Arab-Israeli Wars, 1948–Present

George L. Simpson

in Military History

ISBN: 9780199791279
Published online February 2012 | | DOI:
Arab-Israeli Wars, 1948–Present

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The conflict between Jews and Arabs claiming the same land has historically erupted into wars, and has sometimes been an existential struggle. Historians and observers have offered starkly different narratives and engaged in bitter polemic. In fact, the disputants have not always accepted the legitimacy of the other side, and they often dispute the very facts themselves. There is a deep chasm between Arab and Israeli interpretations of the past, which is reflected in the impassioned and confrontational nature of much that has been written about the wars that the two sides have fought since the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948. Moreover, the controversy is not as simple as this bifurcated presentation would imply. Among Israeli scholars there exists a fundamental split between those who generally accept Zionist interpretations and revisionists who call themselves “new historians” and are critical of what they see as the founding myths of Israel. While there is no comparable rift among Arab scholars, this does not mean that their interpretations necessarily are uncritical or alike. Indeed, repeated defeats in war, diplomatic setbacks, and the ongoing plight of so many of the Palestinian people give ample opportunity for the censure and condemnation of Arab leaders, not to mention the Israelis. Moreover, as debate about the past rages, and as new documents and sources become available, the historiography related to the Arab-Israeli dispute is dynamic and continually subject to revision.

Article.  7981 words. 

Subjects: Military History ; Pre-20th Century Warfare ; First World War ; Second World War ; Post-WW2 Military History

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