Pales­tine 1936: The Great Revolt and the Roots of the Mid­dle East Conflict

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2021

In 1936 the Holy Land erupt­ed in rebel­lion against both the local Jew­ish pop­u­la­tion and the British Man­date author­i­ties. The Arab Revolt would last three years, cost thou­sands of lives, and cast the tra­jec­to­ry for the Mid­dle East con­flict ever since. Incred­i­bly, no gen­er­al his­to­ry of this sem­i­nal first Intifa­da has ever been published.

The revolt was the cru­cible in which Pales­tin­ian iden­ti­ty coa­lesced, unit­ing Arab soci­ety against a com­mon foe. Yet it would ulti­mate­ly turn on itself, shred­ding the social fab­ric, sidelin­ing prag­ma­tists, and pro­pelling waves of refugees.

The Jews had a stark­ly dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ence. It was then Zion­ist lead­ers aban­doned illu­sions over Arab acqui­es­cence to their enter­prise. Thou­sands of Jews were trained and armed by Britain, turn­ing their ram­shackle guard units into the seed of a Jew­ish army. And it was then, as Hitler men­aced Europe, that words like par­ti­tion” and Jew­ish state” first appeared on the inter­na­tion­al agen­da. Based on archival research on three con­ti­nents, Pales­tine 1936 weaves his­to­ry through extra­or­di­nary indi­vid­u­als on all sides: their love and hatreds, deep­est fears, and pro­found hopes.

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