The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland
What is a homeland? When does it become a national territory? Why have so many people been willing to die for such places throughout the twentieth century? What is the essence of the Promised Land? Following the acclaimed and controversial "The Invention of the Jewish People", Shlomo Sand examines the mysterious sacred land that has become the site of the longest-running national struggle of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The Invention of the Land of Israel deconstructs the age-old legends surrounding the Holy Land and the prejudices that continue to suffocate it. The invention of the modern concept of the 'Land of Israel' in the nineteenth century, he argues, not only facilitated the colonization of the Middle East and the establishment of the State of Israel, it is also what is threatening Israel's existence today.
His achievement consists in debunking a nationalist mythology which holds sway in large sections of popular opinion. It also normalises Jews, since it challenges the belief in exceptionalism... Truth-telling may be painful but necessary. -Donald Sassoon, Guardian
Anyone interested in understanding the contemporary Middle East should read this book. -Tony Judt, In praise of The Invention of the Jewish People
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