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History Of Modern Palestine Essay

1003 words - 5 pages

In his book, A History of Modern Palestine, Ilan Pappe attempts to add to the discussion of the struggle between Jews and their counterparts over the idea of Israeli state. Using documents that have been released by the Israeli secret service that one of his graduate students had found, Pappe attempts to paint a “new history of the conflict” in the Middle East. His books adds a new element to the argument. The documents, released in the late 1980s, but the US, UN, and Israeli government show that the state of Israel was not completely innocent in the 1940s conflict. While history usually is written by the victors, Pappe, known for being critical of Israel and it policies, writes an ...view middle of the document...

However, at the beginning, as Pappe writes in his foreword, he does not want to regulate himself to the usual historical narrative that occurs by discussing or using the notes from those who were involved in the decisions or actions. Instead of focusing on those who influenced and the decisions, like most modern of his peers and other professionals in his field, he focuses, rather, on “the others” as he put in it in the above quote. He view on them, is the idea that their story while important, is equally to those who are more informed. Pappe views the heroes as the invaded, such as "women, children, peasants, workers, ordinary city dwellers, peaceniks, human rights activists.” The bad people in history are looked as “the arrogant generals leading the troops, the greedy politicians” stealing from the poor, the “cynical statesmen” and the “misogynist men” who cared nothing of the well-being of the women (Pappe, xix).
As one reads along, the problem with the way that is written becomes more apparent. The one that are eventually identified in the negative are mostly Jewish. When writing a historical narrative, especially on such a divisive issue, like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This has some very negative consequences. It may come off as looking anti-Semitic. Especially in some more extreme extents of Islam, this is highly ironic. In some forms of Islam, women are ruled and regulated into third class citizens. While in class, Dr. Omid has mentioned this by pointing out that many religions have their faults, Pappe seems to skim over this and point out Israel’s faults without looking at some of the Palestinians own behaviors towards women.
There are some positives to Pappe’s book, however. In his book, he does use the second-hand account of those who are being oppressed. He takes into account the alternate history and uses it to form a unique narrative to a story that has not been told before. This is important, because these first...

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