Title: Arabs and Israel for Beginners.
Author: Ron David
Illustrated by Susan David
Published by: For Beginnners LLC (2001).
One of the issues I cannot make sense of simply by reading the newspapers and watching the television is the Middle East conflict. A lot of issues do not make sense. I think I was too puzzled by the entire conflict between Israel and the Arabs. It is strange to me that we are all members of the human race, how is it necessary or even permissible to allow for war and violence to exist amongst ourselves? Perhaps there is a dark side to humanity?
Ron David's book, Arabs and Israel for Beginners, is a very accessible book to read. The sections on the history of the Middle East especially during the ancient times are particularly complex to understand. Nevertheless, I think for such a complicated long period of history, Ron David has done a very remarkable feat in organising the materials in an accessible form. The language used is clear and simple to understand.
This book presented materials on the following topics:
- History of the Middle East
- The Ottoman Empire
- The Ottoman Land Code of 1858
- The Hussein-McMahon corespondence
- Theodor Herzl and early Zionism
- Article 22 of The Covenant of the League of Nations, in 1919
- The 1917 Balfour Declaration
- King-Crane Commission's report
- The Passfield White Paper
- The Declaration of Principles
The author's intent of writing this book appears to be to give the readers some background about the issue and then point readers in the direction of sources to get the most credible facts on the issue. Readers are welcome to make up their mind on this issue. I like the fact that the author listed some of the best books on the subject. It looks like more readings to be done and a good searching for the books. Here are the books that were recommended by Ron David:
- The Fateful Triangle by Noam Chomsky
- Taking Sides by Stephen Green
- Israel's Lebanon War by Ze'ev Schiff and Ehud Ya'ari
- While Six Million Died by Arthur D. Morse
- The Question of Palestine by Edward W. Said
- A Concise History of the Middle East by Arthur Goldschmidt, Jr
- The Cartoon History of the Universe by Larry Gonick
- For Palestine edited by Jay Murphy
- Blaming the Victims edited by Edward Said and Christopher Hitchens
While this book is accessible to read, I am very perplexed by the issues discussed. Perhaps this meant more reading and keeping an open-mind for now.