Praise for Ian Black’s Enemies and Neighbours Posted May 5, 2018 by Lawrence Joffe


On Thursday 10 May Meretz UK is hosting Ian Blackformer Middle East editor at The Guardian and now senior fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre, at a meeting held at JW3. Ian will provide invaluable insights into the seven decades that have passed since 1948, the year of Israeli independence and the Palestinian nakba. His address will draw on his much praised book

Enemies and Neighbours: Arabs and Jews and in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017 (Penguin/ Allen Lane, 2017).

See these tremendous endorsements of Enemies and Neighbours –

  • which was named by the Economist, Sunday Times, Financial Times and Guardian as one of their books of the year 2017

A remarkable book that combines sharp insight with absolute impartiality on one of the world’s most complex and intractable conflicts. Black captures the voices of the Palestinians and Israelis with equal compassion, and holds their leaders to account with equal severity. An outstanding accomplishment (Eugene Rogan, author of ‘The Arabs: A History’)

Superbly researched and highly readable. Even those who are well read on the subject will find new insights that had escaped them (Raja Shehadeh, author of ‘Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape’)

When Israeli and Palestinian historians eventually sit down together to compose a single narrative to replace their bitterly conflicting histories, they will find that Ian Black’s book has already done it for them. This brilliant, dispassionate work leaves us, curiously, optimistic – for he shows us that there is a middle ground (Meron Benvenisti, author of ‘Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948′)cover 2

In a field where one has gotten used to one-sided ‘narratives’, it is refreshing to come across a historical account that simply lays down the facts, gory and tragic as these may be. This book is a must-read for those who, still entertaining hope for a sane exit from the conflict, need to be shocked out of their stupor (Sari Nusseibeh, author of ‘Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life’)

In its fine balance of historical sweep and telling detail, in its sharp analysis of social, economic, and political forces, and in its exceptional fairness to all sides, Ian Black’s thorough and incisive history of the struggle between Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel is the book every student of this conflict should read first. A remarkable achievement. – Nathan Thrall, author of The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine

The hundred years’ war for Palestine has produced numerous books; Ian Black has written one of the finest.  Enemies and Neighbours displays an admirable ability to present this enormously complicated and tragic conflict in a lucid and riveting style—and pays unusually close attention to how both sides, Arabs and Jews, have seen it at different periods.—Tom Segev, author of One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate

Ian Black draws on decades of experience as a journalist in Palestine and Israel to offer a nuanced and thorough account of the century-old conflict over Palestine. A readable and fair assessment of why this conflict has continued unabated for so long. — Rashid Khalidi, author of Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East

This detailed and objective account of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from 1917 onwards catalogues in the most enlightening way the appalling violence and hatred that lies at the heart of today’s dangerous stalemate in the peace process. It is important, too, for the reminders of British political and moral responsibility for the failure to live up to the full promise of the Balfour Declaration. – Sir Jeremy Greenstock, former British ambassador to the United Nations