- 26,99 €
Beginning with the late Bronze Age and moving through to the present day, this is the definitive history of Palestine and its people.
Masalha, a historian at SOAS University of London, unravels the convenient Western romanticization of Palestine before 1948 as "a land without a people for a people without a land," a territory bursting with ancient Jewish artifacts whose few remaining residents were nomadic shepherds belonging to the Ottoman territory of Greater Syria. On the contrary, as this volume meticulously and methodically documents, "traditionally and throughout the Middle Ages, the name Filastin had indicated both an exact geographic location and the identity of the (predominantly, but not exclusively) Arab Muslim population." Masalha sheds light on the quotidian realities of four millennia of continuous habitation, from the tradition of desert monasticism that first flourished in the centuries after Jesus's death to the artistic, intellectual, and mercantile flowering of Mamluk Jerusalem. Opting for scholarly precision rather than fiery rhetoric, this volume laments that "history and collective memory are often a tapestry of stories woven by social elites, with a disregard for the voices of ordinary people" and celebrates its subjects' "multicultural identity and diversity," which stand "in sharp contrast to the anachronism of monocultural Zionism." The result is a sharp, powerfully understated denunciation of Israel's founding mythology. Masalha's narratives provide ballast and backstory to the contemporary claims of the dispossessed.