The Mak­ing of the Mid­dle East

David Down­ing
  • Review
By – May 14, 2012
This short vol­ume relates the mod­ern his­to­ry of some of the coun­tries in the Mid­dle East. Although the book men­tions the ancient his­to­ry of the region, it focus­es on mod­ern his­to­ry and the numer­ous con­flicts in this area of the world. When the Ottoman Empire was dis­band­ed after World War I, the area became the focus of much unrest. Britain was unable to resolve the con­flicts and the arbi­trary piec­ing togeth­er of new coun­tries such as Iraq from pre­vi­ous­ly sep­a­rate, autonomous groups did not work. The Israeli-Pales­tin­ian con­flict is exam­ined in this book, but the rea­sons giv­en for the con­flict trace its ori­gin to the Zion­ist set­tle­ment of the land in the ear­ly 1900’s and the sub­se­quent par­ti­tion deci­sion by the Unit­ed Nations in 1947. The book sim­ply states that Israel declared itself a state after the U.N. deci­sion and that the U.N. deci­sion was not accept­able to the Pales­tini­ans. It goes on to say that Israel fought with its Arab neigh­bors and added to the ter­ri­to­ry orig­i­nal­ly giv­en by the U.N. It does not state that Israel defend­ed itself against far supe­ri­or forces, or that much of the land des­ig­nat­ed for Pales­tine by the par­ti­tion decree is now part of Jor­dan. This book is not recommended.
Susan Dubin was the first librar­i­an hon­ored with a Milken Fam­i­ly Foun­da­tion Jew­ish Edu­ca­tor Award. She is the owner/​director of Off-the-Shelf Library Ser­vices and library instruc­tion­al con­sul­tant at Val­ley Beth Shalom Day School in Enci­no, CA.

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