ISRAEL AND PALESTINE
Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations
Published 5th October 2009
“Provides even the hardened student with new perspectives.” Economist
Not often today do we find historians who are this honest and this bleak and this able – for some reason, I
think here of T S Eliot’s essays – to express truth so simply.” Robert Fisk, Independent
“Avi Shlaim is the sort of historian every country needs. An exposer of national myths, the supreme scholar of Arab-Israeli negotiations.” Philip Mansel, Spectator
AUTHOR EVENTS IN EDINBURGH, MANCHESTER AND LONDON:
- 19.00 / Wednesday 28th October: Avi Shlaim will be opening the 13th Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair at Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 30-38 Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh, EH6 8RG
- 18.30 / Monday 9th November: Avi Shlaim will be giving The Tom Hurndall Memorial Lecture at Manchester Metropolitan University, Lecture Theatre 5, Geoffrey Manton Building, Rosamond Street West, off Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6LL.
Jocelyn Hurndall, Tom Hurndall’s mother, will also be speaking.
- 19.00 / Thursday 12th November: Avi Shlaim in conversation with Shlomo Sand, the author of The Invention of the Jewish People at The Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London W2 1QJ.
AVI SHLAIM – Fellow of St. Antony’s College and a Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford. Avi Shlaim has personal experience of the Arab/Israeli conflict. He “served loyally in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s and… has never questioned the legitimacy of the state of Israel within its pre-1967 borders.” Born to Jewish parents in Baghdad, Shlaim’s family moved to Israel when he was a young boy. He moved to England to complete his schooling at the age of 16 but returned to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces. He is now based at Oxford where he is a Professor of International Relations. Shlaim along with other members of the ‘New Historians’ – a group of Israeli historians who have challenged traditional Israeli assumptions about the creation of the state of Israel – have shed new light on Israel’s role in the Palestinian Exodus in 1948 and Arab willingness to discuss peace. The group gave impetus to ‘post-Zionism’ (a movement of Jewish Israelis who are critical of the Zionist enterprise) and includes renowned scholars such as Benny Morris and Ilan Pappe. With characteristic rigor and readability, Avi Shlaim reflects on a range of key issues, transformations and personalities in the Israel-Palestine conflict and places current events in their proper historical perspective. The essays in this book turn on three main watersheds: the creation of Israel in May 1948; the Six-Day War of 1967; and the Oslo Accord signed on 13 September 1993.
PRAISE FOR AVI SHLAIM:
“Avi Shlaim is an Iraqi-born academic, reared in Israel and long resident in Britain, who writes about the Middle East with exceptional wisdom and insight…” Max Hastings, Sunday Times
Avi Shlaim’s Guardian piece on the war in Gaza was quoted by the Turkish Prime Minister in his controversial comments about Israel’s war in Gaza during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum earlier this year.
PRAISE FOR LION OF JORDAN:
“A thrilling, masterful biography” — Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Sunday Telegraph Books of the Year
“All would-be Middle East peacemakers should read Avi Shlaim’s new biography of King Hussein of Jordan. For Shlaim shows not only how attempts at peacemaking in the region have failed, but also why.” — Amir Taheri, Sunday Telegraph.
“Shlaim tells this singular story in great detail … the Ambiguous growth of Palestinian ambitions; the fluctuating loyalties of the Jordanian army; incessant domestic corruptions and political rivalries; the Iran-Iraq war; the emergence of Saddam Hussein; the brooding threats of the cold war – all is happening in the pages of this book.” — Jan Morris, Guardian
“Shlaim … not only has the twists and turns of the Arab-Israeli conflict at his fingertips but understands better than most why it has twisted or turned … His biography of Hussein, Lion of Jordan, a lot of it garnered from interviews, is superb.” — Barbara Smith, New Statesman
“Particularly with regard to foreign policy, [Shlaim’s] weighty tome is the most authoritative biography of the king … Mr Shlaim spells out in hitherto unpublished detail the history of secret dealings between the king and the Israelis, from 1963 until 1994, when he signed a peace treaty with the Jewish state … The author has had unrivalled access to prime sources, especially Jordanian ones, including a candid interview with the king himself and with an array of his advisers and royal relations, as well as with a raft of senior Israeli intelligence people. The result is a pot of delectable nuggets.”– The Economist
“If one wishes to personalize the political history of the Middle East in the second half of the 20th century, there is no better choice of subject than Hussein bin Talal … The book captures well the noble aspirations of its subject and ends with a moving description of his final battle against cancer and of his rain-soaked funeral, when, as the people in the street put it, the skies wept.” — Simon Scott Plummer, Daily Telegraph
AVI SHLAIM is a fellow of St. Antony’s College and a professor of international relations at the University of Oxford. He was elected fellow of the British Academy in 2006. His books include The Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace; War and Peace in the Middle East: A Concise History; and The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World.