From Coexistence to Conquest

From Coexistence to Conquest : International Law and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1891-1949

3.77 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
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This book shows how the Arab-Israeli conflict developed by looking beyond the legality argument to the men behind the policies.

It argues that Zionism was adopted by the British Government in its 1917 Balfour Declaration, primarily as a way to control immigration.

The book places the violent reaction of the Palestinians to mass Jewish immigration in the context of Zionism, and revisits the controversies over the question of self-determination, and the partition of Palestine.

Arguing that Israel was created through an act of conquest and subjugation, the book concludes with a sobering analysis of the conflict arguing that neither Jews nor Arabs were to blame for starting it.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 456 pages
  • 150 x 230 x 27.94mm | 657.71g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 8 colour maps
  • 0745325785
  • 9780745325781
  • 491,064

Table of contents







1. Anti-Semitism, Colonialism and Zionism

2. Palestine and the Scramble for the Middle East

3. Arab Opposition to Political Zionism

4. The Hussein-McMahon Correspondence

5. The Question of Self-Determination

6. The Partition of Palestine

7. The Arab-Israeli Conflict

8. The Palestinian Refugees

9. The Creation of Israel


List of Individuals




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Review quote

Detailed and well-researched, powerful and controversial' -- Elliot Shackleford, Berkeley Journal of International Law 'This is a book that students of the Israel / Palestine question will find impossible to ignore' -- John McHugo, Executive Member of The Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU) 'Lucid and Scholarly work. Kattan explains how Jews and Palestinians were tragically caught up in the net of Great Power politics. His critique of Zionism, while robust, fully acknowledges the oppression that the Jews of Europe suffered through antisemitism, a subject that he treats with sensitivity and insight ... This book could contribute to its resolution' -- Brian Klug, Senior Research Fellow and Tutor, St. Benet's Hall, University of Oxford. 'A well-researched and extremely informative book... One of the best on the subject' -- Dr Anis al-Qasem, former Chairman of the Legal Committee of the Palestinian National Council 'Differing historical narratives and competing legal claims have characterised the Palestinian issue for over a hundred years. Victor Kattan gives them new meaning in his excellent study, which contains much new historical material and many new legal insights' -- John Dugard, Professor of Public International Law Emeritus, Leiden University and UN Special Rapporteur to the Occupied Palestinian Territories 2000-2008 'Offers a fresh analysis of a conflict with far-reaching implications for the region and beyond. ... A welcome addition to the search for a peace in the Middle East with human dignity for all its peoples at its centre' -- His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan

'An elegant and forceful narrative by a young Palestinian scholar' -- Boutros Boutros Ghali, Former UN Secretary-General
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About Victor Kattan

Victor Kattan is a Teaching Fellow at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is Assistant Editor of the Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law and is the author of From Coexistence to Conquest (Pluto, 2009).
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Rating details

9 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 22% (2)
4 56% (5)
3 11% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 11% (1)
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