The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017

by Rashid Khalidi

Paperback, 2021


History. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML: A landmark history of one hundred years of war waged against the Palestinians from the foremost US historian of the Middle East, told through pivotal events and family historyIn 1899, Yusuf Diya al-Khalidi, mayor of Jerusalem, alarmed by the Zionist call to create a Jewish national home in Palestine, wrote a letter aimed at Theodore Herzl: the country had an indigenous people who would not easily accept their own displacement. He warned of the perils ahead, ending his note, "in the name of God, let Palestine be left alone." Thus Rashid Khalidi, al-Khalidi's great-great-nephew, begins this sweeping history, the first general account of the conflict told from an explicitly Palestinian perspective. Drawing on a wealth of untapped archival materials and the reports of generations of family members�mayors, judges, scholars, diplomats, and journalists�The Hundred Years' War on Palestine upends accepted interpretations of the conflict, which tend, at best, to describe a tragic clash between two peoples with claims to the same territory. Instead, Khalidi traces a hundred years of colonial war on the Palestinians, waged first by the Zionist movement and then Israel, but backed by Britain and the United States, the great powers of the age. He highlights the key episodes in this colonial campaign, from the 1917 Balfour Declaration to the destruction of Palestine in 1948, from Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon to the endless and futile peace process. Original, authoritative, and important, The Hundred Years' War on Palestine is not a chronicle of victimization, nor does it whitewash the mistakes of Palestinian leaders or deny the emergence of national movements on both sides. In reevaluating the forces arrayed against the Palestinians, it offers an illuminating new view of a conflict that continues to this day..… (more)


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Due March 4, 2024

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Picador (2021), Edition: Reprint, 336 pages

User reviews

LibraryThing member brangwinn
It wasn’t until I was in Saudi Arabia on a teacher exchange that I saw the Arabian point of view in the middle east. This book helped but also created more questions for me. I understand the author’s belief that Palestine was always just a pawn in western colonization. The author’s comparison
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of the Palestinian conflicts with the Irish conflicts sums the story up. Neither side was perfect, but the colonizers never took the point of view of those who lived there into consideration when making decisions. Lots and lots of source material is given.
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LibraryThing member larryerick
This was an unusually good book on a number of levels. First, it was amazingly thorough given how short it is. It could very easily have been a multi-volume effort, but the author gave a narrative structure to those who already knew the basics, and provided enough detail for those previously poorly
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informed to find their way to more depth elsewhere. Secondly, the author inserts several personal anecdotes directly tied into the information discussed, but without turning the points made into a personal response, while still giving credence to the Palestinian perspective. This brings me to a related point: The author is never shy to point out how the Palestinians have contributed to their own obstacles in achieving what any peoples would want for themselves. Certainly, the author points out "bad deeds" by what most Americans would assume would be "good people" concerning the "Palestinian problem," but the author struck me as very much a realist searching for honest analysis. Sadly, he seems to see little light at the end of the tunnel. I might add that the book breaks down the Palestinian struggle into several periods of what I will just call very hard times. Previous, to this book, I had already read what would be just one section of what is covered in this one. That, along with multiple other sources, provided me with enough data and analysis to take what this author says very seriously. I find it sad that most Americans will not have a clue of most of what is mentioned in this book, because, well, the PR by the opposition has been so good as to not make it worth most people's effort to try to know. Recommended.
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LibraryThing member RajivC
This book may be one of the best modern books you will read on Palestine. While I have been up in arms about the recent genocidal behaviour of the Israelis, I had also a smattering of understanding of the apartheid regime of Israel.
It is easy to allow emotion to blind you. However, when you read
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this book, you realise the genuine horror of the situation. Rashid Khalidi lived through some of the bombing, yet wrote a balanced, well-researched book. He does not spare the Palestinian authorities for their incompetence, nor does he spare the Arabic countries for their almost useless approach to the problem.
However, it becomes clear that the Americans have allowed the Israelis free hand. It is also clear that Israel owns American political strategy in the Middle-East.
Excellent companion books to this one are "The General's Son," Orientalism, "Culture and Colonialism." When you read the latter three books, you will understand the cultural context of the Palestinian problem, the genocide and apartheid.

Meanwhile, read this book. The scholarly, readable book does not conceal his pain.
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LibraryThing member KallieGrace
Very well documented and presented, and absolutely gut-wrenching. I was brought up in a conservative household where Zionism didn't have a name but was absolutely the way of thinking. I never fully understood why we were so invested in Israel as they seemed to be the bully of the area, and now that
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I've read the history of the area I am even more flabbergasted that there are Zionists at all. War crimes and genocidal strategies have been their game for decades, so listening to officials say there is no evidence of them in this massacre is nearly laughable. Freedom for Palestine.
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Cundill History Prize (Longlist — 2020)
Palestine Book Award (Shortlist — 2020)


Original language


Original publication date



1250787653 / 9781250787651

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