Iron Cage Essay

Words: 2039
Pages: 9

In chapter one of The Iron Cage, Rashid Khalidi sets the stage for the premise of his book, by examining the conflicting evidence of the Palestinians’ plight. In order to do so, the narrative begins in 1948, following the eviction of more than half of the Arab Palestinian population as a result of the Arab – Israel conflict of that year. Khalidi goes on to enumerate a few of the respective differing Arab and Israel accounts of how it was that a people that once constituted the majority of the population of a land, became the minority. Revisionist Israeli historians have attempted to debunk traditional accounts that absolve Israel of any wrongdoing, such as the notion that Palestinians attacked the yishuv first, by looking at the newly …show more content…
Although ultimately ineffective, the Istiqlal party was the first consorted Palestinian political group to provide a beacon of hope for the masses.
In Chapter four, Khalidi emphasizes the significance of both the 1936-39 revolts, and the war that took place in 1948. In 1936 a Palestinian led strike took place, which boycotted “British and Zionist-controlled parts of the economy.” The strike was followed by an armed revolt that accomplished British withdrawal from important cities. The initial Palestinian victories however were short lived, because yet again, Palestinians lacked strong political and military structures. The Arab resistance brought with it harsh repercussions, because British forces retaliated by “blowing up homes, destroying crops, and executions.” Moreover, Palestinian leadership was thrown into further disarray, because of deaths and formed splits, among those committed to continuing the fight, and others who wanted to submit. The Jewish minority emboldened by the fragile Arab position, took advantage by expanding the “Jewish economic sector, as well as strengthening Zionist military formations.” The British despite repelling the threat, realized that a change in Palestinian policy was perhaps necessary, and so opted to negotiate. The issuance of a document known as the White Paper, said to give concessions to the Palestinians was offered, yet the Mufti ultimately rejected it.