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Paradise and Dreams in Palestine and the Land of Israel: Jews, Palestinians, and the Coming of the 1948 War

April 24, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Paradise and Dreams in Palestine and the Land of Israel:
Jews, Palestinians, and the Coming of the 1948 War
On the night of November 29, 1947 the United Nations decided to partition Palestine, thus granting the Zionist movement a tremendous political victory. But there was nothing preordained about it. The paper tells two intertwined stories. One is about contingency: how did a marginal national movement that settled in a land in the Ottoman Empire, Zionism, succeed at all in gaining political rights in the post-1945 era against the will of the majority population? The other is about continuity: the practice and imagination of the Zionists to build their life separately from that of the Palestinians. When war approached in 1947, what did Zionists dream about when they dreamt about Jews and Palestinians in the Land of Israel?
Alon Confino is Pen Tishkach Chair of Holocaust Studies at the departments of history and Jewish Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he is the director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies. His last book is A World Without Jews: The Nazi Imagination from Persecution to Genocide (Yale University Press, 2014), for which he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. He spent last year at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at Washington, DC working on his current book on 1948 in Palestine, which crafts two narratives: one is based on the experience of Palestinians, Jews, and British based on letters, diaries, and oral history, and the second is placing 1948 within global perspective of decolonization, self-determination, forced migrations, partitions, and the post-1945 international order.


April 24, 2018
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Georgetown University Institute for Global History