I downloaded this book because I realized I held strong opinions about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict but did not know the history behind the current state of affairs. This book has shown me the complicated chain of events, the passions of the people involved and the historical facts surrounding the emergence of Israel.
This book contains a good deal of information and narrative history concerning both Arab and Jewish actions leading to the emergence of the Israeli state. While it is obviously written from a Jewish perspective, it pulls no punches. It becomes obvious that terrorism upon civilians in Jerusalem was not a uniquely Arab creation, but rather a stradegy employed by both sides.
It is apparent when reading this that the road towards the present conflict was set long before the partitioning of Palestine. The Jews' struggle is framed as one of survival from the onset.
This is not a dry review of historical facts, nor is it written in a strict chronological format. While it's sequence jumps around alot, the historical facts are personalized by the accounts of people invloved. It tells their story (both Arab and Jew) and makes this a human struggle for the reader rather than a sterile walk towards present day.
This is a LONG narration and while I have 2 hours to spare each day during my commute, if you are not already interested in the story of Israel's emergence, you may be overwhelmed by the length.
Overall: I really, really liked this book. It was refreshingly absent of the rhetoric that dominates current analysis of the conflict.
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