Enemies and Neighbours
Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017
'Excellent ... A detailed, even-handed account of the world's most intractable and damaging political dispute' Sunday Times
Ever since the Ottoman Empire was defeated and British colonial rule began in 1917, Jews and Arabs have struggled for control of the Holy Land. Israel's independence in 1948 in the wake of the Holocaust was a triumph for the Zionist movement but a catastrophe -'nakba' in Arabic - for the native Palestinian majority.
In Enemies and Neighbours, Ian Black has written a gripping, lucid and timely account of what was doomed to be an irreconcilably hostile relationship from the beginning. It traces how, half a century after the watershed of the 1967 war, hopes for a two-state solution and an end to occupation have all but disappeared.
The author, a veteran Guardian journalist, draws on deep knowledge of the region and decades of his own reporting to create a uniquely vivid and valuable book. Bringing much-needed balance and perspective to this most controversial and intractable of conflicts, Enemies and Neighbours is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the story so far - and why both peoples face an uncertain future.
Praise for Enemies and Neighbours
A remarkable book that combines sharp insight with absolute impartiality on one of the world's most complex and intractable conflicts. Black captures the voices of the Palestinians and Israelis with equal compassion, and holds their leaders to account with equal severity. An outstanding accomplishmentEugene Rogan, author of 'The Arabs: A History'
Superbly researched and highly readable. Even those who are well read on the subject will find new insights that had escaped themRaja Shehadeh, author of 'Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape'
When Israeli and Palestinian historians eventually sit down together to compose a single narrative to replace their bitterly conflicting histories, they will find that Ian Black's book has already done it for them. This brilliant, dispassionate work leaves us, curiously, optimistic - for he shows us that there is a middle groundMeron Benvenisti, author of 'Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948'
In a field where one has gotten used to one-sided 'narratives', it is refreshing to come across a historical account that simply lays down the facts, gory and tragic as these may be. This book is a must-read for those who, still entertaining hope for a sane exit from the conflict, need to be shocked out of their stuporSari Nusseibeh, author of 'Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life'
The hundred years' war for Palestine has produced numerous books; Ian Black has written one of the finest. Enemies and Neighbours displays an admirable ability to present this enormously complicated and tragic conflict in a lucid and riveting style - and pays unusually close attention to how both sides - Arabs and Jews - have seen it at different periodsTom Segev, author of 'One Palestine, Complete - Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate'
Ian Black draws on decades of experience as a journalist in Palestine and Israel to offer a nuanced and thorough account of the century-old conflict over Palestine. A readable and fair assessment of why this conflict has continued unabated for so longRashid Khalidi, author of 'Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East'
This detailed and objective account of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from 1917 onwards catalogues in the most enlightening way the appalling violence and hatred that lies at the heart of today's dangerous stalemate in the peace processJeremy Greenstock, former British Ambassador to the United Nations
In its fine balance of historical sweep and telling detail, in its sharp analysis of social, economic, and political forces, and in its exceptional fairness to all sides, Ian Black's thorough and incisive history of the struggle between Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel is the book every student of this conflict should read first. A remarkable achievementNathan Thrall, author of 'The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine'
A tremendous amount of research has gone into Enemies and Neighbors; the writing is straightforward, fast-paced and lucid; and it pulled me right to the end, despite the heavy nature of its topic. An excellent read that offers a true portrayal of the situationFida Jiryis, Palestinian writer, contributor to 'Kingdom of Olives and Ash'
[A] wonderful new history of Palestine and Israel ... For its clarity and balance, Black's work stands tall in a field that is likely to continue growingEconomist
Comprehensive and compelling ... A nuanced, landmark study that has deservedly won plaudits from both Palestinian and Israeli historiansJustin Marozzi, The Times
Excellent ... Ian Black brings a fresh perspective to one of the most closely studied conflicts on Earth, unpacking its complexities with clarity and candourAnshel Pfeffer, Observer
Compelling ... Merits close reading for its rich detail and rare subtlety ... Denies made-up minds their soothing certainties ... A reading of uncommon clarity, informed by extensive research and keen insightStephen Daisley, Spectator
Excellent ... A detailed, even-handed account of the world's most intractable and damaging political dispute'Books of the Year', Sunday Times
A good read..... sharp, fast paragraphs filled with vivid detail...keeps a tight focus on events on the ground. Punctures the view...that Palestinians bear virtually all the blame for the failure of recent efforts to create a Palestinian statePeter Beinart, 'Editor's Choice', New York Times