A history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict told from the Palestinian perspective, arguing the period since the Balfour Declaration of 1917 has amounted to 100 years of colonial war against the Palestinians.
All of this can read like a chronicle of never-ending struggle ... But Khalidi’s book is also an act of historical recovery ... With more than 400 citations, The Hundred Years’ War is one of the best-researched general surveys of 20th and early 21st century Palestinian life, but it’s also a deeply personal work. To an outsider, Khalidi’s many references to his family’s experience may feel excessive, especially given that it was among the most prominent families in Palestine. But for a people whose history is all but criminalized, this act of retelling is itself a form of resistance, and to his credit, Khalidi takes pains to decry a patriarchal and centralized Palestinian leadership that persists to this day. While capturing the social history, Khalidi is careful not to lose sight of the realpolitik of movement building, showing how the most successful moments of Palestinian resistance occurred at those junctures where Israel’s interests came into tension with core Western ones.
[Khalidi] skillfully balances his professional analysis of historical and diplomatic documents with insights of his own and his relatives who had leadership roles throughout the 20th century ... Highly recommended as a valuable and accurate presentation of a century of struggle between Jews and Palestinians seeking to build a nation on the same territory, vastly unequal in resources and efficacy. Khalidi weaves his personal and family perspective into his academic study.
Khalidi is one of the world’s foremost academic scholars on the topic of Palestinian identity and nationalism. Beyond its provocative title and occasional sharp insight, however, his Hundred Years’ War on Palestine feels a rather thin achievement ... While many of Khalidi’s insights are thought-provoking, their persuasiveness is undermined at times by a tendency to shave the rhetorical corner ... There is also a slipperiness to some of his formulations ... the bigger weakness of this book, to my mind, can be distilled to a simple question: Where does it get you? Even if one fully accepts Khalidi’s colonialist thesis, does that move us any closer to some kind of resolution? This may seem an unfair criticism. After all, it is not incumbent on a historian to offer up possible remedies — except this is the closing task Khalidi sets for himself. It is also where his insights become noticeably threadbare ... even if the Israel-Palestine conflict is to be viewed through a colonial lens, it no longer fits any colonial precedent ... In its stead, Khalidi’s notions for an eventual settlement take on an increasingly fantastic quality.