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Ô Jérusalem

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  3,436 ratings  ·  310 reviews
This book recounts, moment by moment, the process that gave birth to the state of Israel. Collins & Lapierre weave a tapestry of shattered hopes, valor & fierce pride as the Arabs, Jews & British collide in their fight for control of Jerusalem. O Jerusalem! meticulously recreates this historic struggle. It penetrates the battle from the inside, exploring each party's inter ...more
Paperback, 924 pages
Published January 18th 2006 by Distribooks Inc. (first published 1972)
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Ralph Rapuano During the war of independence, in 1948, Jewish forces attempted to breach the walls of the Temple Mount with explosives?

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Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book documents the Jewish struggle to create the tiny state of Israel and the struggle of the Arabs and Whitehall and British Colonial authorities to crush it, with particular focus on Jerusalem. It contains some interesting accounts and much interesting information, but it is not without its flaws.

Beginning with the decision at the United Nations at Flushing Meadow to accept the re-partition of the Land of Israel into two states, one Jewish and one Arab, and the violent Arab reaction, it l
Jennifer Jacobs
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the most beautifully written book on Israel Palestine conflict ever!
This book won my heart!It was so comprehensive and surprisingly very very neutral!
It is so detailed and meticulous: It can be a textbook for any class on this subject any given day!
This book details the foundation of the great state of Israel and unlike many books written on the subject:Remains as objective and neutral as possible,the flow is very smooth,it feels like you're reading a thriller novel when you read it:)
I co
David (דוד)
Wow! Just completed this long book!!

O Jerusalem deals with the Arab-Israeli war for Jerusalem during 1947-48, or also called as, the "War of Independence" by Israel. The book's narrative begins (apart from a Prologue) with the successful passing of the UN Partition Plan, of the Palestinian region under the British Mandate at that time, to form two separate States, on November 29, 1947. The book ends with the region's history as on July 17, 1948; along with an Epilogue.

I so much loved the narrati
Father Nick
Well, coming to the Middle East, I can safely say I knew nothing of the history of the Israeli State beyond the fact that it existed and mostly Jewish people ran it. Staying here in Bethlehem for over a month meant we got a great deal of the Palestinian perspective on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, but as far as the events that led to the creation of the State of Israel and the circumstances under which the Israeli Army eventually occupied those territories, no one was able to ...more
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In the wake of the unrest in Syria and that part of the world and my growing interest in understanding the history behind this age old struggle, I picked up this book. This is an account of the war for the independence of Israel which focuses on the struggle between the British and the various Jewish and Moslem armies for Jerusalem.

It is a very engaging narrative with a fairly unbiased viewpoint. The war has been described in very graphic detail- brace yourself. The small yet tenacious communit
Jason McIntire
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The story of modern Israel's birth is so innately fascinating that it would be hard to tell in a boring way. The authors of this book, however, go above and beyond to make their account as riveting as any novel. I can only imagine the hundreds of hours spent gathering interviews for the countless personal portraits that make this history come to life.

Israel in general, and Zionism in particular, is a fairly polarizing topic. To their credit, however, the authors exhibit little discernible bias t
Erik Graff
Jun 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
This is an account of the war for the independence of Israel which focuses on the struggle between the British and the various Jewish and Moslem armies for Jerusalem. I was impressed by the effort made by the authors to be balanced, not painting any side as being totally good or bad.

A older friend of mine, Andre, was involved in the events following this war, becoming himself an officer in the Israeli army during the war of independence. Polish and a communist, he fought in the southern army, ac
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Golda Meir says it right. This is how history should be written.

My inspiration to pick this book up was primarily to read the history of which I have no intellectual or emotional connection. Everything I read in this book was new, and boy, by the end of it, I understand the modern world politics surrounding Israel much better. Ben-Gurion, Glub Pasha, Abdullah Tell, Shaltiel, Avriel and Golda have been perpetually added to the long list of historical figures who, in some way or the other, might i
I read O Jerusalem because I liked Freedom at Midnight by the same authors so much. Freedom at Midnight is definitely the better of the two. O Jerusalem feels much more clunky and following the plot and historical events was, at times, confusing for me. Also, the authors present themselves as unbiased, but are clearly biased in favor of Israel, which affects their presentation of facts. In one instance of recording Jewish atrocities committed during the beginning of partitioning, they are carefu ...more
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, war, jewish
Donated to CCU 30/10/2014

An utterly fascinating, minutely detailed and accurate definite history of the Israeli War of Independence 1948. Hundreds of vignettes make this book a thriller, with heartbreak and joy in rapid succession. Although it is history it reads like a who-done-it, and you turn page after page to see what happens next.

Contains, maps, illustrations, b/w photographs, Chapter notes, Bibliography and index.
Wonderfully written account of Israel's war for independence 1947 -48. What I particularly liked about it is the objective view of the conflict from all sides. Having just returned from Jerusalem, where I stayed right inside Jaffa's Gate, the descriptions of the fighting were very real to me. ...more
Aditi Sharma
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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“None of the men in the Egyptian Foreign Ministry really meant to be taken literally in threatening to ‘drive the Jews into the sea’. But they failed to remember that their foes had just seen six million of their kind driven into Hitler’s oven.”
– (O Jerusalem!)

Some countries fight for their freedom while some, like Israel, for their birth.

I cannot even begin to tell you the gem this book, O Jerusalem!, is. With more than three years of it
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book documents the Jewish struggle to create the tiny state of Israel and the struggle of the Arabs and British to crush it, with particular focus on Jerusalem. It contains some interesting accounts and much interesting information, but it is not without its flaws.

Beginning with the decision at the United Nations at Flushing Meadow to accept the re-partition of the Land of Israel into two states, one Jewish and one Arab, and the violent Arab reaction, it leaves out the fact the Britain's Pa
Jan 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Students of Mid-East and war history
What a tremendous read at this 60th anniversary of the state of Israel. This book brings to life the tragedies and triumphs of the 1948 War in Palestine/Israel, depending on your point of view. A terrorist bomb of 55 gal drum filled with rusty nails, bolts and explosive set off amid shoppers and workers catching the bus back home...the work of a Jewish terrorist group. Protecting the defeated fighters of an outpost from the crazed crowds...the task of soldiers of the Arab Legion. This book tells ...more
Daniel Thornton
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book because it highlighted pretty much every development in the middle east that led to the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine or that hindered it's progress. I did not know basically anything about this topic, and it showed why there are conflicts in the middle east to this day. ...more
Srinivasan Iyengar
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Classic, must read book, about the struggle and hope that eventually led to the birth of Israel. Rather than crying on who took whose land, it brings out the example of large unorganised & split group one one side and a small but fiercely determined group on the other..........and all the mechanism of pull & push by other western powers. It also brings out the apathy shown by the middle east and arab rulers in coming to the aid of their bretheren........a costly mistake which they can never undo ...more
Anurag Mishra
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book is majorly focussing on the Israel war of independence . The struggles of food, ration, electricity and ammunition has been described minutely to give a clear idea of the shortages that Israel was facing in the army. The courage shown is unparalleled and encouraging.
The arab were winning the war till the first ceasefire under the leadership of Abdullah tell and John glubb and how this mistake costed them war and years later Jerusalem. How the ceasefire helped the Israelis and helped th
Alex Annear
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
My obsession with Israel continues. O Jerusalem traces, with a staggering amount of detail, the history of the creation of the state of Israel. Beginning with the UN partition of Palestine on November 29, 1947 - which ended 30 years of British mandate and subsequent control after WWI - through a second ceasefire between Jewish and Arab forces on July 19th, 1948, the story seems truly to have been written by an omnipotent author that somehow was present at every battle, meeting, negotiation, whet ...more
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books written on the Israeli War of Independence and the birth of a nation. Written in the journalistic style of the authors, it documents on a day-to-day and a street-by-street basis the battle for Jerusalem in 1948, when Israel came into existence!
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book depicts the events that took place in less than a year from November 1947 till July 1948 that made it possible for Israel to be born and exist along with the conflicts that preceded and followed it’s creation.
Along the way there are short but compelling stories about major and minor personalities, their backgrounds and visions, who played roles in the creation of the Jewish state and those who tried to stop it. I was fascinated by personal stories of the founders, leaders and defendan
Akarsh Shrivastava
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Brilliant, brilliant book. This is my second book authored by Dominique Lapierre (City of Joy being the first one), and boy he does live up to his name. Apart from a visible attempt to document the circumstances accurately (one can never be too sure about history), this book brings to the fore the dilemmas, ambivalence and emotional and mental turmoil of the best politicians and generals of our times.
The parts I liked the most are those which demonstrate how through their words, Arab monarchs bo
Yossi Pinhas
although it focuses on a tiny fragment and constricted geography of a centuries-old conflict, O Jerusalem! very precisely reflects why these two nations--Jews and Arabs--will never find a way to settle their differences on the path to peace.

O Jerusalem! is a priceless and unique anthology of accounts reconstructed chronologically beginning on the day the UN approves the partitioning of Palestine and ends the day of the armistice between the two warring parties: Israel and the Arabs. The first ha
Ratnakar Sadasyula
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: modern-history
"This is how history, should be written" said Golda Meir on reading the book. And I agree with her.

Always loved the books of Larry Collins and Domnique Lapierre, their accounts tend to be neutral, objective,well researched. Unlike Leon Uris Exodus, that is rather one sided in it's potrayal of the Arab-Israeli conflict, this book is more neutral, objective, looks at both sides. The events leading up to the formation of Israel are well documented, as also the struggles Jews faced in establishing
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
A well-researched and seemingly unbiased history of the 1948 birth of Israel. It was hard to read the graphic parts—after all, it was a war. I learned a lot about the beginning of Israel and my respect for the Jews grew—they had great tenacity and ingenuity. I also better understand the Arabs and their plight. Many of the Jews and Arabs were friends and neighbors before the awful war. It's sad that when they were displaced after the war, they were ignored by the neighboring Arab countries. I tho ...more
Michael Gerald
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1972, this wonderful book on the first Arab-Israeli War concentrates on one of the most contested piece of real estate in the world: Jerusalem.

Much has been said about the Israel and Palestinian issue. This book reminds readers of why the partition of Palestine happened, how the US pressured other member states of the United Nations to vote for the partition, how both the Zionists and Arabs violated the United Nations Resolution, - a wonderful and often heartbreaking account of the
Stephan Zeijlemaker
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Very well written. Almost a page turner on a very serious subject. The coming into being of Israel in 1947/1948. Very, very detailed though. Too much to my liking. The authors spoke to many people who were in charge back then both on Arab, Israel, UK and US side. A great achievement. They tell the story almost hour by hour and even describe what clothes people were wearing. Rather unbiased. Great novel, a less great history book. I was looking for a broader view on Jerusalem and the conflict in ...more
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
O Jerusalem is yet another proof of Collins and Lapierre's amazing skills of narration. They remind us once again that there is a story in history. A gripping narrative, quite unbiased (although not completely), painstakingly recreates the events around the birth of Israel, with a dramatic flair that is typical of the pair. ...more
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book, one I want for my permanent library. It tells the story of the creation of the State of Israel together with the determination, suffering and personal sacrifice of those who accomplished it. It is well written and documented. It is a testament of the few and many who did all that was necessary to bring into being dreams that were thousands of years old.
Siddharth Sharma
One of the greatest books ever written!! The story of Jews coming back to their homeland and how they built a nation brick by brick!
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Born in West Hartford, Connecticut, he was educated at the Loomis Chaffee Institute in Windsor, Connecticut, and graduated from Yale as a BA in 1951. He worked in the advertising department of Procter and Gamble, in Cincinnati, Ohio, before being conscripted into the US Army. While serving in the public affairs office of the Allied Headquarters in Paris, from 1953-1955, he met Dominique Lapierre w ...more

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“For the Arabs, and the above all for the 1.2 million Arabs of Palestine, the partitioning of the land in which they had been a majority for seven centuries seemed a monstrous injustice thrust upon them by white Western imperialism in expiation of a crime they had not committed. With few exceptions, the Jewish people had dwelt in relative security among the Arabs over the centuries. The golden age of the Diaspora had come in the Spain of the caliphs, and the Ottoman Turks had welcomed the Jews when the doors of much of Europe were closed to them. The ghastly chain of crimes perpetrated on the Jewish people culminating in the crematoriums of Germany had been inflicted on them by the Christian nations of Europe, not those of the Islamic East, and it was on those nations, not theirs, the Arabs maintained, that the burden of those sins should fall. Beyond that, seven hundred years of continuous occupation seemed to the Arabs a far more valid claim to the land than the Jews' historic ties, however deep.” 5 likes
“In Jerusalem, as elsewhere in Palestine, the Haganah's basic strategy reflected a philosophy propounded by David Ben-Gurion. What the Jews had, they must hold. No Jew was to leave his home, his farm, his kibbutz, his office without permission. Every outpost, every settlement, every village, no matter how isolated, was to be clung to as though it were Tel Aviv itself.” 0 likes
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