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The book to understand the Middle East
Posted By Joseph Farah On 11/14/2013 @ 7:55 pm In Commentary,Opinion | No Comments
Editor’s note: Joseph Farah, along with “The Harbinger” author Jonathan Cahn, is leading a tour of 400 in Israel through Nov. 17. All of his columns during this period will focus on the big issues facing Israel – along with some shocking facts you won’t find anywhere else.
People often ask me if I have written a book on the Middle East.
The answer is no.
Though I am as well-known for my Middle East reporting and punditry as any other topic, I have never been comfortable with the idea of writing a book on the subject.
The reason is simple.
The book I would write on the Middle East has already been written – and with far more painstaking research and clarity than I could do myself.
It’s called “From Time Immemorial: Origins of Arab-Jewish Conflict” by my friend Joan Peters.
“From Time Immemorial,” the product of seven years of original research, helped, at least briefly, to change the terms of the debate about the conflicting claims of the Arabs and the Jews in the Middle East.
Peters documented the complex history of the region and in so doing deftly and authoritatively contradicted common misperceptions about the role and strategy of each side of the struggle. According to Peters, part of the problem in getting the truth out about the Mideast are the restrictions the Arab powers – including the Palestinian Authority – have placed on the media.
However, “Israel has a free press,” Peters explains. “Everything bad you can write about Israel is welcome in Israel. In fact, the Israeli press has been arguably the source of most of the anti-Israeli material in the world. They have many more papers that are what we would call anti-Israel than they have pro-Israel.”
Peters observes that the Arab leaders have intentionally perpetuated the “refugee problem” to strengthen their hand against Israel – to create a scapegoat so that their own people do not recognize who their real oppressor is.
“There were many recommendations by American and foreign presidents and prime ministers to solve the Arab refugee problem. As the Arabs said in the Arab League at that time, ‘We want to keep this as an open sore and use these people as a pawn against Israel.’”
You probably won’t find “From Time Immemorial” in your local bookstore. It was published many years ago. Yet, history doesn’t change. Truth remains the same. This well-documented work is as fresh today as it was when it was written back in the 1970s. And, fortunately, for the public, we keep our online store well-stocked with freshly reprinted copies all the time.
There are actually two books I recommend people read if they truly want to understand the history of the Middle East. Start with the Bible. And after that, read “From Time Immemorial.” These two books are the beginning of understanding the complexities of the most troublesome region in the world today – and probably for many years to come.
I’m often asked why there is so much confusion over the Middle East. It’s probably because most people haven’t read the Bible and this book by Joan Peters.
Even many Israelis don’t know this history. Most Jews don’t. It’s ironic, some have suggested, that it takes a Christian American reporter of Arabic heritage like me and an American reporter like Joan Peters to tell the whole truth – the unvarnished, unrevised history of the Middle East.
It’s never too late, though, to learn the important lessons of history. In fact, there has never been a time when it has been so critical that we learn them.
Buy yourself a copy of “From Time Immemorial.” Read it. Devour it. Reread it. Embrace the history. Pass it on to others who need to know the truth. Send a copy to President Obama, to your congressman, to members of the Knesset.
Because if we don’t learn the lessons of history, we are surely doomed to repeat its mistakes.
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