Keith Whitelam says that the book undertaking has to confront immense obstructions to what can be called a “ missive of Biblical surveies ” , and that he must get the better of this discourse is portion of a complex web of scientific surveies as defined by Edward “ the Orientalist discourse ” . Biblical surveies has ignored the history of Palestine and silenced it because the country of involvement of these surveies is that of antediluvian Israel that were understood and portrayed as the beginning of Western civilisation. The research has consumed in the issue of Ancient Israel a immense rational potency of immense stuff resources as the writer says in our universities, colleges of divinity, spiritual schools, seminars and particular effects sections in America, Europe, Israel and the same applies to secular universities. They have intentionally marginalized and did non let to-date the presence of old Palestinian history, and so there was the innovation of “ Ancient Israel ” , which took control of the Biblical surveies since its origin. The apprehension of the history of antediluvian Israel is indispensable for understanding the Hebrew Bible, which was devoted to the alleged the missive of Biblical surveies, and is an overlapping web with strong thoughts and averments that are believed by its practicians as the consequence of scientific surveies of substance, while they are in fact merely an exercising of power, and any effort to dispute narratives planted strongly are likely to be rejected on the bases of their ideological motivations, hence, they are non considered acceptable.
The writer besides indicates that the biggest obstructions against the accomplishment of the ancient history of Palestine are that even if it is freed from the restrictions of Biblical surveies, it still remains the preserve of Western scientific discipline. Edward Said has pointed to the strong relationship between civilization and imperialism in the development of prospective and Western novels. He besides highlighted that what was missing is the reading in a comparative manner of Palestinian history from the non-Western point of view. The outgrowth of a modern Palestinian individuality and look of self-government has focused on modern history and non on the ancient history. The Palestinian history was meant merely for the last two centuries and with its battle with the Zionist motion, whereas the ancient history has remained the preserve of Israel and was presented from the point of view of a Western, Orientalist and Zionism as the old look about the modern province and its Judaic people. Conclusively, Whitelam does non see this survey a history of Palestine, but it shows how the Biblical Studies put obstructions in forepart of completion of the history to day of the month ( Whitelam, 1996, pp. 1-10 )
Chapter 1: Partial texts and fractured histories
In the first chapter, Whitelam discussed the issue of prejudice in historical texts and that history is written by the powerful parties. The perceptual experience of the yesteryear is posed with troubles, and non merely because of ambiguity of historical information and its deficit, but because the re-building of history, yesteryear or nowadays, whether in authorship or verbally, is a primary political work. What is involved in the re-building of antediluvian Israel, the elements of political, cultural and spiritual have played a polar function in this building. Furthermore, the writer discussed several thoughts and sentiments of historiographers who wrote about ancient Israel ; nevertheless, their Hagiographas were affected by the discourse of scriptural Hagiographas, but besides were to the full biased to them. After the writer ‘s refute to the places of historiographers and their prejudice to the Biblical discourse, he briefly said:
“ Clearly, an of import component in our effort to understand ‘ancient Israel ‘ and the historical entities, though normally mute, is the political relations of history, the manner in which political attitudes and positions define the docket and strongly act upon the result of the historiographer ‘s hunt – an docket and hunt which frequently presents us with, to utilize Eden ‘s phrase, ‘a partial text ‘ . In the instance of scriptural surveies it has focused upon and, to a big extent, invented an entity, ‘ancient Israel ‘ , while disregarding the world of Palestinian history as a whole ”
Then the writer gave several illustrations to stress the prejudice of history and its politicization. One of the biggest illustrations was what the European nation-states did, get downing from the industrial revolution onwards, from the constitution of national histories to warrant its topographic point in the universe. This applies peculiarly to Britain, where the yesteryear has taken an even more focussed form with a modern significance as a beginning of political symbols and ideals. In return, the writer gave other illustrations of states that were under colonialism and did non win in understanding their yesteryear and nowadays through reshaping of its history as what happened with India. They are in the terminal, despite the rejection of the novels about the British colonial history, accepted the theoretical accounts developed by the British scientific research tendencies, as they even accepted the division of Indian history to the Hindu, Islamic, and the British epoch. These divisions became synonymous with the antediluvian, medieval, and modern history. The illustrations of India and Britain that were proposed by Whitelam, confirm the fact that most of the modern nation-states have made great attempts in their quest to understand the yesteryear. The official narratives of the state stress certain facets of national individuality, which at the same clip deny a voice to alternate narratives. Israel, like other modern nation-states, has made enormous attempt and money in the hunt for its ancient history.
Furthermore, the Zionist motion, through the re-writing of the yesteryear, focused on that day of the month in which takes the signifier of the incorporate national entity that seeks for a national country of the land, which is besides fighting to keep the national individuality through the historical crises. However, the Zionist motion that emerged in the 19th century after the rise of the European state ‘s motion has systematically claimed that its historic mission in footings of a return to an empty, desert barren, the land that is expecting the reaching of the European engineering to organize it to a land that is eligible for life and thrive. Therefore, the writer captured the modern province of Israel as an built-in portion of the civilised universe and as the lone democracy in the Middle East. After all, the writer finds that the concerns of Biblical surveies, particularly with respect to the nature of historical research, need to be understood within the context of political and cultural context. However, he pointed that the Biblical surveies discourses must be placed within the broader Orientalist discourse ( ibid: 11-36 ) .
Chapter 2: Denying infinite and clip to Palestinian history
In this chapter, the writer negotiations about the denial of the Palestinian clip and topographic point. Biblical surveies have manipulated different names for the topographic point in order to function its political intents by confabulating legitimacy and authorization on the topographic point. The writer besides refers to the relationship of the political events in Palestine to the struggles on the topographic point ; for which the long Israeli business on the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian Intifada and the Palestinian battle for self-government and for deriving a fatherland of their ain, all made these footings something controversial. However, the tensenesss that occurred after the 1993 Oslo understanding between the two parties led to the increasing importance and significance of the topographic point and the quandary of definition. The issue of Palestine and the Palestinian history in analogue to Israel and the Israeli history, can non be separated from the modern-day allegations every bit good as the counter-claims relating to the yesteryear. The Biblical surveies invested a surprising figure of looks to denote the part, such as, the ‘Holy Land ‘ , ‘the land of the Bible ‘ , ‘Eretz Israel ‘ or ‘the land of Israel ‘ , ‘Judah ‘ , ‘Canaan ‘ , ‘Cisjordan ‘ , ‘Syro-Palestine ‘ , ‘Palestine ‘ , and ‘the Levant ‘ . With regard to many of the nucleus work in the geographical history and the historical surveies on the part, it seems that all of these looks are synonymous to the normal reader, and even impersonal. However, the naming of land implies control on that land, such as, ‘Levant ‘ , ‘Middle East ‘ , ‘Near East ‘ , bespeaking a Europocentric construct for the universe. Through the writers ‘ reappraisal of many Biblical surveies, the writer believes that Palestine is being treated as shorthand for the benefit of the “ Promised Land ” , to denote to the state of Israel, for which the land is non a fatherland for the Palestinians or for autochthonal peoples. Choosing the term “ fatherland ” takes a dual significance in the visible radiation of the usage of this look in the Balfour Declaration. Besides, surveies imagine the land as waste and empty, where Palestine provides to the reader merely as “ a scene of Israel ‘s history ” . Nonetheless, Palestine becomes populated and relevant in merely one instance, which is the realisation of the promise and the entry of Israel into the scene.
As for the clip, it is merely as the topographic point where it is a political construct and a power tool used by the political orientation. In add-on, clip has been exploited by Biblical surveies to deny periodical facts of the Palestinian history. However, the ancient Palestinian history and clip have been efficaciously denied. But besides, it became capable to the dictatorship of the Biblical clip by the division of the Hebrew Bible to inactive periods. This division was the chief factor that set the class of the Biblical surveies discourse. The division of the part was professionally done ; for which there was the phase of parents, so the invasion and colony, followed by the stage of David and Solomon unified lands, the detached lands of Israel and Judah, so in expatriate, and after that, the reform. On this footing, the part ‘s history becomes the history of the characters and cardinal events in the scriptural heritage, which is a traditional hunt for major characters and alone history. The dictatorship of scriptural clip silence efficaciously the Palestinian history and this is what was supported and confirmed by Western surveies. The writer so completes rebuting these allegations stating that the Biblical Studies assumed during most of the 20th century that the evolutionary undertaking is go throughing from the ‘Old Testament ‘ to the period between the ‘Old Testament ‘ and ‘New Testament ‘ , to make a extremum in the ‘New Testament ‘ . But this division does non hold any nexus to any historical fact, but to spiritual and theological premises about the evolutionary nature of disclosure. From this point of view, the writer believes that the Palestinian history should non be classified under Israeli history or scriptural times. The Palestinian history beat and manner are indispensable parts in its particular history, which in bend is portion of the universe history. Furthermore, he added that we must give attending to little communities in Palestine, every bit good as the great diverseness which is a alone state of affairs, the so called, Palestine. After all, the writer believes that the clip has come for the Palestinian history to officially reject the plan and the limitations imposed by the scriptural history ( ibid: 37-70 ) .
Chapter 3: Inventing antediluvian Israel
In this chapter, the writer believes that the Biblical surveies have fabricated and distorted the Palestinian history for the interest of functioning Israel, and they scoffed at the yesteryear in order to function the present. The writer compares between the past and present through comparing the re-building history of Israeli colony in Palestine with the political events that have prevailed in the part in the mid-twentiess of the 20th century. Peaceful migration of Jews to the land of Palestine has caused in the creative activity of the province and ruled on the local system provinces that are inefficient. In the early mid-twentiess of the 20th century, when there was the Zionism, which was basking a high national consciousness, was seeking for a national fatherland in Palestine through in-migration and colony, it was common to deny any sense of national consciousness to the Arabs of Palestine. These thoughts have spread widely despite its false, for which the sense of national promotion was taking among the Arabs of Palestine since 1880 and that in analogue with the promotion of national feeling among Jews. The misconstruing with respect to associating the national consciousness and integrity in the part with the Zionist in-migration, in add-on to what was accompanied by the debasement of local political organisations, was a widespread in the discourse of Biblical surveies.
The writer concludes that Israel ‘s history, harmonizing to Biblical surveies, starts when the Palestinian history terminals. He besides highlighted that the yesteryear is a belongings to Israel. As for the autochthonal people, either were integrated in Israel or were exterminated, they do non hold the right in that history. The searching of the antediluvian Israel, in the German and American scientific surveies, led to the fiction of this entity in a critical period of the part ‘s history, in which it is a period of passage from the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age. These struggles and differences have contributed to the silencing of the Palestinian history and the remotion of the old history. In that minute, Israel was Palestine. As for Palestine and its history, and the Palestinians clip and topographic point, all of that has been subjected to the full by Israel and its allegations in the past as was pictured by major characters in the scientific scriptural surveies in the West. Furthermore, another decision of the writer was that the geographical surveies was fabricated by its ain geographics, and that in an attempt to construct different versions of the past and these studies are strongly influenced by societal, political and spiritual factors which formed the sight of the past and present. Just as before the first Zionist colonists, the scriptural research workers tried to air the belief that Biblical surveies has been working in a political vacuity. The self-deceit continues to seek for objectiveness. Besides, the efforts to chase away the shadow of the subjective factor or the political deductions of Biblical surveies in relation to the current struggle over Palestine have merely received a hostile response ( ibid: 71-121 ) .
Chapter 4: The creative activity of an Israelite province
In chapter four, the writer speaks of the Zionist propaganda that linked the yesteryear to the present, through its accent on eligibility to ain land on the footing of historical case in point of the being of an Israeli independent province and crowned head in the part. This province claims the right to set down sing that this is the ultimate look of political development, which supersedes and transcends all other type of political organisation in the part. These ordinances are seen as the baseball diamond. These allegations are embodied in perennial marks to the historical land of Israel today. As the Israeli declaration of independency of 1948 refers to the re-establishment of the Judaic province. This look is non merely but a re-drafting of the Balfour Declaration which was announced before thirty-one old ages of the constitution of the province, the promise that talked about the constitution of a Judaic fatherland in Palestine. Thus, the modern-day Israeli province is merely reconstructing what was in the yesteryear. The scriptural bookmans and archeologists, as the writer argues, have searched for a major province in the Iron Age, which is strong, autonomous and independent, and its laminitis is King David and imagined that this State has already been found. This alleged truth has dominated on the Biblical surveies discourse during most of the 20th century, and made some room for the development of many scriptural heritage premises. This alleged fact contributed more than anything else in the silencing of the Palestinian history and was an obstruction in the face of any other alternate narratives of the yesteryear.
The fiction of antediluvian Israel has encouraged the Israeli leaders, like David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin, on the statements in assorted occasions about the legitimacy of the State of Israel, and its rights to ain land. Not merely that, but besides to spread out its rights at the disbursal of its neighbours, the Palestinians and the Arabs. In other words, the authorization Biblical Israel extended from the Nile to the Euphrates harmonizing to their claims. Furthermore, the Israeli leaders insisted in associating the past with the present through their avowal that Israel was set up for strictly defensive intents, merely David ‘s old imperium was established to support the land of Israel against the Palestinians encroachers. Israel in its war with Arab provinces do so in order to support itself, its individuality and its endurance. After that, the writer goes to an highly of import point, which is his full undeniably to the presence of the alleged “ Kingdom of David. ” In his sentiment, a major state to that bound must do major alterations in societal and political organisation, every bit good as go forthing some impact on the archeological paperss at least. The alleged imperium of David ‘s, as the writer asserts, did non go forth any remembered physical hints which were excavated and defined by professional archeologists. The writer concludes by stating that the dominant discourse on Biblical surveies is involved in the procedure of depriving Palestinian arabs of their yesteryear and the land with its uninterrupted repetition on figure of allegations associating the past with the present ; like claiming to ain land and to concentrate on corruptness, inefficiency, and the failure of the political systems of local entree to the extremum of civilisation. In add-on to that, the demand of immigrants from outside of Palestine to recognize and accomplish the potency of the land and the construct of imperial defence, every bit good as the thought of Greater Israel. The insisting on the continuity between past and nowadays is non seen merely in the context of continuity between Israel that was ruled by David and modern-day State of Israel. As for the Palestinian people, there is no construct similar to any continuity between their yesteryear and nowadays ( ibid: 122-175 ) .
Chapter 5: The go oning province
In the 5th chapter, the writer sheds a visible radiation on the new literature, or the new research for ancient Israel. The writer examines several different historiographers ‘ research, which was considered as a major challenge to the former dominant perceptual experiences. This has contributed to a important displacement in our vision and our apprehension of the nature of ancient Israel or in its presence during the passage between the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age. The contention that was aroused by this work has contributed in the re-evaluation of the early yearss of Israeli history. But the biggest challenge was the challenge of the dominant and long-standing novel, and that points that the Biblical surveies is the best and the lone mention for the survey of Israeli history in that period. Most modern work, which was mentioned by the writer, raises inquiries about the benefit of scriptural heritage to what relates to the apprehension of the outgrowth or the roots of Israel, and concentrate on this heritage, in its current signifier, explains ulterior events, and assist better understand the period of the 2nd temple in the Kingdom more than its utility in understanding Israel in the period of passage between the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age. However, these recent surveies, despite the effort to advance the thought of a Palestinian history as a subject-standing, but at the same clip, have ever been constrained by a discourse of Biblical surveies that insisted on Israel ‘s claim to the right in the yesteryear. The writer so moves on to speak about the function played by Israeli historiographers and politicians in the launch of the scriptural names for the assorted topographic points in Palestine, particularly in the West Bank, which constitute one of the hotbeds of struggle between Israel and the Palestinians. Furthermore, chapter five besides outlined that the Biblical surveies refused to acknowledge the job of the Palestinian battle for self-government or response to it. The issue of the modern-day province of Israel and its intervention to the Palestinians has been a really sensitive issue and was non raised by the discourse of the Biblical surveies. This job, in some instances, threatens to look on the surface, but each clip, it is successfully prevented. For this, Biblical surveies are involved in the procedure of eviction of the other right, the annihilation of its history, and hushing its voice ( ibid: 176-222 ) .
Chapter 6: Reclaiming Palestinian history
In this chapter, the writer asserts the battle in order to let the relation of Palestinian history represented by Walid Khalidi and Edward Said and others, to which hold failed to reconstruct the ancient yesteryear from the clasp of the West and Israel. He besides pointed that these efforts and fails should non deter the resoluteness of these surveies that attempt to reconstruct the right of the Palestinians. The cardinal characteristic in the survey of Palestinian history for this period should be investigated in the societal, environmental and economic development of colonies in the part as a whole. The outgrowth and usage of edifices with columns, garners, H2O armored combat vehicles, series of highland, and signifiers of ceramic pots, would be contrary to theories that claim that the population of these sites were bedews going on their manner to stableness. He besides added that there should be strength on field probes and hunts for the effects on the old Palestinian society to emancipate from the clasp of scriptural history even if it has to continue the Palestinian discourse. This would finally supply a more positive apprehension of the stuff and cultural accomplishments of the people of this part as a whole. The evolutionary position that have suggested solutions for the Israeli civilisation that would replace the Canaanite civilisation is a secret plan taking to the debasement of the aesthetic and cultural characteristics in the artistic effects of the utensils, dishware, porcelain, glasswork and cosmetic decorations and others, the effects of what we see in Palestine. The writer concludes by stating that it should be allowed to state the history from a different point of position. So as to accomplish this thought, it will be imperative to be free from the clasp and the restrictions of the Biblical surveies, and so claim for the location of the Palestinian history in the academic discourse in the sections of history in which was ignored on the footing that it is portion of the antediluvian Israel that is based on the Torah ( ibid: 223-237 ) .
The book was of an involvement to me because the book is really particular and taking in its content and attack. In the same clip, it is rich with information and facts through its associating the past with the hereafter. Furthermore, it is a brave book for its presentation of other point of views that are contrasting to the Biblical surveies that dominated other surveies to what relates to Palestine ‘s history and nowadays. What besides truly impressed me the most about the book is its academic work that is characterized as a excellent book and Whitelam ‘s immense daring to knock a batch of hypotheses about Israeli scriptural history. One of the chief consequences that the book concluded is that it turns the image of the historical relationship between ancient Jews and Palestinians upside down. After what the research workers did distorting the history of that period to function the political involvements related to events of modern-day history after they were wholly hushing the ancient Palestinian history and does non utilize except to the extent it relates to the old province of Israel. Whitlam confirms that ancient Judaic history is merely a portion of the ancient Canaanite or Palestinian history. Then the writer highlights the demand to resuscitate this history and analyze it as a stand-alone topic and non simply as a model for the context in which the antediluvian land of Israel appeared that the writer inquiries in its being and sees it as a fiction by research workers whose political motions and involvements are related to the present conditions.