Book Review: Image And Reality of the Israel- Palestine Conflict (Second Edition)

7 Jan

Image And Reality of the Israel- Palestine Conflict (Second Edition)
Norman G. Finkelstein


The Israel- Palestine conflict which has often been portrayed by mainstream media, as an issue of contest of land and security was reframed by Finkelstein as one of an occupier imposing its military might and will on an indigenous population. In this book, he dissects and provides critical reviews of well-known pro-Zionist literature such as Joan Peter’s ‘From Time Immemorial’; Benny Morris studies, ‘The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949’ and ‘1948 and after’; and Anita Shapira’s ‘Land and Power: The Zionist Resort to Force, 1881-1948’ to explain the flaws and inadequacies of their findings and conclusions, some of which, has become conventional wisdom.

His strongest attack is directed towards From Time Immemorial, which he explains, how it misleads, contradicts and even falsifies data to create the fallacy that Arabs are not the indigenous population in Palestine. In Morris’s works, the writer describes how the refugee problem is a result ‘born of war, not by design’ which Finkelstein refutes – that the Arabs were ‘expelled systematically and with premeditation.’

In the most chilling chapter, ‘Settlement not Conquest’, Finkelstein compares the Zionist agenda to one of colonialism. He quotes historian Francis Jennings on the ‘standard conquest myth’ – a ‘crucial rationalizing function’ for the colonizer on why it has the ‘right’ to occupy the land, thereby debunking the greatest myth on the Israel- Palestine conflict. He also delves into the rhetoric embedded in labor Zionism to that of Nazism and makes parallel comparisons in both ideologies.

Not contented with just dissecting pro-Zionist literature, Finkelstein also devotes a chapter to Abba Eban, considered one of Israeli’s most authoritative intellectual and former foreign policy minister. He explains that despite Egypt’s decision to make peace, Israel continues to act in provocation (and started the June 1967 War). The last chapter, ‘Oslo; The Apartheid Option’ reveals the underlying loopholes of the agreements made during the ‘peace process’ undertaken in September 1993 and September 1995 – how it falls short of being fair to the Palestinians, as well as, undermining previous UN resolutions towards the conflict.


Norman G. Finkelstein has written various books including ‘Beyond Chutzpah: On the misuse of anti-Semitism and the abuse of history’ in 2005 and ‘The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the exploitation of Jewish suffering’ Second Edition in 2003. Find out more about the writer in his official website, at


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