"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, May 21, 2021

Jewish and Palestinian Conflict in the Sunset of the Ottoman Empire

Knowing almost nothing about the latest Palestinian-Israeli conflict, I will say nothing beyond noting, as I have in the past on here, that such conflicts did not just arise in 2021 because of local circumstances, but have long and often complicated roots. A new book reminds us of this: Jews and Palestinians in the Late Ottoman Era, 1908-1914: Claiming the Homeland by Louis Fishman (Edinburgh University Press, 2021, 234pp.). 

About this book the publisher tells us this: 

Uncovering a history buried by different nationalist narratives (Jewish, Israeli, Arab and Palestinian) this book looks at how the late Ottoman era set the stage for the on-going Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It presents an innovative analysis of the struggle in its first years, when Palestine was still an integral part of the Ottoman Empire. And it argues that in the late Ottoman era, Jews and Palestinians were already locked in conflict: the new freedoms introduced by the Young Turk Constitutional Revolution exacerbated divisions (rather than serving as a unifying factor). Offering an integrative approach, it considers both communities, together and separately, in order to provide a more sophisticated narrative of how the conflict unfolded in its first years.

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