The Israelis and Palestinians are still haunted by their history


Enemies and Neighbours: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017. By Ian Black.Atlantic Monthly Press; 608 pages; $30. Allen Lane; £25. 

IN THE roster of new states established in the past century, the creation of Israel has been extraordinary. It is one of the Middle East’s rare functioning democracies, with an intense public debate and a robust court system. It has absorbed destitute Jews from around the world and built a flourishing high-tech industry. All this in the face of wars and the intractable conflict with the Palestinians in its midst.

When, exactly, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict began is hard to say. Devout Jews have long lived in Palestine, and the first Zionists arrived in the late 19th century. But many historians point to November 2nd 1917 as the starting point. On that day the British government vowed to use its “best endeavours” to create a “national home” for the Jewish…Continue reading

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