joan Peters

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Joan Peters
Born April 29, 1938
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died January 5, 2015(2015-01-05) (aged 76)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Spouse(s) Stanley Kaplan (d. 1991)
Dr. William A. Caro[1]

Joan Peters (née Friedman; April 29, 1936 – January 5, 2015), the family name from an earlier marriage used by Joan Caro,[2] was a an author, best known for a number of theses on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, put forward in her controversial book From Time Immemorial, published in 1984, in which she argued that the Palestinians, as opposed to the Jews, are largely not indigenous to the area and therefore do not have a claim to the territory.[3] The book was argued to be a fraud, later on, by Norman Finkelstein.[4] Finkelstein's position was supported by many other scholars like Noam Chomsky,[5] Edward Said[6] and Yehoshua Porath[7] calling the book "ludicrous", "worthless" and a "forgery", while other scholars like Barbara W. Tuchman and Daniel Pipes accepted the book's central thesis.

Peters wrote in the 1970s and early 1980s for magazines such as Harper's, Commentary, The New Republic, and The New Leader, and was a consultant in the creation of TV news documentaries for CBS in 1973 regarding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and provided commentary on the subject for PBS.[8] Her dedication to the cause of Israel may have been triggered by a visit in the 1970s to the Soviet Union, where officials treated her and her husband with suspicion.[2]

According to a speaker's agency that booked speaking and touring engagements for her, Peters served as White House Adviser on American Foreign Policy in the Middle East during the Carter administration.[9] She died at her home in Chicago in 2015 of a cerebral embolism.[1][10] Shortly before her death, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, called her to pass on that Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was deeply grateful for her important contribution to the Jewish people and the state of Israel.[2]


  1. ^ a b Daniel E. Slotnik (January 12, 2015). "Joan Peters, Journalist Who Wrote on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Dies at 78" The New York Times. Accessed January 13, 2015
  2. ^ a b c Joan Caro, author of controversial 'From Time Immemorial,' dies at 78 Haaretz 8 January n2015.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Norman Finkelstein.Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict 2nd Edition. Verso Books, 2003 p.21-46
  5. ^ Noam Chomsky (2002). ""The Fate of an Honest Intellectual"". Understanding Power. The New Press. pp. 244–248, p.244. 
  6. ^ Mrs. Peters’s Palestine New York Review Of Books January 16, 1986
  7. ^ Colin Campbell (November 28, 1985), "Dispute Flares Over Book on Claims to Palestine", The New York Times, retrieved May 3, 2010 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Joan Peters' profile at Harry Walker Speakers' Agency
  10. ^

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