The Hundred Years War On Palestine
War of Palestine or “Masla e Falasteen” is a term that we have grown up with. It has always been talked about around us. We see it on TV, read about it in papers and studied in the syllabus. It’s not a new subject for anyone. Yet since it’s far from us so for most of us don’t feel that strongly. But when I read the title of this book, it somehow hit hard.
Hundred years is a long time to be living under siege, in this constant fear, in chaos. We who live in peace can’t even comprehend what it’s like to be a Palestinian. When they leave home to go to the corner shop they don’t know whether they will come back to their family alive. They can’t plan ahead not even tomorrow because they never know when a missile is going to hit. Fathers have been burying their kids, mothers have been mourning for ages. They are so used to the bombings now that they can tell from the sound of it, how far is it or how much distraction it might have caused, is this the sound of a bomber jet or not. Sadly there is no change in sight.
The book covers this ultimate tragedy from the start to present. It divides into 6 declarations of war on Palestine starting from 1917. When the future of 700,000 Arabs who inhabited that ancient land, was disposed of without even the pretence of consulting their wishes. Throughout this time the great powers of the world have balantly ignored Palestinians as if they don’t exist. In face of heavy odds against them however, the Palestinians have shown a stubborn capacity to resist the efforts of eliminating them.
This book encompasses the Palestinian resistance, their persistence and their challenge to Israel’s ambitions. The book also covers the political efforts of PLO, Fatah and Yasser Arafat. He critically analyzes their shortcomings and lack of foresight in building an international consensus. He also covered the part neighbouring and other Islamic states played during this turmoil. How and why they did. All the while Israel and US with other key powers had downplayed and manipulated the Palestinian cause effectively.
Books on these topics are always more genuine if written by native people. Khalidi has pointed out the weak points and mistakes Palestinian leadership or lack of leadership caused. He also elaborated the tactics of opposing powers. He gave us indebth insight on the role Islamic world played either due to lack of power or the safe guard of their own interests. There is a lot of historical data with dates and all the major events that took place in detail.
Book is thoroughly engaging as it’s the truth about what’s happening in our world. The suffering of our brothers and sisters will touch your heart for sure with empathy.
I recommend this book to everyone. A must read.
Previous Review by Sidra Javed is 1984.