Robert Eisenman’s classic work, Islamic Law in Palestine and Israel: A History of the Survival of Tanzimat and Sharia, examines how Islamic law, such as Sharia law, survived in Palestine and Israel in a pure form perhaps longer than in any other Ottoman successor state. It did this for a variety of reasons, chief among which are the innate conservatism of the British and the inability of the Israelis, particularly in the country’s early days, to do much about it. Besides Lebanon and Gaza, only in Israel did those three great monuments of Islamic and Ottoman modernism: the Ottoman Law of Family Rights, the Ottoman Land Code, and the Mecelle-i Akham-i Adliye, survive simultaneously.
Author, Robert Eisenman, traces this continuity from Ottoman times in terms understandable to both specialists, lawyers, and laypersons. The anomaly of Islamic laws', such as Sharia law, survival against the backdrop of British legal concepts and renascent Jewish nationalism is delineated completely. Detailed attention is also given to the effect, or non-effect, of such Israeli reforms in Women’s Equal Rights Law on the Muslim community and on Islamic law, as well as to the creation of Israeli hybrid laws, such as the Land Law of 1969, and a new Israeli modernism.
The situation in Israel today remains more or less the same. In some areas beyond the 1967 Green Lines, where Israeli Law has been applied, it is as described in this book. In others, which have not been annexed or where it has not, Jordanian Law for the most part still obtains.
About the Author
Robert Eisenman is the author of The New Testament Code: The Cup of the Lord, the Damascus Covenant, and the Blood of Christ (2006), James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls (1998), The Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Christians (1996), Islamic Law in Palestine and Israel: A History of the Survival of Tanzimat and Shariah (1978), and co-editor of The Facsimile Edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls (1989) and The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered (1992). He is Emeritus Professor of Middle East Religions and Archaeology and the former Director of the Institute for the Study of Judeo-Christian Origins at California State University Long Beach and Visiting Senior Member of Linacre College, Oxford. He holds a B.A. from Cornell University in Philosophy and Engineering Physics (1958), an M.A. from New York University in Near Eastern Studies (1966), and a Ph.D from Columbia University in Middle East Languages and Cultures and Islamic Law (1971). He was a Senior Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies and an American Endowment for the Humanities Fellow-in-Residence at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were first examined. In 1991-92, he was the Consultant to the Huntington Library in San Marino, California on its decision to open its archives and allow free access for all scholars to the previously unpublished Scrolls. In 2002, he was the first to publicly announce that the so-called 'James Ossuary', which so suddenly and 'miraculously' appeared, was fraudulent; and he did this on the very same day it was made public on the basis of the actual inscription itself and what it said without any 'scientific' or 'pseudo-scientific' aids.