New Article: Tauber, The Arab Military Force in Palestine Prior to the Invasion of the Arab Armies, 1945–1948

Tauber, Eliezer. “The Arab Military Force in Palestine Prior to the Invasion of the Arab Armies, 1945–1948.” Middle Eastern Studies 51.6 (2015): 950-85.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2015.1044896

 

Abstract

The article examines the size, structure, composition and modi operandi of the Arab military forces which fought the Jews in the 1948 war, before the invasion of the Arab regular armies, based first and foremost on the Arab sources themselves. An attempt is made to assess the substantial reasons behind the Arab defeat in the first ‘civil war’ phase of the campaign, including a comparison of the number of combatants, which also explains the outcome.

 

 

New Article: Havel, Haj Amin al-Husseini: Herald of Religious Anti-Judaism

Havel, Boris. “Haj Amin al-Husseini: Herald of Religious Anti-Judaism in the Contemporary Islamic World.” Journal of the Middle East and Africa 5.3 (2014): 221-43.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21520844.2014.966232

 

Abstract

This article follows the development of religious anti-Judaism and anti-Zionism within Arab Muslim society in the twentieth century. Using the method of historical examination, it starts from the view that Muslim religious antagonism toward the Jewish political enterprise in Palestine did not exist prior to World War I. Only after Haj Amin al-Husseini became the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was the early Islamic perception of Jews as religiously unfit for political rule introduced as a major issue in the Muslim-Jewish relations. This article expounds how the Mufti combined Islamic canonical anti-Judaism with Christian medieval folklore, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and European anti-Semitism. Thus was introduced the notion of the Jew despised and cursed by Allah, yet powerful enough to defy Allah’s will of making that curse evident through his political, social, and economic humiliation. The pamphlet Islam and Judaism published in 1943 for an unorthodox Bosnian Muslim community has been used to demonstrate the Mufti’s aberration from traditional Islamic views on Jews and the development of an eclectic anti-Judaism that today exists in many parts of the Muslim world.

Cite: Freas, Hajj Amin al-Husayni and the Haram al-Sharif

Freas, Erik. “Hajj Amin al-Husayni and the Haram al-Sharif: A Pan-Islamic or Palestinian Nationalist Cause?” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 39.1 (2012): 19-51.

 

URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/routledg/cbjm/2012/00000039/00000001/art00002

 

Abstract

The World Islamic Conference, held in Jerusalem in 1931 under the auspices of Hajj Amin al-Husayni and the Supreme Muslim Council, marked a turning point in the Palestinian nationalist struggle as well as in the struggle between the two main factions—the more extremist one led by Hajj Amin and the more moderate Opposition—for control of the Palestinian leadership. The Conference, though co-sponsored by Shawkat `Ali and the Muslim Indian Congress, and ostensibly representative of the worldwide community of Muslims, was effectively dominated by Hajj Amin and his Palestinian supporters. Through his control of its proceedings, Hajj Amin was able to redefine the Palestinian nationalist cause as essentially a pan-Islamic one, in connection with the perceived need to defend the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem against Zionist encroachment. Contrasted here with the World Islamic Conference (and held concurrently with it) is the Second Arab Orthodox Congress. Whereas the World Islamic Conference sought to redefine an issue arguably specific to Palestine as pan-Islamic, the local Christian Orthodox community, in keeping with its desire to Arabise Palestine’s Greek Orthodox Church (hence their self-designation as the Arab Orthodox Church in Palestine), sought to redefine what was essentially a religious matter—concerning the succession of the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem—in nationalist terms. It was not simply a matter of differing ideological perspectives; defining the cause of the Haram al-Sharif as a pan-Islamic one also served a political objective, namely the enhancement of Hajj Amin’s position vis-à-vis his political rivals. Nonetheless, whatever the motivations involved, this development was a factor in the marginalisation of the Christian Arab component of the Palestinian nationalist movement. Whereas at the start of the British Mandate they had played a role disproportionately large relative to their actual numbers, by its end, their role in the nationalist movement had diminished almost to the point of near inconsequence, as evidenced, for instance, by their marginal involvement in the Arab Revolt (1936-1939).

New Publication: Karsh, Palestine Betrayed

Efraim Karsh. Palestine Betrayed. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010 (available April 5th).

 

 

Abstract

The 1947 UN resolution to partition Palestine irrevocably changed the political landscape of the Middle East, giving rise to six full-fledged wars between Arabs and Jews, countless armed clashes, blockades, and terrorism, as well as a profound shattering of Palestinian Arab society. Its origins, and that of the wider Arab-Israeli conflict, are deeply rooted in Jewish-Arab confrontation and appropriation in Palestine. But the isolated occasions of violence during the British Mandate era (1920–48) suggest that the majority of Palestinian Arabs yearned to live and thrive under peaceful coexistence with the evolving Jewish national enterprise. So what was the real cause of the breakdown in relations between the two communities?
In this brave and groundbreaking book, Efraim Karsh tells the story from both the Arab and Jewish perspectives. He argues that from the early 1920s onward, a corrupt and extremist leadership worked toward eliminating the Jewish national revival and protecting its own interests. Karsh has mined many of the Western, Soviet, UN, and Israeli documents declassified over the past decade, as well as unfamiliar Arab sources, to reveal what happened behind the scenes on both Palestinian and Jewish sides. It is an arresting story of delicate political and diplomatic maneuvering by leading figures—Ben Gurion, Hajj Amin Husseini, Abdel Rahman Azzam, King Abdullah, Bevin, and Truman —over the years leading up to partition, through the slide to war and its enduring consequences. Palestine Betrayed is vital reading for understanding the origin of disputes that remain crucial today.

——

URL: http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300127270

 

Keywords: History, Partition / Separation, Nakbah, British Mandate, UN Resolution 181, Israeli-Palestinian conflict