4000 years of Palestine

My copy of this important volume—first published in 2018—arrived in the post today. It will provide some engaging reading during the current COVID lockdown.

In a brief review in Publishers Weekly, we are told that 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.

The choice of 4,000 years is surely not accidental. According to the biblical narratives, the figure of Abraham would be dated around 2,000 before the Common Era.

The book promises to provide the story of Palestine during the past 4,000 years, and it will doubtless differ significantly from the biblical version which is largely preoccupied with the story of Jerusalem.

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