Monday, January 1, 2024

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict, a very short introduction - Martin Bunton

I found this short essay on the shelves of a very nice second hand book shop in Pattaya, of all places! It’s a very useful overview on a conflict whose causes are very old and intricate, academic style but easy to read, free of all the irritating and confusing biased nuances typical of those media outlets that tend to support one side, for genuine or dubious reasons. It starts telling us about the Ottoman Empire land reform that lead to the centralization of most of the agriculturally interesting areas in the hands of some Muslim prominent families. It proceeds with the birth of the Zionist movement, the first waves of Jewish migrants who landed in Palestine at the turn of the 20th century, the various dynamics of Jewish land appropriation, the Palestinian general strikes and uprisings and the first skirmishes during the British mandate. Then it covers the birth of the State of Israel, the Arab neighboring countries military intervention and the first all out war. It continues with the subsequent conflicts, the Suez Canal crisis, the 6-day and the Yom Kippur wars until the most recent events, including the rising of the PLO, the Lebanon war, the Intifadas, the birth of Hamas and the so far unsuccessful peace process. I bet that most of those who support one of the two sides and think they have it all very clear don’t know at least half of the crucial stuff included in this little book. It’s a very short and interesting read, about one of the most important geopolitical issues of our time. Definitely recommended.

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