The Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948
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Sacred Landscape by Meron Benvenisti
Book DescriptionAs a young man Meron Benvenisti often accompanied his father, a distinguished geographer, when the elder Benvenisti traveled through the Holy Land charting a Hebrew map that would rename Palestinian sites and villages with names linked to Israel's ancestral homeland. These experiences in Benvenisti's youth are central to this book, and the story that he tells helps explain how during this century an Arab landscape, physical and human, was transformed into an Israeli, Jewish state. Benvenisti first discusses the process by which new Hebrew nomenclature replaced the Arabic names of more than 9,000 natural features, villages, and ruins in Eretz Israel/Palestine (his name for the Holy Land, thereby defining it as a land of Jews and Arabs). He then explains how the Arab landscape has been transformed through war, destruction, and expulsion into a flourishing Jewish homeland accommodating millions of immigrants. The resulting encounters between two people who claim the same land have raised great moral and political dilemmas, which Benvenisti presents with candor and impartiality. Benvenisti points out that five hundred years after the Moors left Spain there are sufficient landmarks remaining to preserve the outlines of Muslim Spain. Even with sustained modern development, the ancient scale is still visible. Yet a Palestinian returning to his ancestral landscape after only fifty years would have difficulty identifying his home. Furthermore, Benvenisti says, the transformation of Arab cultural assets into Jewish holy sites has engendered a struggle over the 'signposts of memory' essential to both people. "Sacred Landscape" raises troublesome questions that most writers on the Middle East avoid. The now-buried Palestinian landscape remains a symbol and a battle standard for Palestinians and Israelis. But it is Benvenisti's continuing belief that Eretz Israel/Palestine has enough historical and physical space for the people of both nations and that it can one day be a shared homeland.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520234222
(229mm x 152mm x 25mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 6-Feb-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Meron Benvenisti
Son of the Cypresses, Hardback (April 2007)
Meron Benvenisti, internationally known author and columnist, Jerusalem native, and scion of Israel's founders, was born in Palestine in 1934 to a Sephardic father and an Ashkenazi mother. Part memoir and part political polemic, this title combines Benvenisti's own story through the story of Israel, presenting an account of pre-state Jerusalem.
Abu Ghraib, Paperback (December 2004)
Nine essaysists tackle what the prison abuse scandal means for America now and in the future and what it says about how Americans see themselves and how they are percieved by others.
City of Stone, Paperback (October 1998)
Jerusalem is more than a holy city built of stone. Domain of Muslims, Jews, and Christians, Jerusalem is a perpetual contest, and its shrines, housing projects, and bulldozers compete in a scramble for possession. This book presents a history of the city that does not fall prey to any one version of its past.
Intimate Enemies, Hardback (September 1995)» View all books by Meron Benvenisti
Argues that there are Israeli Jews and Palestinians who can envision an undivided land, where attachment to a common homeland is stronger than militant tribalism and segregation in national ghettos.
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Author Biography - Meron Benvenisti
Meron Benvenisti was deputy mayor of Jerusalem from 1971 to 1978, and is currently a columnist for Haaretz, Israel's largest newspaper. He is the author of Conflicts and Contradictions (1986) Intimate Enemies (California, 1995), and City of Stone (California, 1996).
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