By Rosemary Sayigh

Because the Israel-Palestine clash rages on, it really is extra vital now than ever to appreciate the historical past of the Palestinian humans. Rosemary Sayigh's The Palestinians is a vintage of radical historical past.

Through broad interviews with Palestinians in refugee camps, she presents a deeply-moving, grassroots tale of ways the Palestinians got here to be who they're at the present time. of their personal voices, Palestinians inform tales of the Nabka and their flight from their place of origin. Sayigh's strong account of Palestinians' fiscal marginalisation the social and mental results of being uprooted and the political oppression which they've got confronted maintains to resonate today.

Reissued with an in depth new foreword by means of Noam Chomsky, which brings the tale that Sayigh tells updated within the context of the Hamas victory and the battle in Lebanon, this e-book is either a desirable old rfile and a vital perception into the location within the modern center East.

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Extra resources for The Palestinians: From Peasants to Revolutionaries

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They had lived under many occupations, but none had ever displaced them from their land. They knew the Zionists aimed to possess Palestine,7 but they could not imagine a world in which such a thing could happen. Their belief in themselves, their ignorance of Zionist power (based on organization, not numbers), their old-fashioned concept of war, 8 their naive dependence on Arab promises of help: all these prevented them from fully understanding what was happening in the 1940s, as Zionist preparations to take over the state mounted.

It used to be harvested and put on the threshing floor in big circles until it was dry. Then it would be beaten so that the seeds would fall. They would be put in sacks and sold to merchants in Acre and Haifa. Other products were wheat and maize. As for schools, there was the Koranic school, where a sheikh taught religion. Only boys went to school, they used to refuse education to girls out of fear of scandals. There was also an official school from 1st to 7th elementary — boys used to come to it from nearby villages, from Mi’ar, Damoun, Kabool and Tamra.

It was the peasants who rioted in Jaffa in 1921 and in Jerusalem in 1929; it was the peasants who followed Sheikh Qassam6 into the hills above Haifa in 1935, and who bore the brunt of the Great Rebellion of 1936–39. There are still old men in the camps who fought in that uprising, and everyone over the age of thirty-five can recall the crescendo of violence that preceded the Uprooting of 1948. Thus when people are not emphasizing the contrast between their present reality as refugees and their past as peasants in Palestine, there is no tendency to paint the past in unreal colours.

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