Righteous Victims by Benny Morris
A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-1999

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Synopsis

Righteous Victims, by the noted historian Benny Morris, is a comprehensive and
objective history of the long battle between Arabs and Jews for possession of a land they both call home. It appears at a most timely juncture, as the bloody and protracted struggle seems at last to be headed for resolution.

With great clarity of vision, Professor Morris finds the roots of this conflict in the deep religious, ethnic, and political differences between the Zionist immigrants and the native Arab population of Palestine. He describes the gradual influx of Jewish settlers, which was eventually fiercely resisted by the Arabs during the decades of  British Mandatory government following World War I.

The establishment of the State of Israel in 1947 - 48 gave the Jews a homeland in the wake of the Holocaust, but the ensuing flight of the Palestinian Arabs shattered their society and led to the birth of a festering refugee problem. Morris describes these epic events and the Arab onslaught that followed, as he does each of the subsequent wars (in 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982 - 85); the Intifada of 1987 - 91, when the Palestinian populace of the West Bank and Gaza Strip rebelled against Israeli rule; and the rise of fundamentalist religious movements on both sides of the barricades. Tracing the successes and failures of politicians, generals, and diplomats in both camps, he regards their actions and plight with accuracy and empathy, drawing on archival materials, memoirs, and secondary works to give a vivid account of each major military encounter--and of the vicissitudes of peace efforts from the post-1948 negotiations through the Camp David (1977 - 79), Oslo (1993 - 95), and Wye River Plantation (1998) accords. Mr. Morris offers sharply etched portraits and illuminating anecdotes about the charismatic leaders who have been the chief protagonists of this contentious history, including Theodor Herzl, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, David Ben-Gurion, Anwar Sadat, and Menachem Begin, to name only a few.

Righteous Victims ends with Mr. Morris's analysis of the current state of play, when the election of Ehud Barak as prime minister (May 1999) has opened the door to a renewal of negotiations between Israel and its Palestinian and Syrian neighbors. As the denizens of the Middle East set out to write the next chapter in this long and difficult struggle, Righteous Victims is essential reading: a monumental work of narration and explication for all who seek to understand the history of the conflict and the prospects for peace.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Benny Morris

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Benny Morris is Professor at Ben-Gurian University.
 
Published May 25, 2011 by Vintage. 800 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Righteous Victims

Publishers Weekly

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Like Avi Shlaim (see above), Morris is a revisionist historian working to deflate the heroic-romantic Zionist view of Israeli history.

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Austin Chronicle

What Arab cannot do his math and understand that immigration at the rate of 60,000 a year means a Jewish state in all of Palestine?"

Nov 24 2000 | Read Full Review of Righteous Victims: A History ...

truthdig

Masquerading behind the language of “academic freedom,” the law made Louisiana the first state to allow taxpayer-funded public schools to teach creationism and the more insidiously labeled “intelligent design.” Being so obviously inconsistent with the federal policy of separation of church and st...

Dec 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Righteous Victims: A History ...

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On Friday night’s episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher,” 19-year-old science education activist and former Truthdigger of the Week Zack Kopplin showed how one should handle a conservative pundit who rattles off inane talking points in order to advocate for science spending cuts.

Apr 08 2013 | Read Full Review of Righteous Victims: A History ...

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“There is a huge tax saving for Apple in borrowing the money rather than bringing it back to the US,” said Kevin Phillips, international tax partner at Baker Tilly.

May 02 2013 | Read Full Review of Righteous Victims: A History ...

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