The year 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War. With the advent of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, this, in essence, was a communication to Lord Rothschild. This document asserted the government's support for the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine. It is worth noting that there was a Jewish community in situ, who predated Zionist arrival in Palestine, called the “Old Yishuv, which developed after a period of severe decline in Jewish communities of the Southern Levant during the early Middle Ages”.
The Balfour Declaration stated the UK government’s view to “favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” on the understanding that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” Balfour supported Zionism as a program for European Jews to settle in Palestine.
From the first Zionist settlers arriving in the Holy Land, our author Mr Black draws on a wide range of sources—from previously restricted documents to oral histories to his own on-the-ground journalism—to refashion the major markers in the clash from both sides of the divide. The history takes us through the Arab revolt of the 1930s, “the long shadow of the Nazi Holocaust”, the war of 1948—ending in Israel’s independence and what the Palestinian’s call Nakba (catastrophe). The Six-Day War of 1967 was a key event, which ultimately reshaped the map of Israel and those of its Arab Neighbours. Whereby the Egyptians were caught by surprise and nearly the whole of the Egyptian air force was neutralised, thus giving the Israelis air supremacy. Concurrently, the Israelis launched a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip and the Sinai. The net result the “Israelis capture the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria”. The political prominence of the 1967 War was of great import. This tome then continues with the Palestinian reawakening, the first and second Intifadas, the Oslo Accords, and other failed peace initiatives. The narrative also talks about the continuing violence up to 2017.
Mr Black gives an engaging narrative with historical and political scrutiny and cultural understandings. The Enemies and Neighbours give an overview, which is absorbing exploration of a history that continues to dominate Middle Eastern politics and diplomacy. For this is conflict, of Palestinians and Israelis as imbalanced enemies and neighbours, is a situation where the prospect for peace settlement has all but disappeared.
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Press; 1 edition (29 October 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141979143
- ISBN-13: 978-0141979144
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 458 g
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)