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Cover
Shared Histories
A Palestinian-Israeli Dialogue
Paul Scham (Editor); Walid Salem (Editor); Benjamin Pogrund (Editor)
310 pp. / 7.00 x 10.00 / Sep, 2005
Hardback (978-1-59874-012-7)
Paperback (978-1-59874-013-4)
eBook (978-1-61132-614-7)
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Related Interest
  - History

There is no single history of the development of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Israeli historical narrative speaks of Zionism as the Jewish national movement, of building a refuge from
" The participants move seamlessly between critiquing and defending their own and each other’s narratives. No one hews blindly to orthodox interpretations, and it is difficult to predict opinions based on identity; these historians think for themselves and say unexpected things. Shared Histories is a rare example of Israeli-Palestinian conflict discussion—among academics, no less—that defies the laws of negative interdependence. The quality and collegiality of the discussions is particularly notable, given that they occurred during the most lethal period of Israeli-Palestinian violence since 1948. If Israeli and Palestinian intellectuals could engage in dialogue of this level, at that time, it should be possible to debate these issues substantially and productively in academic forums further removed from the conflict. . . [it] reads like Talmud: the shorthand minutes of alternately esoteric, fractious, and profound exchanges between learned authorities, fragmented, marked by subtlety, allusion and sophisticated hints of sub-textual dynamics. "

- Israel Studies Forum

"A useful resource in teaching about the conflict. Moreover, the structure of the book makes it more difficult for Israeli scholars to monopolize legitimacy of *their* story as *history*. "

- Simona Sharoni, Journal of Palestine Studies

" In Shared Histories the editors present the reader with a fascinating attempt to examine this capital-I “Issue” that lies behind and permeates all the small-I “issues” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. …[They] daringly throw open the discussion of myriad hot-button historical topics…[and] the reader is quickly and repeatedly exposed to the deep chasms in the way in which history is remembered and retold. "

- Israel Horizons (Ron Skolnik, Meretz USA)

"…unpredictable and surprising…the book abounds with subversive historical gems that contradict narrative dogma…. This series of erudite exchanges sets the entry bar high in terms of background knowledge. It is an insider’s portrait of the complex, nuanced and alternately complementary and skeptical relationships of a group of Israeli and Palestinian professional historians to each other’s work, and to the dominant narratives in whose shadow they operate…. Through it all, the participants move seamlessly between critiquing and defending their own and each other’s narratives. No one hews blindly to orthodox interpretations, and it is difficult to predict opinions based on identity; these historians think for themselves and say unexpected things. Shared Histories is a rare example of Israeli/Palestinian conflict discussion—among academics, no less—that defies the laws of negative interdependence. The quality and collegiality of the discussions is particularly notable, given that they occurred during the most lethal period of Israeli/Palestinian violence since 1948. If Israeli and Palestinian intellectuals can engage in dialogue of this level, at that time, it should be possible to debate these issues substantially and productively in academic forums further removed from the conflict."

- Israel Studies Forum

"As the peace process in Palestine lurches along and cynicism grows about the possibility of ever having a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement, it is refreshing to come across Shared Histories, which is both hard-nosed and hopeful. …The juxtaposition of solid scholarship with all-too-human debate on issues underpinning the question of the Right of Return and other hot topics makes reading Shared Histories especially relevant."

- Palestine-Israel Journal 13, 2

"The reader, whether steeped in the history of the conflict of simply looking for some explanation of why it is so intractable, sees through the eyes of the protagonists themselves why mutual understanding is so difficult and, in the process, begins to understand why the two sides have not been able to come to terms."

- Edy Kaufman, University of Maryland and Hebrew University of Jerusalem (emeritus)

"This rare book will help inform Israelis and Palestinians of each other’s narrative, as well as identify points of agreements, which will contribute to diminishing the misunderstanding and hostility that have undermined peace efforts and reconciliation.

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- Philip J. Mattar, Editor, The Encyclopedia of the Palestinians, and former Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace

persecution, and of national regeneration. The Palestinian narrative speaks of invasion, expulsion, and oppression. Its no wonder peace remains elusive. This volume attempts to present both histories with parallel narratives of key points in the 19th and 20th centuries to 1948. The histories are presented by fourteen Israeli and Palestinian experts, joined by other historians, journalists, and activists, who then discuss the differences and similarities between their accounts. By creating an appreciation, understanding, and respect for the “other,” the first steps can be made to foster a shared history of a shared land. The reader has the opportunity to witness first hand a respectful confrontation between the competing versions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.





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