Enemies and neighbors : Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017

Black, Ian, 1953- author

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  • Creator Ian Black
  • Format Books
  • Publication
    • First Grove Atlantic hardback edition
    • New York, NY : Atlantic Monthly Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, 2017
    • ©2017
  • Physical Details
    • xxii, 605 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 24 cm
  • ISBNs 9780802127037, 0802127037, 9780802188793
  • OCLC on1005742371


  • Enemies and Neighbors is a big, textured, and, crucially, balanced account of over 100 years of the Israel-Palestine conflict, published on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration (the famous pledge made by the British government on Nov. 2, 1917 expressing sympathy for a national Jewish home in Palestine). 2017 also marks the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War in June 1967, during which Israel seized its current borders. Much of the existing literature on the Israel-Palestine conflict focuses on the era post-Israeli independence (starting in 1948), has a clear bias, and/or comes at the subject from an academic angle. This is a major, engagingly written trade history covering the entire arc of the conflict up to the present, and Black has done an extraordinary job of telling it from both sides.
  • "In Enemies and Neighbors, Ian Black, who has spent four decades studying and covering the Middle East, offers a major new history of the Arab-Zionist conflict from 1917 to today, published on the centenary of the Balfour Declaration and fifty years after the Six-Day War. Setting the scene in the final decades of the 19th century, when the first Zionist settlers arrived in the Ottoman-ruled Holy Land, Black draws on a wide range of sources--from declassified documents to oral testimonies to his own vivid on-the-ground reporting--to recreate major milestones in the most polarizing conflict of modern times. In the third year of World War I, the seed was planted for an inevitable clash as British troops entered Jerusalem after Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour made a fateful promise to favor the establishment of 'a national home for the Jewish people' in Palestine--without consulting its Arab majority. The story, told from both sides, proceeds through the Arab rebellion of the 1950s, the Nazi Holocaust, the war of 1948, Israel's independence and the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe). It focuses on the watershed of 1967, followed by the Palestinian re-awakening, Israel's settlement project, two Intifadas, the Oslo Accords, and other failed peace negotiations and continued violence up to 2017. Combining engaging narrative with political analysis and social and cultural insights, Enemies and Neighbors is both an accessible overview and a fascinating investigation into the deeper truths of a furiously contested history that has preserved Palestinians and Israelis as unequal enemies and neighbors, their conflict raw and unresolved as prospects for a two-state solution have all but disappeared."--Dust jacket flaps.


  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 487-562) and index.
  • Text in English.
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