O Jerusalem!

Formerl th major motion picture, this remarkable classic recounts, moment by moment, the spellbinding process that gave birth to the state of Israel.

Evan and Lapierre weave a brilliant tapestry of shattered hopes, fierce pride, and breathtaking valor as the Arabs, Jews, and British collide in their fight for control of Jerusalem. O Jerusalem! meticulously re-creates this historic struggle. Collins and Lapierre penetrate the battle from the nside, exploring each party 's interests, intentions, and concessions as the city of all of their dreams teeters on the brink of destruction. From the Jewish fighters and their heroic commanders to the charismatic Arab chieftain whose death in battle doomed his cause but inspired a generation of Palestinians, O Jerusalem! imagines the three-dimensional story of this high-stakes, emotional conflict. Now with a new introduction by Dominique Lapierre, O Jerusalem! remains, as ever, a towering testament to the fiery dawn of Israel and an unforgettable ale of faith and violence, of etrayal and indomitable courage.
Year of the Publication
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Original Title of the Book
O Jerusalem!
Publication Date
Published May 15th 1988 by Simon Schuster (first published 1972

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The is an account of the war for the independence of Israel which focuses on the conflic between the British and the various Jewish and Moslem armies for Jerusalem.

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A retellin of modern Israel 's birth is so innately fascinating that it could be ard to tell in a boring way.

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:) It took the writers two years to interview more than a thousand people that included the Arabs, the Jews, The Americans, and the Brits; and another three years to research and write this work.The book mainly deals with events that happen in Jerusalem.

Violence does not amaze me by itself, but eve it still does when I perceive it within the grander scheme of things happening through Earth 's history or of the Universe in its entirety.Still, I would definitely recommend this book, for its superb way of narrating history, a very engaging style; for knowing the history of the region that led to the proclamation of the State of Israel and its fight for the land; of the ufferings of the Arabs in the region; and for its authentic contents, and unbiased views of the writers.P.S.: The revised edition ( 2007) from which I read, contains 23 pages of ( New) Preface, and 16 plates of images in black and white of the writers with people at the time of writing book ( 1967-71) and during the making of its 2006 movie.

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And always, it actuall is an ongoing debate and, arguably, an unending struggle to decide who owns Jerusalem, that who has deeper roots in the ity, that who can finally claim Jerusalem as their own city – Jewish, Muslims or Christians.Even though the book doesn ’ t answer this question, it eems the only and an apt choice to name “ O Jerusalem ” as “ O Jerusalem ” .Now, like “ Freedom at Midnight ”, his book too spans over the period of a ear, here, from November 29th, 1947 to July 17th, 1948.It all started on 29th November, 1947, when UN declared the partition of Palestine among Arabs and Jews, allowing Jews, who have been struggling for centuries to have their own country, to have their own nation in their part of Palestine, after English rule would end in 1948.

This proposal was considered the only wise resolution to the thirty month of struggle between Jews and Arabs for the control of Palestine.Arabs, with hatred and abhorrence for Jews ( feelings were mutual though), couldn ’ t ven stand the thought of giving up their land to Jews, to allow them to find their nation.

And thus started the preparations for an inevitable war between Arabs and Jews.Not what the future of Palestine ’ s impending days held appeared in the streets soon after UN ’ s declaration.

Jews rejoicing the promise of their nation in the streets of Palestine, Britishers joining them, even some Arabs who have been living with their neighboring Jews for years joined the celebration.

e it Germany, where hundreds of them were killed in the horrendous way possible by infamous Hitler, or any other country like Poland and Russia, Jews have suffered, et, omehow, always survived what could have led to the extinction of a community.

And now was the time, Gurion knew, to own what they deserve.Not that Gurion was unaware of their community ’ s shortcomings; there were not enough people to combat, not enough ammunition to fight with, not enough funds to buy some, not enough allies they could rely upon for any help, not enough food and water to sustain its civilians in the coming days of war.

Possessor of enough people, enough ammunition, enough funds and enough support ( from Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon and Egypt), Arabs had everything that could perhap be needed to win war, except one thing – the passion and desire that Jews had.

Which doesn ’ t seem amusing if looked at, as one community involved in a war had its existence and survival at stake and the other had its pride.As soon as could have been ossible, both – Jews and Arabs, got engaged in arranging what they ould be needing the most in upcoming days, ammunitions and trained people.Jew ’ s community, which wasn ’ t even half of Arab ’ s, turned their weakness into strength by not restricting their army to be inclusive of just boys and men.

There ’ s reason why it is said that it took the sacrifice of an entire Jewish generation to bring a nation of theirs into existence.Golda Meir, another significant figure in the history of Israel, took into her hands for arranging funds and if it weren ’ t for her, Jews would never have gotten enough of their artillery and ammunitions and, lso, the food and water.

It was those funds that got the Jewish soldiers their jackets to survive the cold months of Palestine.But the greatest fear looming over Jews during 1947-1948 was even graver, that was of food and water.

Arabs had the neighboring countries but Jews had none, and instead, even if they decide, they couldn ’ t leave.Lives of civilians became hell living underground and in basements.

Anothe moment the proposal was accepted by both the communities, Jews knew they could finally realize their centuries-old dream, and Arabs ( some of the Arab leaders who were against accepting the ceasefire) knew they had given their enemy the opportunity of defeating them.One of the Arab leaders noted –* ‘ If we ould not defeat them when they lacked everything, how an we win when they ill have everything. ’ And as it turned out to be true, during the pause of those 30-days, Jews got everything they needed.

Ammunitions reached Israel, untrained soldiers were trained, Israeli fighter-planes took their first flight, warehouses were filled with food that wil last for a long one year.

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Two decades later, at the behes of the British Mandates political secretary, the rabidly anti-Jewish E.T Robinson, he was appointed " Mufti of Jerusalem ", the equivalent of Bishop of a tow, with Jewish and not Moslem routes, and Jewish, not Moslem plurality.Haj Amin El Husseini manipulated his way to becoming President of the Moslem Supreme Council, and in the following decade, he set himself up as an unchallenged dictator of all the Moslems in the Holy Land, through a combination of patronage and terror, in which hundred of Arab opponents and potential or suspected opponents where murdered on the orders of the Mufti, in bloody purge.In 1929, the Mufti orchestrated more violent of Jews in Palestine, covering the Land of Israel in the lood of Jewish men, omen and children.When the British finally decided to arrest him, he led to Beirut and later to Baghdad, where in 1941, he aided in a Nazi-backed plot to assassinat the British government in Iraq.

In 1943 Husseini personally influenced Reich Foreign Minister Ribbentrop to prevent four thousand Jewish children being sent to Israel, instead diverting them to Hitler 's death camps where they perished.It was the Mufti who led ` Palestinian' Arab forces against the fledgling Jewish State, and who is a much-admired uncle of PLO leader Yasser Arafat.We also learn that Haj Amin was not the only Arab terrorist to be trained in Nazi Germany, as part of the Axis war effort.

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I was amuse by the effort made by the authors to be balanced, not painting any side as being totally good or bad.A older friend of mine, Andre, was involved in the events following this war, becoming himself an officer in the Israeli army during the war of independence.

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© Nicole Waggonner