In Ishmael’s House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands by Martin Gilbert - review by Adam LeBor

Adam LeBor

The Other Naqba

In Ishmael’s House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands

By

Yale University Press 424pp £25 order from our bookshop
 

Let us accept that a great injustice has been done to the Palestinians: that they have been forced to flee their homes where they had lived for centuries, abandon their properties and businesses, and make new lives in difficult and often traumatic circumstances. Even those who apparently prosper, whether in London, New York or Beirut, are still full of inner anguish, pining secretly for the sights, smells and tastes of their homeland. Let us accept, too, that even if a viable, independent state is eventually established in the Occupied Territories, it will do little to assuage the pain of their individual losses.

All of this I believe to be true, but the Palestinians at least have a voice. Their cause is taken up by world leaders, journalists, flotillas of peace activists. The question of their future and of a just settlement with Israel, we are repeatedly told, is the crucial

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