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Palestine Betrayed Hardcover – Apr 27 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (April 27 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300127278
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300127270
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 739 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #526,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"A brave and exceedingly important piece of work."—David Vital, author of A People Apart
(David Vital)

"With Isaiah Friedman, Efraim Karsh is the preeminent scholar-spokesman of the Revisionist (politically-rightist) Movement in Zionism. I consider this latest of Karsh's books, Palestine Betrayed, a work of meticulous, even exhaustive scholarship which must be taken with the greatest seriousness and respect by historians of diverse points of view.  Indeed, any student of modern Israel will ignore at their peril its sheer cornucopia of factual revelations." - Howard Sachar
(Howard Sachar)

“Basing itself on Arabic as well as Western, Soviet, UN, and Israeli sources, Karsh's is corrective history at its boldest and most thorough.”--Jewish Ideas Daily
(Jewish Ideas Daily)

“[A] tour de force. . . . With his customary in-depth archival research. . .clear presentation, and meticulous historical sensibility, Karsh argues. . . that Palestinians decided their own destiny and bear near-total responsibility for becoming refugees.”--Daniel Pipes, National Review
(Daniel Pipes National Review 2010-05-17)

"A thoroughly researched, sound historical account of the struggles that ensued between the Jewish and Arab communities when the British decided to leave Palestine."--Sol Schindler, Washington Times
(Sol Schindler Washington Times)

"Ephraim Karsh’s Palestine Betrayed tells in rich detail the story of the fall of the British Mandate and the rise of Israel, going a long way towards doing justice to the history at hand."
--Seth Frantzman, Jerusalem Post

(Seth Frantzman Jerusalem Post 2010-08-01)

"By relying on the available, original sources, Karsh stitches together a seemingly irrefutable case for the validity of the traditionalist narrative."--David Rodman
(David Rodman Middle East Quarterly)

"The book makes an important contribution . . . to the scholarly and public debate on [the 1948 Arba-Israeli] war."—Hillel Cohen, American Historical Review
(Hillel Cohen American Historical Review)

"[An] interesting study."—B. Rahimi, Choice
(B. Rahimi Choice)

"An important contribution to the literature of this epic struggle."—Richard D. Wilkins, Jewish Observer of Central New York
(Richard D. Wilkins Jewish Observer of Central New York)

About the Author

Efraim Karsh is professor and head of the Middle East and Mediterranean Studies Programme, King's College London. His books include Islamic Imperialism: A History; The Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Palestine War, 1948; Saddam Hussein: A Political Biography; and Empires of the Sand: The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East, 1789-1923. He lives in London.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Author presents an academic review of third-party documents. In any other area on almost any other subject, the picture painted by the facts would be considered self-evident.
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Format: Hardcover
Palestine Betrayed is an excellent in-depth study of the intrigues and personal agendas [of divers Arab politicos] against not just the formation of the state of Israel, but also against the ambitions of competing Arab entities.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 42 reviews
217 of 257 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blows the 'new historians' completely out of the water. April 12 2010
By M. D Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Replete with references the Professor & Head of the Middle East and Mediterranean Studies Programme at Kings College, London has provided an excellent, detailed, objective analysis of both the origins as well as the history surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In my own opinion this authoritative, timely and well written study is destined to become a classic in relation to this contentious subject. Those who have already embraced the revisionist history of the 'new historians' will probably want to give it a miss as the detail and depth of this work tends to blow their case completely out of the water.

Citing many documents which have been declassified over the past decade, both the Arab and Jewish perspectives of this conflict are addressed from the very start. The political/diplomatic manoeuvering of many prominent individuals on both sides and in the international arena are all given due reference.

Recent declassification of millions of documents from the era surrounding the British Mandate are shown to have been ignored or distorted by the 'new historians' in order to paint a picture that the author claims 'is completely at odds with the anti Israel caricature that is so often the order of the day'.

This compelling investigation makes it clear to the reader that Israel is being robbed of its political, historic and geographic legitimacy, whilst being made to appear to rob the Palestinians of the nation it never had.

At the outset the author draws attention to the differing positions of the then Jewish and Arab leadership leading up to the 1947 UN resolution calling for the partition of 'Palestine' into two independent states - Arab and Jewish - plus the internationalisation of Jerusalem.

From the easily readable text the reader can assess how the Jewish leadership openly accepted the detailed UN plans for parition while the Arab side utterly rejected any such plan and showed that compliance with any UN resolution was of no consequence as they declared all out war with the declared intention of eradicating the reborn Jewish state. Full quotes and detailed references from both sides are provided for the reader's attention.

The book reveals in no uncertain terms that if the Palestinian Arabs and the neighbouring Arab states had accepted the UN resolution there would have been no war and no dislocation of a single Arab refugee. The simple reason being that the Zionist movement was amenable to the co-existence with the Palestinian Arabs and a 2 state solution even at that time. The Arab world choosing to instead wage a war of annihilation.

Citing how such reality was to become erased form public memory by decades of relentless pro-Arab propaganda, the writer clarifies that it is to reclaim this and other historical truths that this book has been written.

A whole plethora of issues are addressed including those of a Zionist and Pan Arab perspective covering many decades prior to, and culminating in, the above. The role of the British and the Mandate is studied in some detail revealing much of the alleged British appeasement of the Arab world and it's 'White Paper' restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine while Jews were fleeing the persecution and slaughter within Europe during the rule of Hitler. References revealing how, while Jews were severely restricted and hampering from entering their ancient homeland, no such restrictions were placed upon Arabs entering/settling in 'Palestine' from their neighbouring Arab states.

Having studied the Balfour Declaration one aspect of alleged British appeasement of the Arab world that also receives attention is the British severing of a vast percentage of 'Palestine' east of the Jordan River from the prospective Jewish homeland to create the new Arab nation of Transjordan under the newly appointed Arab leadership of Emir Abdullah ibn Hussein.

Even what remained of 'Palestine' being targeted for division with the 'Palestinian' Arabs. Quotes and references showing that pan-Arabism viewed the 'Palestinians' not as a distinct people deserving statehood but as 'an integral part of a single Arab nation' which was bound by the common ties of language and religion etc.. The Jewish homeland eventually constituing less than 11 per cent of what was originally hoped for. The study's contents reiterating that even this was too much for the Arab world which rejected 'parition' and declared war to obtain it all.

Indeed from the historic details provided the reader is left with the unassailable deduction that the Arab grievance is not with the borders of Israel but with its very existence. Referring to the 'peace process' of the present day the book claims that, despite their vastly different personalities and political modus operandi, Yasser Arafat and his successor Mahmoud Abbas are "warp and woof of the same fabric". Both being shown from the text to be PLO veterans who have never "eschewed their commitment to Israel's destruction".

While many believe that the reason for the continuous state of war between Israel and the Arabs is because Israel is allegedly 'occupying Arab land' the study shows how through endless repetition, the engraving upon people's minds of this line of political propaganda has deceived the populace from the fundamental truths behind this conflict. It clearly being shown that the Arabs were making war against Israel even when the Arabs held the land and that is how they came to lose it in the first place.

Individual readers must make up their own minds upon the many aspects of this investigation, some aspects of which may be seen as controversial by some. However, I have no hesitation to recommending this work to anyone remotely interested in the Middle East conflicts.
54 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed and Meticulous May 18 2010
By S. Berman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is packed with historical details suppported by numerous footnotes. It makes the case for the view that Israeli has scrupulously adhered to international legal norms and well established ethical principles in establishing herself as a nation and in subsequently defending herself. After reading this book it is hard for me to accept the notion that Israel is "occupying" Palestinian and/or Arab lands. It is also hard to accept the idea that Israel is responsible for the plight of the Palestinians. The Palestinians are in their present condition because the Arab governments have chosen to keep them there as a pretext for continuing to attack Israel.

Of course, I do not have the background or the time to dig into the details myself. I can marvel at the references but I have no way to get them all and read them for myself. So if someone else says this book is merely pro-Israeli propoganda, I have no foolproof way of showing that it is not. The case the book makes is generally consistent with what I have found myself in my limited readings. But, of course, those have been selective. All I can say is that the book's statement have the "ring of truth" to my ear. But it would be interesting to hear what specialists in this area might say. I am sure that some would disagree with many of his conclusions.
90 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meticulous May 5 2010
By Leila Ahmad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is scrupulously researched and elegantly written to a fault. Nobody can say Karsh doesn't have an axe to grind (the New Historians are certainly not among his favorite cohorts.) At the same time, no honest reader of the Middle East can claim that this book does not marshal a wealth of sources and archives that put the New Historians' "history driven by ideology" to shame. It is high time Middle East scholars recognized--as does Karsh--that the dispossession of the Palestinians was and remains a shared responsibility.
88 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only thing on his side is - the facts - May 7 2010
By bookreader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Karsh stands seemingly alone against the screaming crowds. What stands with him in his lonely battle against the rewriting of history is the truth. His broad knowledge of the irrefutable first hand sources lifts the veil of lies for anyone who cares enough to know the what really happened.

Those whose agenda precedes their interest in the truth will find a way to brush off Karsh's book(s) by engaging in derision & insults rather than factual debate.

But for those who are stymied by the onslaught of the populist press there is great comfort in being re-assured of the truth of justice of Israel's way.
34 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-blowing June 25 2010
By AT1988 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Never have I seen such a detailed analysis of the political situation of the British Mandate of Palestine, which shows the true record of how the Jews attempted every effort to avoid conflict, and the Arabs sought to further the conflict. Also, the inter-Arab politics are shocking, as this book gave the true picture of how the situation deteriorated to the point of other Arab countries intervening not to "save 'Palestine'," but to stop King Abdullah of Jordan. This book also doesn't sugarcoat the war-atrocities and mishaps of both sides, but rather, puts them into context. Another Karsh masterpiece, a must read!