Palestine and Israel: Facts and Opinions

Presentation at the Radcliffe Institute by Oded Goldreich

The following document was prepapred by Oded Goldreich towards a private presentation of Facts and Opinions regarding the Israeli-Palestine conflict at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies.

The document is available in PDF and PostScript formats.

Disclaimer: I'm neither a historian nor a political scientist. I'm merely interested in history and politics (with a special natural focus on the ones of Israel). Nothing I write below is original (except maybe my mistakes). It is all based on things I read (but I don't remember any reference (because I tend to remember only what is important to me)). On the other hand, I might have misunderstood or distorted the things I read. Needless to say, this text provides an over-simplified account of the history and the current situation. Many crucial issues are ignored, and those discussed are presented in an over-simplified manner. I did try to make clear distinctions between facts and opinions, and to state the level of my confidence about them.

Provenance: I am defined to be a Jewish citizen of Israel. This means that the State of Israel defines me as belonging to the Jewish nationality, based on the fact that I am Jewish according to the Jewish Religious Law. Actually, I am an atheist. More importantly for our discussion, I am not a Zionist (i.e., I do not subscribe to the State Ideology of Israel).

P.S. (April 2017): The title and preface of Section 11 are inaccuarate. I meant to say that this histography was not available to me and to other English readers. But even that was inaccurate, since a relevant book by Baruch Kimmerling and Joel Migdal has appeared at the very year I wrote my essay (see The Palestinian People, Harvard U. Press, ISBN 9780674011298). I also wish to stress that the historical distortions listed in Section 10 are merely few examples that are far from exhausting the list, and that I have focused on the acient history since the distortions of the recent history are far more obvious and better known.

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