Essay on Iron Cage

2038 Words Nov 21st, 2010 9 Pages
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…
Eventually, even al-Husayni could not ignore the disaffection of the situation, and he too dissented, by joining the ranks of dissidents opposing the British backed Zionist regime.
Khalidi appropriately begins chapter three, by picking up where chapter two left off- highlighting the infectiveness of the Palestinian leadership. Early on in the chapter, the importance of factionalism within the leadership takes precedence, and the two prominent groups of the time are denoted: al-Husayni and al-Nashashibi. Khalidi goes onto give background on the two competing factions, and the reader learns that both parties had previous ties to the ruling political apparatus of the former Ottoman Empire. Unabashedly, both parties vied for power, because of their inherent belief of superiority to that of the average Palestinian. Playing right into the British and Zionist hands, the divide can conquer technique of pinning the leadership against each other, denied an effective campaign to be waged that could counter the status quo.
Safe to say, the leaders of the Palestinian opposition were riddled by bribes and back room deals, which essentially made them quintessential puppets that could easily be controlled. Furthermore, Palestinian leadership largely functioned under a modus operandi, based upon wishful thinking, believing the British/Zionist movement would suddenly come to its senses and return the land to Palestinians. The failure of the
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