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Paperback Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness Book

ISBN: 023115075X

ISBN13: 9780231150750

Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness

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Book Overview

This foundational text now features a new introduction by Rashid Khalidi reflecting on the significance of his work over the past decade and its relationship to the struggle for Palestinian nationhood. Khalidi also casts an eye to the future, noting the strength of Palestinian identity and social solidarity yet wondering whether current trends will lead to Palestinian statehood and independence.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Seeing Beyond the Terrorist: Palestinians Exposed

As an American Jew who spent a decade living in Israel and loathing "the Arabs" - this book has done more for my own personal transformation of "understanding the other" than any other experience. Khalidi is meticulous, yet dispassionate in his gathering of primary sources in which he documents the every day details of Palestinian life, particularly in the periods of Ottoman Empire rule and the British Mandate (before the founding of Israel). REGARDLESS of your views on "the conflict" this book is essential reading in exposing the HUMANITY of Palestine and Palestinians to the West. I found it particularly refreshing that unlike some researchers, Mr. Khalidi does not lament the tragedy of the Palestinian as solely a "travesty perpetrated by the Zionists". Rather, he takes to task his own people calling them on the failures that have perpetuated their misery, and the complicity of neighboring Arab states as well in the complex, sad, and often shadowy events that have befallen the Palestinian people.

Great work with real facts

Just cause some few people lived somewhere thousands of years ago doesnt justify displacing, killing, humiliating millions and depriving them of basic human rights. Israel always use the same old - jews lived here before so its ok for us to displace millions of Palestinians, create a entirely new country that never existed, destroy a country that existed for several years. Arab jews lived in Israel so they have rights to live there but just because you are jewish and can be from Europe or somewhere else doesnt mean you need to live there. Why not form separate countries for Buddhists also and also for athiests cause we are tired of living with other people of other religions. And why not displace millions more and make them refugees to create new countries. We talk about secularism and democracy but then form nations on pure basis of religion. How much sense does that make. I guess at least now Israeli government should recognize the Palestinians as human beings and not animals. All the root cause of problems in the middle east for which we all pay in one form or another no matter where you live would be gone by this kind act. Allow the poor palestinians to live with peace and help rebuild Lebanon which was destroyed by the poor Israelie who were trying to get back their kidnapped soldiers. By the way anyone ever read whatever happened to the kidnapped soldiers apparently for whom Israel bombed everything in Lebanon even little children. Where did they go? What was the reason for that crazy war and death of thousands of civilians. This book just shows the facts but forget the facts and just see the current most recent history.

this is not a chronology

Unfortunately, some of my fellow-reviewers seem to consider this book another interpretation of the Palestinian history. Although Khalidi's book is largely based on research in primary sources (traditional approach of historicist), it largely attempts to explore matrix of narratives that make up the Palestinian identity. Khalidi takes us back to the mid-ninteenth century where he traces the first basic elements of the Palestinian identity as a collective identity. He then stresses the importance of Jerusalem around which a grand part of the Palestinian identity revolves. The emergence of Arab nationalism as a liberation movement against Ottmoam occupation, and today's Arab leaders misuse of Arab nationalism as a ruling device through which they maintain their power, and the combination of a Palestinian identity with the larger concept of Pan-Arabism are all underlying constituents of the 'Palestinian'. Of course, Khalidi also relates to Palestinians' relation to Zionism and then Israel and the establishment of the PLO. This is a very ambitious book, but I think that it misses a very important chapter on a particular group of Palestinians - the Arabs of Israel. Their experience is unique and indispensable to the Palestinian identity and somehow Khalidi misses to acknowldge their prence and contribution to the Palestinian identity. Otherwise, this is a 'must' for those who wants to really know who the Palestinians really are instead of sticking to the constantly ludicrous images of the Palestinian as a bloodthirsty terrorist. Khalidi seem to turn every stone in order to provide a comprehensive picture of today's Palestinian.

Achieves its goal eloquently

Khalidi's goal is to make a case for Palestinian Nationalism's existence as not necessarily presuppossing the existence of Zionism; therefore, he places the locus of its origin before the *nakba* of 1948. To be specific, Khalidi situates the crucial years during the late and post-Ottoman period in Palestine. The author is not a primordialist, but rather, he is a constructivist. Taking nationalism as peculiar phenomenon to modernity, it locates him in a precarious position in which to create room for his argument, for he insists that Palestinian identity can be seen as a process which could have potentially evolved w/o Zionism as its interlocutor (though, of course, it did not). His arguments and presentation are masterful. Recommended for anyone who studys the area and/or conflict, essential read.

great book

Palestinian identity is indeed an outstanding book.Rashid Khalidi was always able to bring facts into existence.I highly recommend reading this book of great contribution to all those who wish to be enlightened about the history of the palestinian identity.
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