Review: The Iron Wall by Avi Shlaim



In the preface Shlaim mentions "the publication of four books by Israeli historians who challenged the traditional historiography of the birth of the state of Israel and the first Arab-Israeli war". And further explains that "to offer a revisionist interpretation of Israel’s policy towards the Arab world during the fifty years following the achievement of statehood" is his aim in penning this one. He also mentions a chronology of important events surrounding the Arab-Israeli relations.

In this epic book, he vivisects each Israeli action with the precision of a surgeon and provides a careful objective analysis of the rationale behind those actions. He sequentially chronicles each major event with dates, stakeholders in the form of different countries each time and people. He ruminates over the marauding atrocities the Arabs of Palestine have faced at the hands of the Jews for no fault of theirs. This book has had a cascading effect on my interest in the affairs of West Asia. It not only made me aware of the issues at hand but also stoked an unquenchable fire inside me about reading more to deepen my understanding of the politics of the region. It is not hugely detailed as to cover each and every behind-the-scenes diplomatic activity, but does evaluate the results with an intelligent disposition.

There are few authors like him who dare and, more so, care about bringing out the unbridled atrocities meted out on a people of meager wants. A sure shot initiator this book is in the correct hands which have roughened separating wheat from the chaff.

The Jewish desire to have a homeland in Palestine cut through the nomad dreams of the Palestinians. 

"The bride is beautiful but she is married to another man"


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