Friday, February 28, 2014

MERIP Primer on Palestinian problem

This is indeed a useful primer on the Palestinian problem by Joel Beinin and Lisa Hajjar. But I have a few remarks:
1) there is a full account of the 1929 clashes between Arabs and Jews but barely anything about the 1936-39 Palestinian Revolt which is mentioned in passing in one sentence.
2) there needs to be a treatment of the Zionist ideology and its strands.
3) the account of the 1948 war needs to be contextualized: the reference to "an invasion" by Arab armies follows the language of the Zionists who--more than the Arab armies--actually had invaded Palestine.
4) the account of the 1967 war says: "These measures shocked and frightened the Israeli public, which believed it was in danger of annihilation." But could not that said about the Palestinians ever since the Zionists invaded their homeland?
5) I abhor the language of "cycle" of violence but here it appears: "A cycle of targeted killings of Palestinian militants and Palestinian attacks inside Israel culminated in a suicide bombing in Netanya on March 27, 2002, during the Passover holiday. The attack killed 30 Israelis. In retaliation, Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield, a full-scale tank invasion of the West Bank that lasted for several weeks. "  Not only that but why does the passage identify the number of Israeli "victims" but does not identify the number of Palestinian victims?