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date: 18 January 2019

Modern Palestine

Summary and Keywords

The history of Modern Palestine begins somewhere in the 19th century. Writing it, or about it, is a huge challenge. It is very hard to distinguish between the history and the historiography of the country, as it is narrated to this very day, including by scholars, in two diametrically opposed ways. Even the term modern Palestine itself is a contentious one, let alone the history of the country itself.

The history of Palestine cannot be dissociated from that of Israel, one of the few states in the world whose modern, indeed, its contemporary history is still contested and highly charged. Therefore, the historiographical research on Palestine is inconclusive.

The best way of approaching such complexities is recognizing the prevalence of more than one narrative about the country’s past and present realities as well as acknowledging the dynamic and dialectical relationship between the competing narratives. Thus, the pendulum keeps oscillating in favor or against the validity and acceptance of the two major competing narratives about the country’s history: the Israeli Zionist one and the Palestinian one.

In such a world, the historian’s own positionality is as much a factor in the story he or she tells as is the evidence itself. For this reason, the history of modern Palestine, in particular, cannot be easily presented as an entry to an encyclopedia. Any scholarly work on such a place will reflect, despite all the attempts at professionalism and fairness, a certain moral as well as an emotive position. An intelligent reader could easily detect within a factual presentation, where a more subjective commentary is proposed.

It is not only the personal views of the historians that affect the analysis of the country’s history, but also the changing balance of power between the competing narratives that plays a crucial role in the way articles like this one are written. This balance of power has changed in recent years. In crude terms, one could say that scholarly works around the world on Palestine reflected the Zionist narrative until the 1980s and were far more critical toward this narrative ever since.

From the Israeli Zionist narrative, the history of Palestine is closely associated with the history of the Jewish religion. Thus, this narrative begins in the biblical times, when the Jewish nation was born as a monotheistic religion on the land, which today is Israel and Palestine. It continues with the expulsion of the Jews by the Romans around 70 AD and defines Jewish life ever since as life in exile. The modern history of Palestine commences in 1882 with the return of the Jews to their homeland after centuries of neglect that left the county arid and derelict for centuries: in fact, until the arrival of Zionism. The Zionist immigration is thus depicted as a “return” to an ancient homeland on the one hand, and as an act of modernization, on the other. The arid, desert-like country was bloomed, and the new arrivals founded a democratic state, the only one in the Middle East. The native people are described as semi nomads without any sense of national or even ethnic aspirations. Their rejection of Zionism is therefore attributed to their primitivism or to the incitement by others: namely Islamic leaders, Arab tyrants, or anti-Semitic gentiles.

This would be the explanation for the attempt by the Arab world to defeat the Jewish state in 1948, after it was recognized by the international community (through the United Nations’ General Assembly Resolution 181 from November 29, 1947), which accorded roughly half of the country to the local Arabs who rejected what par this narrative was as a just and fair solution.

The history of Palestine ever since 1948, from the perspective of this narrative, is exclusively the history of Israel, which moves between endless and hostile attempts to wipe Israel out by military force—in several recurring regional wars and recently Islamic terrorism—and a wish to find a solution to the bits of Palestine Israel occupied in 1967—the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. A lack of Palestinian leadership, internal Israeli debates about the future of the occupied territories, and international diplomatic incompetence are provided as explanations for failing to end this conflict.

The Palestinian narrative, on the other hand, depicts a society that at least since the 7th century lived a normal and organic life as the indigenous people of the country. Contrary to the Zionist maxim that Palestine was a land without people waiting for the people without land, the Palestinian historiography reveals a vibrant society, mostly rural but with a dynamic urban center that survived foreign and regional occupiers. The one disruption it could not cope with was the arrival of Zionism, depicted in this narrative as a colonial movement that eventually led to the Nakba, the 1948 catastrophe. Ever since that year, the Palestinian struggle to liberate their homeland through the agency of the PLO, which in the late 1980s was willing to partition the country into two states but was not reciprocated by any goodwill on the part of Israel. This is a narrative of dispossession on the one hand, and a liberation struggle that still continues today, on the other.

Ever since the 1980s, the scholarly world tends to accept the basic arguments included in the Palestinian narrative, not least because there are quite a few Israeli historians who endorsed them. Thus, the Palestinian narrative ascended not just as the “other side” of the story that was silenced, but also appeared as the more universal one among the two. It became the narrative of the human rights’ agenda in which the Palestinians were depicted as victims of settler colonialism and the Zionist movement, and later the state of Israel, as colonial victimizers. This is a work in progress and recent scholarship is not content with such a simplified dichotomous historiographical approach. This new updated look on human history, from a moral and not just factual point of view, still requires a paradigm that would help the historian to make sense of a complicated reality.

The narrative thus chosen for this article reflects these historiographical developments. It narrates the history of Palestine as the tale of an indigenous population that since the 630s was ruled by Muslim dynasties (apart from a short period of a Crusader conquest), until it was colonized by a settler colonial movement arriving there in 1882.

The colonization effort expanded and grew during the period of the British rule (1918–1948). It resulted in 1948 with the creation of the state of Israel over 78 percent of Palestine and the transformation of half of the Palestinian population into refugees. These two outcomes affect the modern history of the country ever since. This year, 1948, was a miraculous year for the Zionist movement and a disastrous year for the Palestinians. The Israeli attempt to maintain its 1948 achievements and the Palestinian struggle to rectify the 1948 catastrophe inform both the history and historiography of Israel and Palestine. This is not a closed chapter in our modern global history; it is an ongoing story that has wider implications for the history of the region and the world at large.

Keywords: British Mandate, Gaza Strip, PLO, Zionism, West Bank, Palestine, Israel


We encounter the name Palestine for the first time during Roman times. The Romans were the ones who granted some parts of the land the name “Palestina”—which predated all the other similar references to the land as Palestine. While the Romans, and their successors, the Byzantines, ruled the place, it was a province, or a set of sub-provinces, under the rule of great empires and its fate depended very much on the fortunes of Rome and later Constantinople. Thus, the name Palestine from the Roman times until the First World War was geographical and not political.

Since the mid-7th century, the country’s history is linked closely to the Arab and Muslim worlds (with a short interval when it was ceded by force from these worlds by the Crusaders in the medieval period). Various Muslim empires and dynasties from the north, east and south of the country aspired to control it, since it possessed the second holiest place in the Muslim religion after Mecca and Medina. It had, of course, also other attractions due to its fertility and strategic locations.

Ottoman Palestine

Between the 16th and 20th centuries, Palestine was ruled by the Ottoman Empire. Until the early 19th century, the Ottoman allowed powers clans to rule in their name the country, but had occasionally opted for more direct rule when the local notables or governors were acting in an autonomous way that was deemed rebellious by Istanbul. One such ruler, Daher al-Umar, who ruled from Acre in the late 18th century is revered by some Palestinian historians and popular tale as the precursor of Palestinian nationalism (he built, among other places, the town of Haifa).

Palestine entered the modern age at the beginning of the 19th century. This phase coincided with the incursion of Napoleon Bonaparte’s army into Palestine and Syria at the very end of the 18th century. His stay was very short and did not have an immense impact.

After the departure of Napoleon, Istanbul competed with Egypt over Palestine. In 1831, Muhammad Ali, the ruler of Egypt, managed to occupy Palestine and held it for the next nine years. Muhamad Ali and his son Ibrahim were in many ways the first modernizers of Palestine. Muhammad Ali was a general in the service of the Ottoman Sultan, and he had worked his way up through intrigues and coalitions to become Egypt’s ruler at the beginning of the 19th century. His ambitions stretched beyond the Nile, and some historians suspected he even desired to overthrow the Sultan.

It was Muhammad Ali’s son, Ibrahim Pasha, who became Palestine’s most impressive modernizer. Ruling the lands in his father’s name, he introduced agricultural reforms, centralized taxation, safer roads, and improved the Ottoman constitutional system by giving fair representation to the local elite (for the first time in the history of Ottoman Empire, the new representative bodies included Christians and Jews).

With the help of local notables and the British army, Muhamad Ali’s rule came to an end and the Ottoman returned to rule Palestine in 1840 and stayed there until 1917. In 1850, about half a million people lived in the land of Palestine.1 They were mainly Muslims, with a sizable Christian minority and much smaller Jewish minority. All of them spoke Arabic. The Ottoman rule was maintained through a special relationship between Istanbul and local social and religious elite.

The country was divided to several sub-provinces an administrative map that was consolidated during the 19th century and included three such administrative unites: Nablus, Acre, and Jerusalem. To some extent, these administrative divisions corresponded to the topography. Each administrative area had a major town as its capital, so that some of Palestine’s most famous towns were the foci of social and cultural life. Acre, Jerusalem, Hebron, and Nablus were among these important towns, as were the smaller coastal towns of Haifa, Jaffa, and Gaza.2

Outside the official activities of the sub-province, people lived an autonomous pastoral life, with relative homogeneity of style and modes of production. The clan was the main social unit and its relationship with clans in a village and with other villages affected peace and stability in the rural areas. At times, the alliances formed were helped by outside forces that occasionally led to clashes over control of space and means. Visitors were rare, although not unheard of. Intruders and thieves were also infrequent, but they were an integral part of life recognized by the authorities, who allowed the village men to possess arms and defend themselves. Not unexpectedly, these weapons were sometimes used against greedy tax collectors or for settling feuds with other clans or villages.

In the towns and the cities of 19th-century Palestine, life was regulated by local notables as well as representatives of the Ottoman rule. The notables were descendants of families who could trace their lineage back to the days of the Prophet Muhammad and who were authorized by the central government in Istanbul to fill the important positions in the urban centers. In the second half of the century, the urban elite purchased land and acquired influence in the rural areas as well, causing a decline in the power of the local strongmen there and integrating further the rural and urban economy of the country. The closer connection with the European economy has gradually transformed the rural subsistence economy with cash crops, as happened elsewhere in the Middle East, enriching the few and impoverishing the peasants. Palestine also became a transition spot for commerce with other regions of the Middle East that benefited the coastal towns on the Mediterranean.3

Palestine, as many other regions within the Ottoman Empire, was fundamentally affected by the Tanzimat, a series of administrative reforms that were meant to tighten Istanbul’s grip on the empire whose integrity was threatened by ambitious local rulers, embryo national movements, and greedy European imperialists.

Palestine fortune in that period was also influenced by developments in Beirut and Damascus as two of the provinces (Acre and Nablus) were directly ruled from them respectively. The Jerusalem sub-province was also ruled from Damascus, but as a result of the Ottoman reforms was put directly under Istanbul’s rule in 1872 in recognition of the city’s importance to the world. This upgrade in the city’s statues also enhanced the power of the notable families there and, in particular, of one family, the Husaynis, who since then up to the end of the British Mandate in 1948, played a crucial role in the embryo Palestinian national movement and politics. It is noteworthy that for a brief moment, the powers-that-be in Istanbul had even toyed with the possibility of adding to the new sub-province of Jerusalem, encompassing much of Palestine as we know it today, the sub-provinces of Nablus and Acre. Had they done this, the Ottomans would have created a geographical unit, as happened in Egypt, in which a particular nationalism might have arisen even earlier.4

Ever since the 1840s, and in particular since the end of the Crimean War in 1856, European influence in the affairs of Palestine grew and affected many aspects of local life. European consuls and merchants took an active part in local affairs, serving the interests of European powers that regarded Palestine as “the holy land” that belonged in many ways to the Christian world. Pilgrims arrived in great numbers, buying land and building churches, changing the architectural landscape, and also contributing to education by offering an alternative school system to the Ottoman one. At first only Christians and Jews attended these new schools, including the first schools for girls, but soon after Muslim notable families sent their children as well. Some of the schools were opened by American missionaries and according to some historians, since these particular missionaries were interested not only in converting people to Christianity but also spreading the message of nationalism, they became the space in which the future national elite of Palestine had been molded.5

Indeed, one of the important consequences of this European involvement process in the late Ottoman period was the budding of nationalism all over the Arab world. In Palestine, as elsewhere in the empire, notions of Arab nationalism were discussed for the first time. However, it emerged with force only after the Young Turks came to power in 1908, demanding loyalty not only to the empire but also to the newly founded Turkish nationalism.

Thus, the development of Palestinian national identity was a slow process, which was enhanced by the urban elite and at first was a wish to be part a reform movement within the Ottoman Empire, and then became part of a pan-Arab national sentiment. It was a joint venture of notable Muslim families and Christian intellectuals that flourished after the British occupation and in response to the arrival of Zionism in Palestine.6

However, it is important to stress that both elite and non-elite sections of the Palestinian society were involved in developing a national sentiment before 1882. Patriotic feelings, local loyalties, Arabism, religious sentiments, and higher levels of education and literacy were the main constituents of this proto-nationalist movement before the arrival of Zionism in 1882. Later on, resistance to Zionism played an additional crucial role in defining more clearly Palestinian nationalism.

Palestine was part of the Arab world where modernization, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and greedy European quest for territories in the Middle East contributed to the solidification of pan-Arab nationalism. Accordingly, in its early stages Palestinian nationalism was very much geared toward a pan-Arab national movement until the end of the Ottoman rule in 1917.7

The power of nationalism is in correlating geographical space with political definitions. Thus, Palestine was now identified as a geopolitical and not only geographical space by the local elites and other sections in society (but still deemed as part of a greater national awakening that included the Arab world as a whole until the end of the Ottoman rule). One of the clearest manifestations of such a new self-definition was the appearance of the newspaper Fialstin in Jaffa in 1911, which reflected the way the people named their country.8 They spoke their own dialect, had their own customs and rituals, and appeared on the maps of the world as living in a country called Palestine.

The pro-nationalist sentiment transformed into a proper national movement after Britain occupied Palestine in 1918. Christian and Muslim activists created the Muslim-Christian societies, based on a more secular definition of identity, in response to the European takeover of the Eastern Mediterranean in the First World War and the expansion of Zionist presence in the land.

Pan-Arabist nationalism is called Qawmiyya in Arabic and alongside it another version of more local nationalism developed, after and because of the First World War, Wataniyya in Arabic. The reason a new version developed was the division of the former Ottoman provinces into new nation-states, carved partly according to the vague agreement between Britain and France in 1916 (the Sykes-Picot agreement) of dividing the Eastern Middle East between them and partly according to the aspirations of the local national movements. The Palestinian national movement in the early years of the British occupation, 1918–1920, like the rest of the Arab national movements around, oscillated between the two options, until it transpired that there was little hope for an all-Arab republic to emerge. At first, most of the Palestinians involved in the politics of nationalism wished Palestine to become part of a great Syria, ruled by the Hashemite Emir, Faysal. Once Faysal lost the battle against the colonialist arrangements, which shipped him to Iraq and lost him his Syrian crown, the Palestinian national movement concentrated on self-determination for the Palestinians in Palestine and most of its energy was directed against the Zionist movement and the British Empire.9

Finally, it should be said that the way that eventually Britain and France carved the Eastern Mediterranean solidified the formulation of Palestine as a coherent geopolitical unit. After the 1918 occupation, Britain united the three sub-provinces of the country, in the same way as they fused the three sub-provinces of Iraq into a new nation-state. The difference was that Britain was also willing to accept the Zionist claim to the new mandatory state they created of Palestine.10

Zionism in Palestine

Zionism had emerged in two ways in Europe. It appeared first in the central parts of the continent as an intellectual response to the growing anti-Jewish attitudes and policies in Europe and a more ideological response to that same predicament in Eastern Europe (in particular in the Russian Empire whose czars in the late 19th century pursued openly anti-Semitic policies). At the heart of the intellectual movement stood Theodor Herzl, a Viennese Jew who at the age of thirty abandoned an unsuccessful career as a playwright and journalist to lead the Jewish national movement on a course that would end with the significant colonization of Palestine in the early 20th century.

The second center of Zionist activity was in Eastern Europe. It was there that the notion of redefining Judaism as a national movement was born. The early Zionist activists were convinced this was the best and only response to the endemic anti-Semitism so deeply rooted in European society. While some of their colleagues adopted a more universal approach, asserting that either communism or liberalism worldwide would ensure the eradication of anti-Semitism, the Zionist thinkers believed that only settling Jews as a modern nation in Palestine would be the best way forward.

In 1897, in the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, these two impulses were fused into a new ideological and political movement, preparing Jews for settling in Palestine, and seeking international support for the project of a Jewish state there. The Zionist ambition to turn Palestine into a Jewish state received the support of the British government on November 2, 1917, when the foreign secretary, then Lord Balfour, granted in a public letter a governmental pledge to build a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Thus, the history of modern Palestine became also the history of the Zionist-Palestinian conflict over the land, which still rages on today and impacts everyone’s life between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea. Its early steps in Palestine were closely associated with, and depended on, Britain.

The Mandate

Britain ruled Palestine through a mandate given to it by the League of Nations to overview the country’s progress, in most cases within twenty-five years, toward independence. The League of Nations was in fact controlled by Britain and France, once the United States, which genuinely championed the rights of self of determination globally, withdrew into international isolation in 1920. Thus, the two colonial powers could decide how and if to implement their commitments under the mandate.

Such mandates were granted to Britain and France over other parts of the Middle East. However, the Palestine mandate was different from the others. In all the other cases, the states were ruled by a clear structure: a local British high commissioner overseeing a local government, parliament, and judicial system. The Palestine mandate included the Balfour Declaration, which promised that Palestine would become a national home for the Jewish people. There was a vague reference in the Balfour Declaration to the aspirations of the native Palestinians, but it did not find its way into the Mandate Charter. What it meant was that this charter did not promise to make Palestine a Palestinian state as did, for instance, the mandatory charter for Iraq.

In 1923, when the Palestine mandate was finalized, the Palestinians were more than 80 percent of the population. They demanded that under the principle of democracy, and as a majority, they would have an appropriate representation in the government and the parliament. The Jewish community, whose members had mostly arrived in Palestine at the beginning of the 20th century (whereas the Palestinians were the natives who had been there for centuries) desired from the very beginning to be autonomous and separated from the native population.

The Zionist movement used the mandatory years (1922–1948) to build a state within a state. It had its own economic, cultural, educational, and social institutions. The movement revived the ancient Hebrew language, encouraged more Jews to join them, bought land, and created a military force. The British government was aware that the local native Palestinians and still the majority in the land, deemed these Zionist achievements colonialist and a violation of their national rights. The government in London tried to restrict Jewish immigration and purchase of land, but when Nazism rose in Europe in the 1930s, many more sought refuge in Palestine and the Zionist presence in Palestine expanded.

The Zionist enterprise created a new reality on the ground: new Jewish settlements were established and Jewish labor markets gradually pushed Palestinian workers out of work. The British mandatory government decided to grant some of the country’s major concessions and projects to the Zionist movement (such as the electricity network, phosphate industry, and similar heavy industry plants). The Zionist purchase of land affected the Palestinian countryside. Palestinian farmers, who constituted about 70 percent of the population, began to lose their lands and moved to the towns in the 1920s where the options for work and housing were limited. They dwelled in shanty towns, and in one of them near Haifa, a Syrian preacher by the name of Izz al-Din al-Qassam began to advocate armed struggle against both the British and the Zionists. His blend of nationalism and religion would continue to this day, and it is no coincidence that the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip named its military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam brigade and the missiles it fired into Israel (after it took the Strip in 2006 and the Israeli siege began there) the Qassam missiles.

The Palestinian resistance was organized by an executive committee of annual Palestinian national conferences that convened in different towns. The executive committee became the Arab Higher Committee in the 1930s, coordinating the struggle against Zionism with neighboring Arab states and between the various parties that made the Palestinian political scene. Two powerful clans were behind most of the parties, the Husyanis and the Nashshibis of Jerusalem. There was also independent parties and in the mid-1930s Palestinians also joined the Palestine Communist Party that was until then exclusively Jewish.

The Palestinian resistance to the Zionist project intensified in the 1930s. Their national leaders demanded an end to Jewish immigration and purchase of land on the one hand, and insisted on their right of self-determination and independence (they were still two-thirds of the population and its native people) on the other. When their demands were not met, they began a revolt that lasted for three years (1936–1939).

The British responded to the revolt by appointing in 1936 a Royal inquiry commission, the Peel Commission, which offered the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states under British rule, which the Palestinians rejected. In 1939, Britain attempted another approach. The British government published a white paper, which limited Jewish immigration and purchase of land. The paper was rejected by both sides and it seemed Britain had now to struggle against two resistance movements. No wonder then that the British cabinet decided in February 1947 to leave Palestine and refer the country’s fate to the UN. The British decision to leave was also informed by other factors such a prior decision to leave India and a catastrophic winter that exposed the weakness and vulnerability of the British economy and empire.11

The Nakba and the Creation of the State of Israel

The UN was entrusted with the future of Palestine once Britain announced its decision to leave Palestine. It appointed a special committee, UNSCOP, to find out a solution for the ongoing conflict. The Palestinian leadership, and most of the members of the Arab League (apart from Jordan) decided to boycott UNSCOP since they demanded a direct transfer of sovereignty to the Palestinian majority. UNCSOP dealt mainly with the Zionist movement during the deliberations of the committee that continued until November 1947. The Zionist movement demanded to create a Jewish state over 80 percent of Palestine (Israel today without the West Bank), but the committee suggested eventually to partition Palestine into a Jewish state more or less into equal parts and create an international enclave in Jerusalem. This proposal was adopted by a United Nation General Assembly resolution (Resolution 181).12

The General Assembly consisted of only fifty-six nations at the time and thirty-three of them were persuaded to vote for it (some under pressure by the USA13). The United Nations did not then include the still largely colonized world, most of which would have likely opposed the partition. However, the only way to implement it was by forcing the indigenous Palestinians to accept a solution they opposed vehemently. This was a recipe for disaster.

One Arab state had a different take. This was Jordan (named Transjordan until 1948). Jordan was founded by a clan that moved from the Arabian Peninsula after the First World War, the Hashemites, who were Britain’s allies in that war and were promised kingdoms in the previously Ottoman Arab world. One such compensation was Transjordan. It was mostly an arid land and hence the Hashemites there wished to extend it into the more fertile Palestine. The negotiations over Palestine’s future offered an opportunity to expand.14

The ruler of Transjordan, King Abdullah (the great grandfather of today’s king), reached a tacit understanding with the Jewish leadership in Palestine that parts of the country would be annexed to his kingdom in return for his recognition of a Jewish state in the rest. Ultimately, while the Jordanians and the Israelis clashed militarily, mainly over Jerusalem, they divided the country between themselves. The Jordanians took over the part of Palestine that became known as the West Bank.

Formally, however, Jordan was still part of the overall Arab effort to try and reverse the UN partition plan. The situation in Palestine infuriated the Arab societies and their governments and rules felt obliged to do something on behalf of the Palestinians. The day after the resolution was adopted, violence erupted in Palestine that engulfed the country for several days, fueled by Palestinian anger. This subsided for a while but resumed in March and April 1948. In those two months, Jewish forces, under a plan they adopted on March 10,1948, known as Plan D, began clearing the mixed towns of Palestine (such as Haifa and Jaffa), of their Palestinian population. Nearby villages, which served as bases for armed volunteers from Arab states and paramilitary Palestinian groups, were also attacked.15

In April 1948, every village, whether it hosted troops or not, suffered a similar fate. One such village, which signed a nonaggression pact with nearby Jewish communities, Dir Yasin, near Jerusalem, was occupied on April 9, 1948, and about one hundred of its inhabitants were slaughtered and wounded. The Dir Yasin massacre caused outrage in the Arab world and forced Arab governments to take more direct action on behalf of the Palestinians.

The United Nations and the United States began to have second thoughts about the wisdom of the partition plan, since it seemed to produce violence and not peace. After a short period pondering the possibility of abolishing the partition plan and substituting it with international trusteeship over Palestine for five years, they renewed their support for the plan.

In the last few weeks of the British Mandate, the Arab League decided it had to forcibly prevent the creation of a Jewish state and save the Palestinians. When the mandate ended officially, on May 15, 1948, Israel was founded, and the Arab League created an expeditionary force, made of units from five Arab countries—Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, and dispatched into Palestine. Due to the prior tacit understanding with Israel, the Jordanian forces confined their actions in the Greater Jerusalem area.

There were two fronts in the war. The first was between Israel and the troops dispatched by the Arab League, which Israel pushed back after about three months of fighting. The second took place in the areas populated by Palestinians (apart from the West Bank, which tacitly was promised to Jordan). There Israeli forces occupied hundreds of Palestinian villages and several towns, turning almost a million Palestinians into refugees (the UN estimated that there were 750,000 refugees, but with the ongoing ethnic cleansing of parts of Palestine after the war ended, the number was closer to one million). The success of the Zionist movement in creating a state while making many Palestinians refugees ignited a conflict that continues to this day.

Modern Israel and the Palestine Question, 1948–1967

The best chronological signposts for the period after 1948 are unfortunately the various wars involving Israel, its Arab neighbors and the Palestinians. The first period in the modern history are thus the years between 1948 and the third Arab-Israeli war of 1967 (the second war occurred in 1956, when Israel joined Britain and France in a failed military operation that meant to topple the new Egyptian leader, Gamal Abdul Nasser).

In those early years of statehood, Israel absorbed a large influx of Jewish immigrants coming from the Arab world and Europe. The Mizrahi Jews, the Jews that came from the Arab world, were pushed onto the geographical and social margins of the society, where many of them still are today. Before coming to Israel, they did not regard themselves as one community; they were lumped together into this category by the new state. Although their situation has improved since then, even today there is still a sense among many Mizrahi Jews that are discriminated against by the Ashkenazi (the European Jews) elite.

Far worse in that period was the situation of the Palestinians who remained within the Jewish state after 1948 (which the Israelis call “The Israeli Arabs”). Israel imposed a harsh military rule over this national minority that was based on British mandatory emergency regulations that robbed the Palestinian citizens of most of their basic civic and human rights.16 This continued until 1967 until this same oppressive system was transferred to the new Palestinian areas Israel occupied in the June 1967 war: the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The young state went through some economic crises that were resolved with the help of generous compensation from West Germany, which recognized Israel as the official benefactor of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. These early nineteen years of statehood saw also the flourishing of the Hebrew culture that was created before the First World War and now had a state to foster it.

In contrast, for the Palestinians, wherever they were, this was a period of trying to recover from the traumatic catastrophe that befell them in 1948. It was in the Palestinian refugee camps that the Palestinian national movement was reborn. In 1959, it was the Fatah that rose the banner of a national liberation struggle that led in 1964 to the establishment of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (the PLO). The organization in many ways succeeded in maintaining the coordination between the various Palestinian groups after 1948. The Palestinians were divided in that period into five different groups and this fragmentation continues to this very day. The first were the Palestinian refugees scatted in UN refugee camps in the Middle East and the second the exilic communities all around the world. The Palestinian minority in Israel was already mentioned and the fourth group was the Palestinians in the West Bank, under Jordanian rule, and that last one resided in the Gaza Strip under Egyptian rule.

Modern Israel and Palestine (1967–1993)

Israel became responsible for the fate of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the wake of the 1967 war. The Jewish state went to war against its Arab neighbors, claiming that it was done as a preemptive strike against an Egyptian-Jordanian-Syrian alliance that was intent on destroying the Jewish state. This pan-Arab alliance was created in response to Israeli public threats to topple the Baath regime in Syria and in order to stop the Israeli project of diverting the estuaries of the River Jordan, the main water source for Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, into its own territory. These tensions led occasionally to skirmishes on the Israeli-Syrian border, which intensified in the first half of 1967. In May of that year when the Israeli-Syrian tension was at its peak, the Egyptian army was sent to the Sinai Peninsula in preparation for war and Egypt closed the maritime rout in the Red Sea leading to Israel’s southern harbor Eilat. These actions were deemed by Israel as casus belli and on June 5, its army attacked Egypt, Jordan, and Syria and defeated those armies within a war of six days. The war ended with the Israeli military occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights, the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, and the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Ever since the war, the United States dominated the attempts to introduce peaceful solutions and bring an end to the conflict, but to no avail. The only relatively successful negotiations were with Egypt. Israel was willing to give back the Sinai Peninsula for a bilateral peace. However, Israel had first to engage in another war with Egypt and Syria. In October 1973, the armies of the Egypt and Syria coordinated a military assault on the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights respectively, taking by surprise the Israeli army. It was an American military aid and diplomacy that helped the Israeli army to repel the attack. The negotiations that followed the end of the war led eventually to the bilateral peace with Egypt in the late 1970s, but did not produce a similar result on the Israeli-Syrian front, although they did ensure a long period of nonaggression between the two sides.

The surprise attack and the relative failure led to the fall of the Israeli Labor Party, which dominated Israeli politics since 1948. Its downfall was also due to its discriminatory policy toward the Mizrahi Jews who were stuck in the social and geographical margins of the Jewish society. It was this electorate that brought to power the right wing Likud party, headed by Menachem Begin in 1977. The Likud dominates Israeli politics today. The two parties, Labor and Likud, differ mainly on their position on the future of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. While the Labor Party is allegedly willing to negotiate a two-state solution with the Palestinians, the Likud still believes in a greater Israel, from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean, in which the Palestinian would have limited rights. Although one should say that both parties supported Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, created by the government and by a new messianic movement, Gush Emunim, which deems the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as part of the Jewish state, promised by God to the Jews.

The next landmarks in the history of modern Israel and Palestine focus much more on the local conflict between the Jewish state and the Palestinians, and much less on the relationship between Israel and its Arab neighbors. In the summer of 1982, Israeli forces invaded Lebanon in an attempt to destroy the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization. As noted, this movement was born in the Palestinian refugee camps around historical Palestine. The PLO hoped to stage a liberation war against Israel using the neighboring Arab countries, such as Jordan and Syria, as a launching pad for operations inside Israel. Jordan had the longest border with Israel so it was the natural choice for such a strategy. However, the Hashemite Kingdom in Jordan in September 1970 (known as black September) expelled the PLO to Lebanon. From there, the PLO conducted guerrilla, and at time, terror attacks against Israeli targets inside the country and abroad (the most known one was the attack on the Israeli Olympic delegation in Munich in 1972 that trigged a long series of Israeli assassination operations of Palestinians leaders and intellectuals).17

The PLO managed to build a kind of state within a state in Southern Lebanon and this “state” was the target of the Israeli invasion in the summer of 1982, which led to expulsion of the PLO to Tunis. The focus now shifted back to the areas occupied by Israel in the June 1967 war, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. At the end of 1987, the people of these occupied territories rebelled in what became known as the first Intifada: a nonviolent popular uprising. This uprising was powerful enough to produce a new peace effort, this time based on a direct negotiation between the PLO and Israel. It is known as the Oslo accord.

This accord was facilitated by Norwegian mediation, supported by the United States, Russia, the EU, and the UN. Its stated goal was to reach a final settlement for the Palestine issue within five years of the accord’s conclusion in 1993. Although it was never stated clearly in the documents signed, it seemed the international community and the Palestinians anticipated that the accord would lead to the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. This accord excluded any discussion on the fate of more than five million Palestinian refugees and did not refer to the plight of the Palestinian minority inside Israel (which enjoys the right to vote and be elected, but is discriminated as a national minority and suffers from a policy of land expropriation, limited employability, and spatial stagnation).18

Israel and Palestine in the 21st Century

The Israeli political system as a whole went through some dramatic changes in the wake of the Oslo accord. It began with the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, the leader of the Labor Party and the prime minister in November 1995 due to his support for the Oslo accord. The assassin belonged to Gush Emunim, mentioned before, the messianic settler movement that saw the accord as a potential deathblow to its dream of Judaizing the whole of historical Palestine. However, it seems that despite the assassination, the Israeli electorate lost its faith in the process and elected in 1996 Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of the right wing Likud party as prime minister. The Labor Party went back to power for a short period, under Ehud Barak (1999–2001), when under the hosting of President Bill Clinton, a hasty summit meeting in the summer of 2000 was convened to try and finalize the peace process. The failure of this summit was another nail in the coffin of the Oslo accord.

The Oslo accord was already dead when the three leaders met at Camp David. As noted before, the exclusion of important Palestinian groups was one reason for its failure. However, in the main, it was the continued Israeli Judaizaiton (namely colonizing the space with Jewish settlements) of the occupied territories that rendered the idea of an independent Palestinian state over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) next to Israel (the main ambition behind the peace process) impossible. The growing frustration on the Palestinian side led to the second uprising in October 2000, the Second Intifada to which Israel retaliated with brutal destructive force. In the wake of a terrorist assault in the city of Netanya that left thirty citizens dead in March 2002, the Israeli army reoccupied areas it had already left and destroyed parts of the cities and villages in an operation codenamed Defence Shield. The operation left hundreds of Palestinian dead and thousands wounded. Thousands of Palestinians were arrested without trail and it transpired clearly that the Oslo accord ended in total failure.

During the first decade of the 21st century, the international community under the auspices of a body named the Quartet (with representatives from Russia, United States, EU, and the UN) tried in vain to renew the peace process. Instead, on the ground, Israel built a separation wall in 2003 (condemned by the International Court of Justice as a war crime) that imprisoned the Palestinians in the West Bank in small enclaves separated further by hundreds of roadblocks, Jewish settlements, and military bases. The number of Jewish settlers increased dramatically during the 21st century and some areas such as the Greater Jerusalem area became part of the state of Israel. In a speech that he gave before he left office, Secretary of State John Kerry pointed to this reality as the main obstacle for peace.19

The victory of the Likud, under the leadership of Ariel Sharon in 2001, indicated that the whole political system shifted to the right in Israel. At first, he dominated politics through his leadership of the Likud Party and later on through a new centrist party, Kadima, which is still a political force to reckon with in today’s Israel. Sharon’s main legacy in those years was his decision to take out the Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip, which created a new reality in this part of historical Palestine.

In the wake of the withdrawal of the settlers in 2005 from the Gaza Strip, the political Islamic group Hamas took over the area first by democratic elections (defeating the Palestinian authority that was installed in Ramallah as the new Palestinian regime by the Oslo accord) and then by more violent means of expunging potential rivals. The takeover by the Hamas led Israel to impose a siege on the Strip, which continues today and against which occasionally the Hamas wage a desperate war of liberation, in the form of launching missiles into Israel, which are reciprocated by brutal Israeli bombardments that have killed thousands of Palestinians to date. These occasional assaults occurred in 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2014. In 2016, the UN declared that due to the assaults and the continued siege on the Gaza, the Strip will be non-inhabitable by 2020.20

To sum up, in the last one hundred years, Palestine was colonized and Judaized, while still retaining in it a large Palestinian community. In 2017, half of the population of historical Palestine (from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean is Palestinian). The Palestinians enjoy some autonomy in small parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and limited rights as citizens of Israel (while many of them are still refugees around the region and the world).

Israel grew to be a modern state: it has a very developed high-tech industry as well as very successful arms and diamond industries. Recently, its economic viability has been enhanced by the discovery of natural and very rich gas fields. It has the strongest army in the region and enjoys a special relationship with the United States that provides it with billions of dollars a year in direct and indirect support. The United States is also assisting Israel in international venues, such as the UN, where its legitimacy, or at least that of its policies, is widely challenged.

Discussion of the Literature

The history of modern Palestine, indeed the very concept of modern Palestine, is a contested terrain. At the heart of the dispute stand two narratives: the Zionist narrative that views Palestine as an ancient Jewish homeland, from which Jews were exiled during the Roman times and to which they returned after two thousand years of exile. When they returned they found a derelict and deserted country, redeemed it, and built a paragon modern society that still thrives today. According to this narrative, the local population incited by Arab states and anti-Semitism rejected the idea by force and tried to destroy it. The resistance stemmed from the anti-modernizationist position of the indigenous population and the region as a whole.21

The counter Palestinian narrative views the Zionist movement as a settler colonial movement that usurped someone else’s homeland and in the process strove to dispossess its native population. The creation of the state of Israel in 1948 is defined as a Nakba, catastrophe in Arabic, which ended in the destruction of half of Palestine’s villages, most of its towns, and the expulsion of half of its native population. The national struggle that began after 1948 was meant to allow the expellees to return and stop the next stages in the colonization of Palestine.22

The clash of the two narratives affects every chapter in the modern history of Israel and Palestine and the noble academic desire to present a “balanced” and “objective” view is doomed to fail in this case study. Our professional knowledge about this case study will be continued to be produced by scholars whose sympathies lie with one side or the other, or as is often the case that come from one side or the other. The debates about dates or even causes relate directly to moral and ideological issues such as the legitimacy of the colonization of modern Palestine. While politicians may be able to find pragmatic ways of bridging over the narratives as to enable relative peaceful life in Israel and Palestine (something they have failed to do and are not likely to be able to do in the foreseeable future), professional historians cannot be “pragmatic” but rather have remained loyal to their truth and moral positionality.

Several historiographical debates emanate from the clash of the narratives. What is noteworthy about them, and indeed is true about the narrative debate, is that they are not unique to this case study, apart from their intensity and acute relevance to present-day realities.

The first is the how to depict modern Palestine on the eve of the Zionist arrival there in 1882. The tendency among historians today is to accept the Palestinian contention that there is enough archival material to show that a vibrant society lived there and which had the potential to embark later on a successful process of modernization that could have led to the creation of a modern and independent Palestine. The second is the question of how to depict the 1948 events. In the 1990s, a group of professional Israeli Jewish historians, known as the “new historians,” accepted quite a few of the Palestinian claims and attributed the making of the Palestinian refugee question to Israel’s policy of massive expulsion and dispossession. The findings of the “new historians” were challenged by the mainstream Israeli historiography, but the global research community at large accepted their version as valid.23

The third debate surrounding any history of modern Palestine is about the nature of the Palestinian struggle led by the PLO. The mainstream Israeli historiography depicts the PLO as a terrorist movement, while the Palestinian narrative insists it is a liberation movement. As with other issues, the trend recently in the scholarly world tilts toward the Palestinian perspective. In recent years, the willingness to define the PLO as a Third World Liberation and indeed an indigenous movement was accentuated by a new scholarly depiction of Zionism as a settler colonial movement. The settler colonial paradigm compares Zionism to settler movements in the Americas, Australia, and Southern Africa and analyzes it as a similar historical phenomenon that drove Europeans to search for a new home and homeland outside the continent. In the process they encountered indigenous communities against which they acted according the logic, so succinctly articulated by Patrick Wolfe, “of the elimination of the native.” Wolfe also taught us that settler colonialism is not an event but a historical structure and thus the early chapters of the Zionist settler colonial project are closely connected and relevant to present-day Israeli ideology and policies.24

Finally, it is noteworthy that in recent years some significant developments occurred both in the Israeli and Palestinian historiography of modern Palestine. On the Israeli side a group of scholars, referred to in the professional literature as the “post-Zionists,” have challenged some of the foundational mythologies of the state of Israel and touch upon some of the open and raw nerves of their society. These challenges include viewing Zionism as colonialism, analyzing the Mizrahi Jews as Arab Jews who have been de-Arabized by a European settler society and forced to forsake their cultural and ethnic identity. This particular topic has produced a prolific scholarly literature that is growing in Israel today. Half of Israel’s Jewish population originated in Arab and Muslim countries and despite economic and political successes, still harbor a deep sense of discrimination and marginalization. These scholars point to the anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian position of the Arab Jews as emanating from process of de-Arabization they underwent when they arrived in Israel in the early 1950s.25

Other issues tackled by this critical scholarly group included a bold deconstruction of the way the Holocaust memory is manipulated in Israel and how the Palestinian minority and women are treated in modern Israel. The criticism was influenced by politics of identity developing on the ground and similar deconstructive scholarly movement in the United States where African American and Native Americans, among many others, demanded their share in the historical narrative and in the production of knowledge.

Palestinian historiography also underwent meaningful transformation. The adherence to the national narrative was replaced by more critical views about various decisions in the past and a more comprehensive look at the economic, social, and cultural history of Palestine, in particular before the arrival of Zionism. In the wake of the Israeli “new history” of 1948, Palestinian historians dug into the collective memories and oral histories of refugees to complement the picture reconstructed with the help of the Israeli documents of the Palestinian Nakba. Both groups, the critical Israeli and Palestinian historians, these days engage fully with the settler colonial paradigm both as an analytical tool, to comprehend better modern Palestine, and as a prescriptive tool that helps to sketch broadly the options for the future.

Primary Sources

For the late Ottoman period, historians have resorted to Ottoman archives in Istanbul and the local registers, the Sijjl, of the religious courts (al-Sharia’ courts), which have proved to be an invaluable source for the social and economic history of that period. European and Arab travelogues also provide an insight into life in late Ottoman Palestine.

The library in Princeton has a good link to the Ottoman sources on Palestine: Another useful source is discussed in the following podcast:

The mandatory period is far more documented. The first and principal source is the National Archives, mentioned and referenced above, which works under the thirty years secrecy rule (and includes daily, weekly, and monthly reports from Palestine). There are some collections that were published of more general nature, which are included in the bibliography.

The Central Zionist Archive in Jerusalem holds minutes and correspondences of the Jewish community in the mandatory period. Each political stream in Zionism has its own archive, which would be an excellent source for those wishing to understand the community’s politics from within. These archives also include copies, and quite missing minutes, from the British correspondence in the National Archives see

The Israeli Trade Union archives cover an important period, 1920 until today, and can be accessed through the library of the University of Pittsburgh; see

The Israel State Archives, hold many British colonial records as well as Arab records of various kinds; see

The U.S. Foreign Relations series brings volumes, nowadays digitized, from the various sections of the American administration; see, for instance,

Some of the documents are in the American National Archives in Washington and in the relevant presidential libraries; see

Rich Palestinian press and literature compensate for the lack of an equivalent Palestinian political archive. The correspondence and minutes of the Arab Higher Committee are held in the Israel State Archives in Jerusalem and some of the private literary collections were taken by the Israelis in 1948 and are hosted in the national library in the Hebrew University. Recently, a website Palestineremembered ( appeared as the main reservoir of Palestinian oral history from the 1948 catastrophe. Recently, municipal archives of Palestinian towns became available to researchers, which included the records of chambers of commerce in cities such as Haifa and Nablus.

The Haganah archives ( and the IDF archives ( are still the most important venues for documents on the 1948 war. In recent years, due to the appearance of the “new historians,” some of the material has been withdrawn for reconsideration. One good alternative for some of the withdrawn material is the Ben-Gurion Archive in the south of Israel that holds also copies of documents from other archives, apart from David Ben-Gurion’s own diary and correspondence:

The history of Israel from 1948 until today is covered by the Israel State Archives that operate on the basis of a thirty years secrecy rule and hence materials that do not constitute breach of national security are to be found in the archive. The ISA is now moving into a digitized age, thus making its documents more accessible to historians

The West Bank history until 1967 is covered by material hosted in the Israel State Archive, which was taken from the Jordanian Ministries and in particular secret service, while the West Bank was still part of the Hashemite Kingdom. Israel confiscated this material in 1967 and made it available to a selected number of scholars. The history of both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip under occupation is reconstructed mainly with the help of printed media and since the 1980s by human and civil rights NGOs.

The PLO used to have an archive in Beirut, Lebanon, but it was dispersed and never reconstructed after the Israeli forces expelled the organization to Tunis in 1982. The Israeli army sized the archive and it was subsequently dispersed. The following link tells the story of the absence of modern Palestinian archives:

A very important attempt to redress this situation was done by group of scholars in Oxford producing the following website for the history of the Palestinian revolution:

Further Reading

Alsberg, Pinchas. A Guide to the Archives in Israel. Jerusalem: Israel Archive Association, 1973.Find this resource:

Avci, Yasemin, Vincent Lermire, and Falestin Naili. “Publishing Jerusalem’s Municipal Archives (1892–1917): A Turning Point for the City’s Historiography.” The Jerusalem Quarterly 60 (2014): 110–119.Find this resource:

Ben-Bassat, Yuval, and Eyal Ginio, eds. Late Ottoman Palestine: The Period of Young Turk Rule. London: I. B. Tauris, 1984.Find this resource:

Cobban, Hellen. The Palestine Liberation Organization: People, Power and Politics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1984.Find this resource:

Doumani, Beshara. Rediscovering Palestine; Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700–1900. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.Find this resource:

Farsoun, Samih, and Christina E. Zacharia. Palestine and the Palestinians. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1994.Find this resource:

Jones, Philip. Britain and Palestine, 1914–1948: Archival Material for the History of the British Mandate. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979.Find this resource:

Kaganoff, Nathan. A Guide to America Holy Land Studies. New York: Arno Press, 1980.Find this resource:

Khalidi, Rashid. Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.Find this resource:

Khalidi, Walid. All That Remains. Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1994.Find this resource:

Ovendale, Ritchi. The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Wars. London: Routledge, 2014.Find this resource:

Pappe, Ilan. A History of Modern Palestine; One Land, Two People. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010.Find this resource:

Pappe, Ilan. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Oxford: Oneworld, 2007.Find this resource:

Said, Edward. The Question of Palestine. London: Vintage Press, 1992.Find this resource:

Sayigh, Yazid. Armed Struggle and Search for State. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.Find this resource:

Shlaim, Avi. The Politics of Partition: King Abdullah, The Zionists and Palestine, 1921–1951. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999.Find this resource:

Shapira, Anita. Israel: A History. Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press, 2014.Find this resource:

Smith, Charles. Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, A History with Documents. New York: Bedford, 2016.Find this resource:


(1.) Justin McCarthy, The Population of Palestine, Population History and Statistics of the Late Ottoman Period and the Mandate (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990).

(2.) See a developed historical picture in Ilan Pappe, A History of Modern Palestine; One Land, Two Peoples (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press), 14–40.

(3.) Beshara Doumani, Rediscovering Palestine; Merchants and Peasants in Jabl Nablus (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995).

(4.) Butrus Abu Maneh, “The Rise of the Sanjak of Jerusalem in the Late Nineteen Century,” in The Israel/Palestine Question, ed. Ilan Pappe (London: Routledge, 2007), 40–50.

(5.) Abu Maneh, The Rise.

(6.) Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999).

(7.) Geroge Antonious, The Arab Awakening (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1938).

(8.) Pappe, “Reframing the Question of Palestine by the Early Palestinian Press: Zionist Settler Colonialism and the Newspaper, Filastin, 1912–1922,” Holy Land and Palestine Studies 14, no. 1 (2015): 59–81.

(9.) Read more about the paper and its role in the national movement in Khalidi, Palestinian Identity.

(10.) Pappe, A History of Modern Palestine.

(11.) Ilan Pappe, Britain and the Arab-Israeli conflict, 1948–1951 (London: Macmillan, 1988).

(12.) Ilan Pappe, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947–1951 (London: I. B. Tauris, 1992), 16–46.

(13.) Pappe, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947–1951.

(14.) Avi Shlaim, The Politics of Partition: King Abdullah, The Zionists and Palestine, 1921–1951 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999).

(15.) Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford: Oneworld, 2007).

(16.) Ilan Pappe, The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinian Minority in Israel (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010).

(17.) Yazid Sayigh, Armed Struggle and Search for State (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997).

(18.) Edward Said, The End of the Peace Process: Oslo and After (New York: Vintage Press, 2001).

(21.) Yosef Gorny “Thoughts on Zionism as a Utopian Ideology,” Special Issue: 1000 Years of Zionism and 50 Years of Israel, Modern Judaism 18, no. 3 (October 1998): 241–251.

(22.) Edward Said, The Question of Palestine (London: Vintage Press, 1992); and Walid Khalidi, “Revisiting the UNGA Partition Resolution,” in Pappe, The Israel/Palestine Question, 97–114.

(23.) Avi Shlaim, “The Debate about 1948,” in Pappe, The Israel/Palestine Question, 139–160.

(24.) Omar Jabary Salmanca, Mezna Qato, Kareem Rabie, and Sobhi Samour, “Past in Present,” Special Issue: Settler Colonialism in Palestine, Settler Colonial Studies 2, no. 1 (2012): 1–8.

(25.) Ilan Pappe, The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge (London: Verso, 2010).