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Download The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East epub

by David Hirst

1977, American hardcover edition, Harcourt Brace, NY. 367 pages. Important early overview written by a newspaper correspondent educated at Oxford. Here is a thorough history of the conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine, an early narrative history of the entire conflict, dating back to the 1880's when very early Zionist pioneers first came to Palestine. Discusses feelings / views from all sides and describes the continuing violence that has happened over the years and the reasons behind it. A story of heroes and villains on all sides. At the time of publication, the author lived in Beirut.
Download The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East epub
ISBN: 057111136X
ISBN13: 978-0571111367
Category: No category
Author: David Hirst
Language: English
Publisher: Faber & Faber (March 16, 1978)
Pages: 367 pages
ePUB size: 1753 kb
FB2 size: 1883 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 528
Other Formats: mbr mobi mobi docx

If you want to learn about the Palestine/Israel conflict...this is the book.
It is written to engage the reader, not a purely history book.
Opened my eyes to Middle East life, reality.
Used for a college course by a student in our family.
The ONLY truly objective and well written book on Israel, it's formation and internal politics. It is a MUST READ for anyone even remotely interested in what is going on between Israel and Palestine. There is no better book.
... is a quote from Harry Truman, and was chosen by Stephen Kinzer as the lead epigraph in his excellent book All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, which also bills itself as an examination of the roots of violence in the Middle East. The same epigraph could have been used with equal merit in this seminal book on one of the world's seemingly most intractable conflicts: the Israeli-Palestinian one. As Aeschylus famously said, "In war, truth is the first casualty." Given the length of time of this struggle, and the deep-seated sense of right and wrong on each side, truth has taken many a hit. No one person could be considered the custodian of objective truth, the slipperiest of concepts, though that never stops many from trying. David Hirst, a British journalist, provides a valuable antidote to the myths and legends constructed by sins of omission and commission, in the historical record. Americans, in particular, would greatly benefit from his book since their outlook on many problems in the Middle East is at sharp variance with the rest of the world. Much of that variance can be attributed to the American media filter that sorts out the facts and opinions related to this region. To cite a couple of examples drawn from this book. The "All the News that's Fit to Print" newspaper commissioned a review of this book and when it proved to be "...a favorable, indeed enthusiastic review... it was withdrawn by order from on high" (p 5.) Hirst meticulously footnotes his assertions, and the footnote for this one names his source, and the specifics about the suppression of the review. Why do Europeans have different perceptions of the Middle East conflicts that do Americans? Consider the following headlines concerning the killing of a 12 year old boy, Muhammad al-Durra, which was filmed by the French TV station, Canal Plus: In the London "Guardian" the headline read: "Israel Washes Its Hands of Boy's Death." In the "New York Times" the headline read: Israeli Army Says Palestinians May Have Shot Gaza Boy."

This book was first published in 1978, with a revised version updating the conflict through 1984. This version is a further update, almost a book in itself, of 100 pages at the beginning, and carries the history through 2003. In the update, the author covers the American - Israeli relationship, though not in the detail that would subsequently be accomplished in The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, he debunks the work of Joan Peters who attempts to provide a scholarly underpinning for numerous Zionist myths and most importantly, he highlights the work of some of Israeli's so-called New Historians who likewise debunk some of the myths surrounding the creation of Israel. In the updated portion Hirst goes on to examine the peace process, the Oslo accords, and the provocations on Temple Mount that led to the second Intifada. He devotes a large section on the nature of the American support for Israel, and details the growth of Jewish dissent for this effort. After 9/11, Hirst says that America adopts Israel's enemies as its own, and ends with a plea to save Israel from its "nuclear-crazy" self, a plea that is finding increased resonance with American pundits and columnists who cannot relate to the growing influence of the Jewish fundamentalist / settler movement over the Israeli government.

His original book starts on page 135, in the 1880's, when Theodore Herzl formulated the ideology of Zionism. The author covers in detail the subsequent growth of the ideology, the selection of Palestine as the "homeland for the Jewish people," (there were other alternatives!), the Balfour Declaration, and on through the settlement of Palestine in the `20's and `30's. One of the reasons that Hirst's book does not receive favor in some circles in America is his documentation of the terrorist roots of at least three Israeli Prime Ministers, from Menachim Begin and Yitzhak Shamir through Ariel Sharon. This includes the assassination of the UN mediator, Count Bernadotte, in 1948, the bombing of the King David hotel, the massacre at Deir Yassin, and on through the death squads that Sharon ran in Gaza, and much else. Certainly one of the strengths of this work is Hirst's use of Israeli and Jewish sources to make his points. Americans could obtain a much better understanding of this conflict simply by reading Israeli's own newspaper, Haaretz, rather than many of the American sources that airbrush out all too many inconvenient facts.

Normally I mark passages in books that I consider to be particularly relevant or well written, bon mots even. In this book, virtually every page is marked. Considering only one, Hirst highlights how the prime settler organization, Gush Emunim, in 1978, in their "Master Plan for the Development of Settlement in Judea and Samaria" (yes, the West Bank) that "....there mustn't be even the shadow of a doubt about our intention to keep the territories of Judea and Samaria for good." Fittingly, Hirst ends this account with the murder of Emil Grunzweig, a Jewish activist in the Peace Now movement, during a demonstration protesting the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, and the subsequent murders in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila. Concerning Grunzweig's murder, Hirst quotes from the Israeli newspaper, "Davar": "The hands were those of the person who threw the grenade, but the voice belongs to Ariel Sharon who, by hateful pronouncements of demagogy, allowed his followers to stir themselves up to the brink of civil war."

A lucid, well-referenced account of one of the world's primal conflicts. An essential 5-star plus read.
If you believe that Palestine belongs to the Jews because God gave it to them, or that there should be a Jewish state in Palestine to compensate them for the Holocaust, or that the Jews must return to Palestine as a precondition for the second coming of Christ, then you are a Zionist, and you will not like this book.
However, if you are not a Zionist, this book will convince you that there is actually a Zionist conspiracy, and that our government should not support it.
The book thoroughly documents the fact that the Zionists have been taking Palestine away from the Arabs a little bit at a time for about one hundred years, and they are still doing it. This is the principal source of violence in Palestine.
To say that the Arabs have a legitimate grievance against the state of Israel is not to be anti-Semitic, because the Arabs are Semites. It is not anti-Jewish, because many Jews in Israel and in the USA are not Zionists, and many Zionists in the USA are Christian. However, I agree that it is definitely anti-Zionist!
David Hirst's book presents one of the most unobjective protrayals of the Arab-Israeli conflict available on the US market, which is perhaps, why this book has become a classic in its field. This book should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the true reason why foreign countries hate American foregin policy, as Israel continues to receive more US aid than any other country and yet the Israeli government continues to perpetuate attrocities, such as those included in this book.

Hirch lists circumstances as they occured and as they confim, to human rights law and norms, that are ratified by the international community. The book is an excellent reference source, and it is rare for a book to contain so much information and be such an easy page turner at the same time.

He (nor the Guardian, but that newspaper is not on review here) is neither pro-Arab, nor anti-Jew, but his writing occasionally has an anti-zionist slant (not the same as anti-semitic, since Arabs are Semites too; nor the same as Ani-Jew, though there is even a movement in the US for dictionaries to equate the word anti-Semitic as anti-Zionist). The slant is understandable, considering the vast horrors that have been committed and continue to be commited in the named of Zionism.