The Palestinians in the 1948 War and recent historiography in Israel

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The 1948 War was one of the most formative events in both Israeli and Palestinian history. Recent years have seen a transformation in Israeli historiography relating to this war, with the emergence of three intertwined research orientations: social history, the study of Palestinian society, and microhistory. The two books at the center of this article correspond well with the trend of growing interest being shown by Middle East historians in Israel–Jews and Palestinians alike–in the 1948 War, together with the turn toward research of the Palestinian society and the adoption of microhistory. Yet, a chasm seems to separate the approaches of Eliezer Tauber and Adel Manna to the events of 1948. Nevertheless, there are a number of similarities between them–which is perhaps not so surprising, as both are contemporary historians who are conversing with the cumulative research about the 1948 War. The two books illustrate vividly how difficult it is for Israeli historians, Jewish and Palestinian alike, to write today about the events of 1948 disengaged from an ideological and even ethnocentric point of view.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-324
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Israeli History
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • 1948 War
  • Deir Yassin
  • Galilee
  • Israeli
  • Palestinian
  • massacre

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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