The Birth of Israel: Myths and

Simha Flapan, Author Pantheon Books $18.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-394-55888-2
The author of Zionism and the Palestinians, 19171947 offers a cogent, controversial analysis of Israel's propaganda structures and the policies of the crucial formative years between 1948 and 1952. Utilizing Ben-Gurion's war diaries and other government archives, Flapan, former director of Arab affairs of Israel's left-wing Mapam party, posits that the 1948 War of Independence was not an inevitability forced upon a helpless Israel. He maintains that the socialist Zionist leadershipwho accepted Ben-Gurion's view that the Jewish state should be demographically homogeneous and geographically as extensive as possiblenot only encouraged and executed the expulsion of Palestinian Arabs but thwarted the creation of a Palestinian Arab state through a secret agreement with Abdallah of Transjordan. The annexation of the territory allocated for a Palestinian state was to be a first step in achieving Abdallah's dream of a British-supported Greater Syria; and, according to Flapan, the Arab states aimed not at liquidating the Jewish state but at preventing the implementation of this agreement. This disturbing work bears witness to the futility, and unconscionability, of addressing political problems by military means. (August 31)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
Paperback - 978-0-940793-95-8
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