A people’s view of the Holy Land

Greg Shapland appreciates a balanced portrayal of a Middle East hotspot

The World Today Updated 18 November 2020 Published 15 December 2017 3 minute READ

Greg Shapland

Former Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme

Enemies and Neighbours: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel 1917-2017
Ian Black
Penguin, £25.00

This is an ambitious book, confronting as it does three major challenges: first, the length of the period covered; second, the challenge of finding something new to say in a thoroughly examined field; and third, the attempt ‘to tell the story of, and from both sides’.

Relating 100 years of the history of one of the world’s most high-profile disputes in a single volume would be hard enough but in fact the book covers more than 100 years, as it looks back to the first Zionist settlers from Eastern Europe – the Hovevei Zion or Lovers of Zion – in 1882.

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