An objective history of the State of Israel.

BML

Aug 2011
73
I would like to bring some orderly and valid thinking to my knowledge of what I will refer to as the, “Palestinian” situation although I suspect that the very use of such terminology will immediately confuse the situation although I hope that will not be the case.
I am in my mid-eighties so can remember the end of the Second World War and the rapid movement of Jews into Palestine and when it comes to the emergence of the State of Israel I can remember some of the myths such as the exile to Babylon and some of the history of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the Balfour declaration and the part Leopold Amery played in it.
The only book of substance that I have to help me is “Israel A History” by Martin Gilbert that has only short mentions of Balfour and nothing of substance on Sykes-Picot.
I am looking for some reading matter that will take me through the history of the state of Israel recognising that it may be difficult matter to find anything really objective and dare I say it but I would welcome anything that can offer a justification for the actual existence of the state of Israel. Can you help me?
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,282
here
I thought this book was fair in it's treatment of Israel.


https://www.amazon.com/My-Promised-Land-Triumph-Tragedy/dp/0385521715/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2/143-8501604-1457614?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0385521715&pd_rd_r=81a29bc4-7b23-11e9-b2d1-7fb6059bc3dc&pd_rd_w=BLfu5&pd_rd_wg=3VtWH&pf_rd_p=a2006322-0bc0-4db9-a08e-d168c18ce6f0&pf_rd_r=PE61VB1R46GFPXJPWVQ3&psc=1&refRID=PE61VB1R46GFPXJPWVQ3

Having said that, can any book or publication really be considered objective? It's impossible to cover every single thing that has occurred, it becomes necessary to omit or include certain things to build and support a narrative. And depending on what's included or omitted could be seen by the audience as proof of that the author is biased in some way.
 
Dec 2010
1,993
Oregon
I am in my mid-eighties so can remember the end of the Second World War and the rapid movement of Jews into Palestine and when it comes to the emergence of the State of Israel I can remember some of the myths such as the exile to Babylon and some of the history of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the Balfour declaration and the part Leopold Amery played in it.
The only book of substance that I have to help me is “Israel A History” by Martin Gilbert that has only short mentions of Balfour and nothing of substance on Sykes-Picot.
I am looking for some reading matter that will take me through the history of the state of Israel recognising that it may be difficult matter to find anything really objective and dare I say it but I would welcome anything that can offer a justification for the actual existence of the state of Israel. Can you help me?
The first half of Against Our Better Judgment, by Alison Weir, gives a concise description of Zionism's origins and the establishment of Israel. The second half consists of end notes and references. Many sources are cited, so you'll have a wealth of leads to follow if so inclined. The book itself is available at Amazon. I have a copy, and have read it twice.

Here's an article that includes details about the Sykes-Picot Agreement, based in part on Bitter Harvest: Palestine 1914-79, by Sami Hadawi. That book is also available from online sellers.
 
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Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
Though the book is not entirely about modern Israel, Simon Sebag Montefiore's Jerusalem, which covers the history of the city from ancient, Biblical days to the present day (quite literally), as well as the development of Zionism in the UK and US in the 19th and early 20th centuries, seemed to me to be very impartial and objective. Even when covering the modern era and the creation and wars over Israel, he does not make any noticeable moral judgements, and points out the atrocities committed by all sides when necessary. I suppose this is because he did not set out to specifically write a book about modern Israel and that conflict, so seen as just another chapter of the long history of Jerusalem things are captured from a more detached, historical perspective.
 
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BML

Aug 2011
73
I have to say that I often use Forums to search for information and opinions on many subjects and I regret that when it comes to subjects such as Israel the comments far to often degenerate into juvenile abuse. One could not say that about any of the reply's to my question. In fact I am finding them most helpful so thank you very much. I hope to return as I read the reply's more thoroughly.
 
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Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,282
here
The first half of Against Our Better Judgment, by Alison Weir, gives a concise description of Zionism's origins and the establishment of Israel. The second half consists of end notes and references. Many sources are cited, so you'll have a wealth of leads to follow if so inclined. The book itself is available at Amazon. I have a copy, and have read it twice.

Here's an article that includes details about the Sykes-Picot Agreement, based in part on Bitter Harvest: Palestine 1914-79, by Sami Hadawi. That book is also available from online sellers.
The OP asked for objective sources. Alison Weir doesn't even try to take a balanced view of the conflict. It is glaringly obvious that she is anti-Israeli.


"She is known for critical views toward Israel."

Alison Weir (activist) - Wikipedia



If Americans Knew - What every American needs to know about Israel/Palestine
 
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Belisarius

Forum Staff
Jun 2006
10,359
U.K.
As a Moderator, I've had to get "up to speed" on the Israel-Palestine in the past. What I've found, is that there is no truely "objective" account out there. The best way to research the topic is to read as many books on the subject from all perspectives, then make your own determination.
 
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BML

Aug 2011
73
Belisarius
You state, "What I've found, is that there is no truely "objective" account out there." I am of Irish descent and were my father to be alive I'm sure that if I were to say to him that there is no truly "objective" account of the causes of the "Irish problem" he would very strongly disagree and would propose what he would consider to be his objective view of the matter. Obviously his statement would devalue the term. "objective".
I have to believe that there is such a thing as truth and remembering a small amount of what I read when studying philosophy I set out the following. The Correspondence Theory of truth because to me it makes sense.

Truth.
There are three widely accepted contemporary theories of truth as follows and having said that I'm sure those who read this post could find another few. I believe the that The Correspondence Theory of truth makes the most sense.

1. The Correspondence Theory of truth.
In the chapter "Truth and Falsehood" in his Problems of Philosophy, Russell suggests that on this theory, truth is understood in terms of the way reality is described by our beliefs. A belief is false when it does not reflect states-of-affairs, events, or things accurately. In other words for our beliefs to be true, our beliefs must agree with what is real.

2. The semantic theory of truth.
This is a theory of truth in the philosophy of language which holds that truth is a property of sentences. As far as I’m concerned that ties the concept into logic which does not necessarily mean truth.

3. The Deflationary Theory of truth.
In philosophy and logic, a deflationary theory of truth is one of a family of theories that all have in common the claim that assertions of predicate truth of a statement do not attribute a property called "truth" to such a statement. I would suggest that means that there is no point in claiming that something is true if it is not and therein lies a problem I will not approach.

In conclusion I'm obliged to accept what Belisarius wrote above, "The best way to research the topic is to read as many books on the subject from all perspectives, then make your own determination." My problem is that at the age of 82 I'm not sure I will complete that task but he is correct.
 

Belisarius

Forum Staff
Jun 2006
10,359
U.K.
Thinking about it, the most "objective" book I've read so far on the topic is "Enemies and Neighbours" by Ian Black. The book takes in the period 1917-2017 so is pretty much up to speed on current events. Books by Avi Schlaim and Tom Segev are worth a read as are those by Efraim Karsh and Benny Morris. Hope that helps a bit.