The Israelis were shooting from one direction, the Palestinians from the other

Nathan Thrall

  • BuyThe Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine by Ben Ehrenreich
    Granta, 448 pp, £14.99, August 2016, ISBN 978 1 78378 310 6

Despite the images of hijacked planes, homemade rockets, the charred wreckage of buses and Kalashnikov-wielding militants in balaclavas, the most common form of resistance in more than a century of Zionist-Arab conflict has been unarmed – or, as Palestinians call it, ‘popular’. During the first decades of Zionist immigration to Palestine, Jews barely encountered violent opposition. Palestinians instead tried to protest by withholding co-operation, appealing to the Ottoman and British authorities to slow Zionist immigration, and refusing to sell their land. Less than 7 per cent of Palestine’s territory was Jewish-owned at the start of the 1948 war; the property that was owned by Jews had mostly been sold by absentee landlords living abroad, many of whom weren’t Palestinian.

The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.

You are not logged in