Louis FishmanMay 10, 2022
Jews and Palestinians in the Late Ottoman Era, 1908-1914
Claiming the Homeland
Edinburgh University Press 2021
Uncovering a history buried by different nationalist narratives (Jewish, Israeli, Arab and Palestinian) the book by Louis Fishman looks at how the late Ottoman era set the stage for the on-going Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This work presents an innovative analysis of the struggle in its first years, when Palestine was still an integral part of the Ottoman Empire. Fishman argues that in the late Ottoman era, Jews and Palestinians were already locked in conflict: the new freedoms introduced by the Young Turk Constitutional Revolution exacerbated divisions (rather than serving as a unifying factor). Offering an integrative approach, it considers both communities, together and separately, in order to provide a more sophisticated narrative of how the conflict unfolded in its first years.
Jews and Palestinians in the Late Ottoman Era, 1908-1914: Claiming the Homeland (Edinburgh UP. 2021) draws on a large range of sources and offers a very interesting look at a specific episode, the Haram al-Sharif incident of 1911, well known to archaeologists but less to historians and certainly the larger public. Fishman both in the book and the podcast takes the audience through the details of this episode and its legacy both in historiographical and political terms. Ultimately Fishman contends that the late Ottoman era and many of the neglected episodes that unfolded in Palestine set the stage for the conflict that lasted for over a century and it is an essential component in the understanding of how the two communities were set on a collision course.
Roberto Mazza is visiting professor at Northwestern University. He is the host of the Jerusalem Unplugged Podcast and to discuss and propose a book for interview can be reached at email@example.com. Twitter: @robbyref