Download Hidden Histories: Palestine and the Eastern Mediterranean by Basem L. Ra'ad PDF

By Basem L. Ra'ad

For hundreds of thousands of years, the quarter of Palestine and the East Mediterranean has been denied an indigenous voice for an inclusive background. 3 religions ascribe their origins to this a part of the realm, appropriating and re-appropriating the "Holy Land" time and again.

Hidden Histories bargains a robust corrective to universal understandings. It emphasizes Palestine's lengthy heritage and dispels many elderly and new myths – protecting problems with non secular origins and sacred websites, identification and self-colonization, and the retrieval of old heritage.

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Additional resources for Hidden Histories: Palestine and the Eastern Mediterranean

Sample text

The actual history of the East Mediterranean is still shrouded in mystery, whether for people in the distant West or for people in the region laboring under imposed selfunderstandings. Western perceptions of the East Mediterranean have been formed by a complex variety of factors, some imaginary, others real: 1700 years of idealized constructions and expectations concerning a “Holy Land” (mostly imaginary); European enmity toward and competition with Muslim empires (first Arab then Ottoman); the various kinds of crusades (starting from 1099); the assumptions inherent in that convenient paradigm called “Western civilization,” which emerged only in the sixteenth century; the employment of biblical models of empowerment in various colonizing projects; the sacred geography of nineteenth-century Christian fundamentalists; writings by travelers, pilgrims, and orientalists; recent colonization by Western powers and the region’s division into “countries”; and now the Zionist project in Palestine and its colonizing activities.

Metaphysical poetry of the early seventeenth century denotes the religious typology in its intellectual and figurative senses. For example, crossing the Jordan River to the Promised Land meant reaching an aesthetic promised land or a blessed condition or “freedom” (there was no regard, in this aesthetic interpretation, given to the rights or wrongs of the invasions and multitudes of massacres reported in the biblical accounts). An early prototype is Thomas Fuller’s A Pisgah-Sight of Palestine (1650), an absentee description of Palestine (“Canaan”) which uses the Bible as its only reference.

Among the trendsetters one could cite (not wishing either to exclude others, or to express no reservations) Donald B. Redford, Mark S. Smith, Martin Bernal, Thomas L. Thompson, Philip R. Davies, Keith W. Whitelam, Ze’ev Herzog, and Shlomo Sand. As a result of their positive intentions and their challenge to the dominant constructs, some of them (especially Thompson and Whitelam) have regularly been attacked, improperly called “revisionists” (“searchers” would be a more appropriate term), and are regularly maligned in Zionist writing.

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