THE HUNDRED YEARS’ WAR ON PALESTINE: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance

Reviewed by Hatim Kanaaneh in Mondoweiss, & April 2020 ( Metropolitan Books,  336 pps, $30), under the title, “Palestine’s war and peace.

“Though I have read a good number of histories of Palestine, I hardly turned a page in Rashid Khalidi’s new book, “The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017,” that didn’t surprise me with new and well-documented information about my own history. Moreover, the unique analysis and deductions make this book more engaging. Khalidi, a prominent Palestinian historian, is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University in New York, the editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies and the author of seven history books.”

“At a recent event at Colombia Univerity, Khalidi explained that this was his first book endeavor that was not strictly academic in nature. On the urging of his son and a cousin, he had spent his last sabbatical year reviewing a large number of the Khalidi family documents and recalling intimate personal and family involvement in the over century-long Palestinian struggle.

The book starts with an introduction to some of Khalidi’s deep family connections to that history. He spent time digging deep into the private libraries of some of Jerusalem’s oldest families, including his own. After familiarizing us with the surroundings of his temporary residence in the lap of the extended Jerusalem Khalidi clan, he leads us to his family library”…

“In his correspondence with Rashid’s above mentioned great grand uncle Diya, Theodor Herzl used the classic white man’s burden to argue that Jewish immigration would benefit Palestinians: “It is their well-being, their individual wealth, which we will increase by bringing in our own.” Echoing language he had used in “Der Judenstaat,” Herzl added: “In allowing immigration to a number of Jews bringing their intelligence, their financial acumen and their means of enterprise to the country, no one can doubt that the well-being of the entire country would be the happy result.” Yet in his private memoirs Herzl wrote about the need to expropriate property, “remove the poor” and “spirit the penniless population across the border.” (more…)

Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh is a Palestinian doctor who has worked for over 35 years to bring medical care to Palestinians in Galilee, against a culture of anti-Arab discrimination. He is the author of the book A Doctor in Galilee: The Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in Israel. His collection of short stories entitled Chief Complaint was released by Just World Books in the spring of 2015.

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