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Ten Myths about Israel

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  418 ratings  ·  55 reviews
What are the myths--and reality--behind the state of Israel?
Ilan Pappe is one of the most outspoken and radical thinkers writing on the history of Israel. In this groundbreaking and controversial book he examines ten of the most contested ideas concerning the origins and identity of the contemporary state of Israel. Once and for all he explodes the myths that justify the
Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by Verso
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Paul Bryant
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
This is a short book but dense, like a black hole from which no light can escape. These ten myths have been, according to Ilan Pappe, promoted and repeated so often they have been accepted as facts, and he intends to disprove each one of them. The ten myths are divided into FALLACIES OF THE PAST (6 of those), FALLACIES OF THE PRESENT (3 of those) and LOOKING AHEAD (one final myth). I could understand the myths of the past reasonably well, but I got lost in the present and baffled by the future. ...more
عماد العتيلي

“History lies at the core of every conflict. A true and unbiased understanding of the past offers the possibility of peace. The distortion or manipulation of history, in contrast, will only sow disaster.”.

What an amazing book!
Maybe it is the best book I’ve read so far that tackled the Palestinian issue.


In this book, the most important and widespread myths about Israel were uncovered, and the counter arguments were masterly illustrated. And it is important to notice that the author of
Vishal Misra
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
During my undergraduate studies in law, I became intensely interested in the creation of, and the position of, Israel as a matter of public international law. Subsequently, I studied for my postgraduate studies in criminal law, where again, it was the nation of Israel that caught my eye. This time, I was interested from a position of international criminal law, and the complicity of the Israeli government in the international crime of apartheid. So, this year's paperback release of Pappe's "Ten ...more
kav (xreadingsolacex)
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Ten Myths About Israel is a non-fiction book by Ilan Pappe, an Israeli Jewish historian. In this work, Pappe, as the book title would suggest, deconstructs ten commonly-accepted myths about Israel, from before the state's official creation to today.

I annotated the hell out of this the point where I'm not sure I could ever read this copy again.

I've only recently started investing a significant amount of time in reading non-fiction works, and, while I do consider myself more educated
Randall Wallace
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For Israel, it’s all about casting “doubt on the Palestinian’s moral right to the land.” The estimate of percentage of Jews in Israel prior to the rise of Zionism is “2 to 5 percent”. Without the sudden increase in Zionism, “Palestine would probably have gone the same way as Lebanon, Jordan, or Syria.” Zionism can be found connected to the revival of Hebrew and writings about the need to “colonize Palestine”. Zionist records show its natives as “an obstacle, an alien and an enemy.” “Most of the ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, palestine
Essential reading for anyone who has or wants either an opinion on the situation in Israel/Palestine or an entry into researching the subject more, beyond propagandised news bulletins and the like.
Ayala Levinger
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
EVERYONE needs to read this book
Nick Patten
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read on kindle...

A necessary wake-up call, especially for Americans, our tax dollars each year are used to support a systemic cycle of settler colonialism, apartheid, and genocide.
Ali Faqihi
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Distinguished Israeli historian Ilan Pappe challenges numerous myths and false presuppositions that virtually anyone involved in the Israel-Palestine conflict often encounters. This book provides great ammunition for anyone engaged in the topic of Israel-Palestine conflict.

The history presented in this book is ideal for anyone who wants to scan a brief history of the past and the current events of the conflict without going too deep into details, if you are looking for more details, then by all
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've been holding off on reviewing this book for over a week now, because it frightens me to review this book, and it makes me feel ashamed not to review this book. Or rather, I feel shame at my own reluctance to review this book. I have already lost friends over the years even as I endeavored not to discuss these issues, and was pressed, forced finally, into telling my reluctant opinion. And then I was ostrascized for it.

What he says is in very great measure true. The modern State of Israel is
I'm not as educated on the Israel-Palestine conflict as I would like to be, so I'm not going to sit here and review the content covered in this book because I don't know enough about the subject matter. That said, however, I did learn a lot from this book and I really liked the way the information was presented.

The novel goes over the history of Zionism and, specifically, the Israel-Palestine conflict through presenting and debunking ten myths about Israel that are perpetuated in a lot of Weste
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very good book that will form the bedrock of my understanding of Israel. I was not versed in Israel's history and am glad that this is the book I learned it from, otherwise I would have fallen for the myths that the author disproves.

It is a well argued book; cites every type of source and provides a useful timeline at the end. The author structures his arguments clearly so that his point is easy to follow. He anticipates questions I've raised during the reading and answers them promptly.

From rea
Michal Lipták
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Published on 50th anniversary of Israel's "temporary" occupation, Pappé's book doesn't pretend that it is not primarily a primer for activists, a tool for engagement in debates. And it's certainly a handy one at that, although the themes are familiar for me at this point, this compilation is useful. And I can confirm that as historian, Pappé is reliable. It's certainly biased, but, y'know, as they say, reality tends to have liberal bias. Or, to put it otherwise, when you're starting from point o ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If Jared Kushner is supposed to have the job of devising Trump's Middle-East policies and a hoped-for peace settlement for Palestine, he should read this book before he starts. As Pappe says, all conflicts carry their own histories and this is especially the case with the Israel-Palestine conflict, where both sides seek their justification in their interpretation of past events. But Pappe also says that no one can intervene successfully without knowing the true history of a conflict, with all it ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
As is often the case with figures like Finkelstein, Chomsky, etc., Ilan Pappé is excellent at diagnosing the various power imbalances, abuses, and atrocities committed by Israel, but blind to the crimes of groups like Hamas and the PLO. Pappé routinely dismisses or ignores the genuine terror and anxiety Israelis feel when faced with Hamas rockets and uncompromisingly violent rhetoric. This leads to a frustratingly uneven assessment – it is clear that Pappé has an excellent grasp of Israeli histo ...more
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nothing new here for this "Palestinian Rights Activist" - but a well-put, succinct discussion on a subject that many will find off-putting and/or upsetting. I can think of a number of people that I'd like to recommend this book to - but won't, because I know that they (like many other intelligent progressives - sometimes called PEP or "Progressive Except for Palestine!) see the whole "Israel/Palestine" issue from the only perspectives readily available to them - the "mainstream" news media - and ...more
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was so powerful. It took me forever to finish but I’m so glad I did, as I now have a deeper understanding of the relations between Israel and Palestine and how many of the accepted views about Israel are false. Only by discussing the future of these two states without believing the myths discussed in this book will a solution be reached. Super important to read, or at least understand this topic!
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Vivek Singh
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is like a quick manual for debunking Zionists, it just has everything one needs to debunk them. Also a great sketch of Israeli history.
Christopher Iacovetti
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Notes on Chapters 4-5

Chapter 4: Zionism ≠ Colonialism

- In 1882, the first Zionist settlers arrive, report that "the bride [i.e., Palestine] is beautiful but married to another man" (quoted p. 41).

- "The diaries of the early Zionists ... are full of anecdotes revealing how the settlers were well received by the Palestinians, who offered them shelter and in many cases taught them how to cultivate the land. Only when it became clear that the settlers had not come to live alongside the native popula
The dichotomy of Israel/Palestine is obviously a minefield issue, and this book is doubly provocative not only for wading into it but for being unequivocal and forceful in its assertion that from the very beginning, Israel was a project of settler colonialism, conducted by its leaders with full knowledge of and complicity in the displacement of Palestinians. Ilan Pappe's stature as a historian ensures that one cannot dismiss this book out of hand. Israel has to stop rewriting its beginnings with ...more
Fernando Pestana da Costa
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A short book, with about one hundred and fifty pages, examining and debunking ten myths about Israel many people in the West (and virtually all Israeli jews) accept as true. It is divided into three parts. The first one, Fallacies of the Past, deals with those from the origins of Zionism until the 1967 War (I specially liked chapter 2: The jews were a people without a land, where it is shown the crucial role of Christians (mainly Protestant and British) individuals in promoting the idea of jewis ...more
кай жук
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We all deserve a better ending to the story of the Holocaust. This could involve a strong multicultural Germany showing the way to the rest of Europe; an American society dealing bravely with the racial crimes of its past that still resonate today; an Arab world that expunges its barbarism and inhumanity …

Nothing like that could happen if we continue to fall into the trap of treating mythologies as truths. Palestine was not empty and the Jewish people had homelands; Palestine was colonized, not
Arthur Serratelli
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read. This. Book. If you are a critical thinker, with an open mind, then you will find the popular "narrative," in the Western Press and spouted by our Political leaders (who are held captive by the Israel Lobby), that Israel is somehow "the underdog," and that the Palestinians are somehow the war-mongering, terrorist "bad guys," is PURE BULLSH*T.

Read this book, and you will shatter the myths. You will discover the Israeli genocide, Israeli apartheid, and Israeli war crime atrocities against th
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: political-stuff
Absolutely essential reading. Especially today with the hysterical right-wing assault on Jeremy Corbyn and the left of the British Labour Party--for his support for Palestine and for his left-wing activism in general--it is vitally important that the truth about the myths discussed herein by Pappe are more widely known.

Even more left-leaning corporate media propagates some of these myths, conflating Judaism and Zionism, praising the Oslo Peace Process, and pushing for a two-state solution. The l
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This small (under 200-page book) will upend everything you thought you knew about the Israeli government in regards to Palestine. The author takes each myth and debunks everything that we have been misfed through the years. The first chapter starts out with the history of the Palestinians and how they have always been there and goes all the way through to the tenth myth and its current state in the modern age. I learned so much history of that part of the world and while I became a staunch suppo ...more
Tushant Mittal
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's a good concise history outlining the Zionist movement and the role of the state of Israel in the violence against Palestinian people. The book does sometimes read like a rage article (which isn't always a bad thing). One issue I had was that for many claims that the author makes, especially the ones that seemed a bit too much, the reference that is provided is another book by the author himself. For example, one of the chapters contains 6/12 self-citations. I don't intend to discredit the c ...more
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, clear, concise read for anyone interested in a factually and academically sound accounting of the myths that are the foundations of Zionist propaganda. This book reveals the Palestinians as victims and exposes Zionists down to the fig leaf.

Ilan Pappe is an incredible scholar that in fewer than 200 pages can deprogram the most indoctrinated and brainwashed mind regarding this issue.

Beyond highly recommended, this is a must read
Pushon Bhattacharya
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A concise and well-sourced skewering of many of the most pervasive myths surrounding the most intractable conflict of our time. The best aspect of this engrossing volume is that it makes heavy use of primary sources e.g. Israeli military intelligence reports, thereby avoiding any straw man arguments.
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Anyone interested in learning about the Palestinian cause must learn this!
Accurate and detailed facts are written in this book.
Dr. Ilan is very courageous to spread the truth and stand against what’s wrong even if it means standing against his own society.
It’s people like him who will be remembered later on in the pages of history.
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Ilan Pappé is a professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter in the UK, director of the university's European Centre for Palestine Studies, co-director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies, and political activist. He was formerly a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa (1984–2007) and chair of the Emil Tou ...more

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