(1929) Year Zero of the Israel-Palestine Conflict (Hillel Cohen)

Here’s what I wrote after I read it in Hebrew. 1929 is probably among the most important books out on the Israel and Palestine conflict, setting 1948 into a larger historical context. It’s now out in English translation. http://www.amazon.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict-Schusterman-Israel-Studies/dp/1611688116/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454945212&sr=1-1 That the Schusterman Series saw fit to publish reflects well on the series.

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In this look at 1929 anti-Jewish riots in British Mandate Palestine, Hillel Cohen’s 1929 (Hebrew) throws much needed light on contemporary debates regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict. Rather than focus our attention on 1948, the creation of the State of Israel, and the creation of the Palestinian refugee crisis or Nakba, Cohen dials the story back to 1929 and the bloody Arab riots in Jaffa, Jerusalem, Sefad, and most infamously Hebron. It was in Hebron that a centuries old Jewish community pre-dating the Zionist movement was violently uprooted.

Cohen’s book does a number of things. Without taking sides, Cohen explores the sense of grievance, the fear of losing their country that drove the Arabs of Palestine to attack Jewish communities regardless of the formal orientation of those communities vis-à-vis the Zionist movement. And he gives a sense of the grievance and rage on the part of many Jewish Palestinians who experienced…

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About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish though and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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