The Hundred Years' War on Palestine Book Summary - The Hundred Years' War on Palestine Book explained in key points
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The Hundred Years' War on Palestine summary

Rashid Khalidi

A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017

4.3 (352 ratings)
26 mins

Brief summary

"The Hundred Years' War on Palestine" by Rashid Khalidi exposes a century-long conflict between Zionists and Palestinians, showcasing how tensions and violence continue to affect the region.

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    The Hundred Years' War on Palestine
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    The colonization of Palestine was accelerated by British rule.

    March 1, 1899. Yusuf Diya al-Khalidi, the mayor of Jerusalem, mails a letter to Theodor Herzl, a Viennese journalist and leader of the burgeoning Zionist movement. The missive, while just a short seven pages, proves to be extremely prescient.

    In the letter, Yusuf Diya expresses his deep admiration for Herzl and his dismay at Europe’s rampant anti-Semitism; he describes Jews and Muslims as cousins. However, he also cautions against Herzl’s vision for a Jewish state in the Middle East. He points out that the Zionist project would subjugate the region’s indigenous population. He ends the letter with a plea, writing, “In the name of God, let Palestine be left alone.”

    Within a month, Herzl responds. He dismisses Yusuf Diya’s concerns and argues that an influx of Europeans would improve the lives of everyone in the region.

    The key message here is: The colonization of Palestine was accelerated by British rule.

    For four centuries, Palestine was occupied by the Ottoman Empire. The population was about 94 percent Arab Muslim with a small minority of Jews and Christians. While the region was largely agricultural, it was slowly modernizing with railways, electricity, and improved access to education. However, this all changed in 1917 – World War I ended Ottoman rule, and the British took control of Palestine.

    In November of that year, the British issued the Balfour Declaration. This statement declared the formation of a Jewish “national home” in Palestine. While the document promised to protect the civil and religious rights of the region’s non-Jewish population, it made no mention of political rights or right to national self-determination. And, just like that, the Zionist movement attained the backing of the world’s largest colonial empire. 

    For Palestinians, this new political reality was troubling. Just like their neighbors in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, they had developed a distinct national identity and wished to buck off the colonial grip of the European powers. From 1919 until 1928, Palestinians convened multiple congresses petitioning the British for independence. However, all these appeals fell on deaf ears.

    Meanwhile, the Zionist project continued. In 1922, the League of Nations issued the Mandate for Palestine. Over the course of 28 articles, this document laid the groundwork for Jewish self-governance in the region but failed to mention the Arab majority at all. Backed by this legal framework, European Jews continued to settle the area, and their communities enjoyed almost exclusive access to foreign investment. By the late 1920s, the Jewish population of Palestine had risen to nearly 20 percent – and tensions had risen as well. 

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    What is The Hundred Years' War on Palestine about?

    The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine (2020) is a detailed and rigorous look at one of the most misunderstood regions of the world. This timely text chronicles Palestinian history from the perspective of Palestinians. 

    The Hundred Years' War on Palestine Review

    The Hundred Years' War on Palestine (2020) by Rashid Khalidi offers a thought-provoking exploration of the ongoing conflict in Palestine. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With detailed historical analysis and meticulous research, the book provides a comprehensive understanding of the complex dynamics of the issue.
    • The author's nuanced perspective challenges common narratives and offers a fresh and insightful view on the conflict.
    • By examining the socio-political ramifications and the impact on the lives of Palestinians, the book creates empathy and a deeper connection to the subject matter.

    Who should read The Hundred Years' War on Palestine?

    • Outsiders keen to learn Palestine’s complex history
    • Zionists open to alternative perspectives on the Israel-Palestine conflict
    • Anyone seeking to understand current events in the Middle East

    About the Author

    Rashid Khalidi is a Palestinian-American historian, the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, and the editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies. His previous books include Palestinian Identity, Brokers of Deceit, and The Iron Cage.

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    The Hundred Years' War on Palestine FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Hundred Years' War on Palestine?

    Understanding the complex history of Palestine and the ongoing struggle for justice.

    How long does it take to read The Hundred Years' War on Palestine?

    Reading time varies, but the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Hundred Years' War on Palestine a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The book provides a valuable perspective on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Definitely worth reading!

    Who is the author of The Hundred Years' War on Palestine?

    Rashid Khalidi is the author of The Hundred Years' War on Palestine.

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