Nathan Weinstock

The Promised Land that Promised Too Much Publication date : September 8, 2011

Nathan Weinstock, a lawyer with a doctorate in law, is a recognised expert in the history of Jewish working-class movements and a renowned translator from Yiddish. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Jewish Studies. For the last twenty-five years he’s been actively engaged in studying the lost world of Yiddish culture. He is the author of many works, including Histoire de chiens (2004) and Une si longue présence (2008), which both deal with Jewish-Arab relations. In the 1960s, his book Le Sionisme contre Israël (Zionism: False Messiah) became a bible for Trotskyist militants.

Eschewing simplistic clichés and hasty judgments, Nathan Weinstock reconstructs here the origins and evolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, from the mid-nineteenth century until the historic 1948 turning-point. He traces the conflicting dynamics that shaped the various phases of the confrontation between two nationalisms bound to the same land.
Drawing on a variety of infrequently used sources, such as the work of Palestinian researchers, he transforms the prevailing vision of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: he points to the parallels between Zionism and the “Back to Africa” movement, he examines the refusal of Arab-Palestinian nationalists to work with sectors of the local anti-Zionist Jewish minority, etc.

• Thoroughly researched and carefully documented, this book is a model of intellectual honesty. It enriches and offers a more nuanced view of the traditional account of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
• A most timely book, given the UN vote on the resolution on the creation of a Palestinian State (September 2011).