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Across the Wall: Narratives of Israeli-Palestinian History (Anglais) Relié – 30 août 2010

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Description du produit

Revue de presse

'A collection of hard-hitting far the most valuable of the book s essays are those penned by Palestinians...three reflective papers (by Jamil Hilal, Issam Nassar and Musa Budeiri)...offer a variety of perspectives that are original, thoughtful, and often critical, and serve as a valuable antidote to simplistic portrayals of the Palestinians as a hapless people woefully cursed by bad leadership and hopelessly out-gunned by all-powerful Israelis and their backers.' --Bustan: The Middle East Book Review 3

Présentation de l'éditeur

'Across the Wall' arose from a unique collaboration between scholars from Israel and the Palestinian territories, seeking to arrive at a shared framework for studying the history of this troubled land. Ilan Pappe and Jamil Hilal, among the top academics in Israel and Palestine respectively, brought historians from both sides of the wall together for dialogue on history, identity, and the meaning of the conflict. In the volume, they argue persuasively for the concept of a 'bridging narrative', a historiographical discourse which can accommodate seemingly incompatible national meta-narratives. Proceeding from this innovative theoretical framework, 'Across the Wall' then goes on to offer critical examinations of some of the most contested issues in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the 1948 'Nakba', the 1967 war, the occupation, and the formation of the PLO. The result is a radical new take on the history of Israel/Palestine which transcends the biases inherent in both countries' national narratives and points towards a new model for the historiography of conflicts.

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Mr. Netanyahu, tear down the wall! 14 mars 2012
Par Dr. Ludwig Watzal - Publié sur
Format: Relié
"Across the Wall" arose from collaboration between scholars from Israel and Palestine, seeking to arrive at a shared framework for studying the history of this tormented land. Historians from Israel/Palestine came together for dialogue on history, identity, and the meaning of the conflict. They argue for a concept of a "bridging narrative" that can accommodate incompatible national met-narratives. "Bridging narratives are usually intercalary chapters, short pieces that help connect the so-called `plot` chapters". (3) All contested issues in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are discussed.

The group focused only on issues of the past that haunt the present and surely affect the future. They also agreed on ditching the Western "paradigm of parity" i. e. that there are two warring parties in Palestine who each carries equal responsibility for both the outbreak of, and the solution to, the conflict. So far, this paradigm failed, because the situation on the ground is dominated by disparity and inequality between a brutal colonial regime and an oppressed, dispossessed and colonized people. And the parties do not have the same claim on the Land of Palestine.

The book contains articles by Ilan Pappé, Jamil Hilal, Moshe Zuckermann, Ehud Aviv, Dan Rabinowitz, Salim Tamari, Nur Masalha, Issam Nassar, Rema Hammami, Oren Yiftachel, Musa Budeiri, Lev Grinberg and Uri Davis. All the authors have one thing in common; they all transcend the biases inherent in national narratives, although most of the articles are critical of the Zionist narrative.

Aviv, Rabinowitz and Zuckermann try to deconstruct the hegemonic Israeli scholarly narrative of the past and present. They show early Israeli anthropological studies on Palestinians and their fabrications and manipulations embedded in the Zionist presentation of the realities in Israel and Palestine. The "cultural" views by the "Israeli Orientalist establishment" and their "adherence to certain segments of Zionism ideology and rationalization, had a profound political and intellectual impact" on the narrative, writes Rabinowitz. (68) Zuckermann exposes the instrumentalization of the Holocaust memory in Israel and concludes that "the memory of the Holocaust still remains to be liberated from the ideological chains of its instrumentalization". (86)

Pappé focuses on colonialism and Israeli nationalism and Hilal on the Palestinian nationalism. Pappè argues that before making "peace", Pappè argues, reconciliation between the Zionist victimizer and the Palestinian victim must come first. There has to be a "national discourse" between the two because "neither Israel's huge sophisticated weapon arsenal nor the real or imaginary fears that are brought into play will enable Israel to silence its victims and escape the justice they demand." (176) For Hilal, Israel's unilateral separation accompanied by a forced Bantustanization with symbolic sovereignty might lead to the "re-emergence of a Palestinian resistance movement rekindling the struggle for decades to come". (215)

Two authors see the future of the inhabitants of Israel/Palestine in a "one-state". Uri Davis searches for an a-national or de-segregationist definition of the inhabitants of a unitary democratic state in Palestine "liberated from colonization, occupation, and Apartheid". For 2 000 years, Palestine was part of Great Syria within the Ottoman empire till the Zionist started colonizing it. Pappé sees the only solution to the conflict just in such one entity again: "One-State Palestine, a state for all its citizens, free and sovereign, democratic and independent." (435) Why isn't such an idea thrilling to the political classes in Israel and Palestine? Unfortunately, the authors do not answer this question.

The book presents a detailed analysis of the central issues of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. A tiny minority of scholars got together and published their excellent findings in an appealing book. Where are the forces that can translate these farsighted ideas into practice and make them a reality? The reading could be very inspiring for everybody interested in the Middle East.

Dr. Ludwig Watzal works as a journalist and editor in Bonn, Germany.
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