Righteous Victims

By Benny Morris,

Book cover of Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001

Book description

Righteous Victims, by the noted historian Benny Morris, is a comprehensive and
objective history of the long battle between Arabs and Jews for possession of a land they both call home. It appears at a most timely juncture, as the bloody and protracted struggle seems at last to be headed…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Righteous Victims as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

A complete history of the Zionist-Arab conflict, starting with the first wave of Zionist emigration. Benny Morris is one of the leading historians of Israel. Many consider him the historian of Israel.

He has often irritated critics, first on the right and later on the left, with work that failed to flatter their particular political sympathies. But he has always insisted that he goes where the material takes him, and I, for one, believe him. Today he remains uncategorizable and unpredictable.

This book is based on secondary sources - its remit is too wide to be based on primary ones…

Tracing the roots of political Zionism back to the pogroms of Russia and the Dreyfus Affair, Morris describes the gradual influx of Jewish settlers into Palestine and the impact they had on the Arab population.

Following the Holocaust, the first Arab-Israeli war of 1948 resulted in the establishment of the State of Israel, but it also shattered Palestinian Arab society and gave rise to a massive refugee problem. Morris offers distinctive accounts of each of the subsequent Israeli-Arab wars and details the sporadic peace efforts in between, culminating in the peace process initiated by the Rabin Government.

In a new…

If you’re going to read only one book on the conflict, this is it. Morris, one of Israel’s preeminent historians, deconstructs cherished myths on both sides. As the ironic title notes, what Palestinians and Israelis share is the certainty that all of justice is on their side. Morris shows how each side acted from a place of desperation, and that each was reacting to the other in a way that felt true to their own historical experience and narrative. Morris’ insights have been essential in shaping my own understanding of the conflict.

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