New Book: Gribetz, Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, and the Early Zionist-Arab Encounter

Gribetz, Jonathan Marc. Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, and the Early Zionist-Arab Encounter. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014.



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As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict persists, aspiring peacemakers continue to search for the precise territorial dividing line that will satisfy both Israeli and Palestinian nationalist demands. The prevailing view assumes that this struggle is nothing more than a dispute over real estate. Defining Neighbors boldly challenges this view, shedding new light on how Zionists and Arabs understood each other in the earliest years of Zionist settlement in Palestine and suggesting that the current singular focus on boundaries misses key elements of the conflict.


Hardcover | 2014 | $35. 00 / £24.95 | ISBN: 9780691159508 eBook edition | ISBN: 9781400852659


Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments ix
Note on Transliterations xiii
Introduction 1
Chapter 1 Locating the Zionist-Arab Encounter: Local, Regional, Imperial, and Global Spheres 15
Chapter 2 Muhammad Ruhi al-Khalidi’s “as-Sayūnīzm”: An Islamic Theory of Jewish History in Late Ottoman Palestine 39
Chapter 3 “Concerning Our Arab Question”? Competing Zionist Conceptions of Palestine’s Natives 93
Chapter 4 Imagining the “Israelites”: Fin de Siècle Arab Intellectuals and the Jews 131
Chapter 5 Translation and Conquest: Transforming Perceptions through the Press and Apologetics 185
Conclusion 235
Bibliography 249
Index 269

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