Cover image for Encyclopedia of the Palestinians
Encyclopedia of the Palestinians
Mattar, Philip, 1944-
Publication Information:
New York : Facts on File, [2000]

Physical Description:
xi, 514 pages : maps ; 29 cm.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS113.6 .E53 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
DS113.6 .E53 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

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The scholarship and the balanced nature of a controversial, highly partisan issue are what make this volume important and useful to students of current events. The articles are clear and accessible, and discuss the political movements, arts, customs, and individuals that have made an impact on the

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Mattar, coeditor of the well-received Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East (1996), directs the Institute for Palestine Studies, an independent nonprofit research and publication center not affiliated with any political organization or government. IPS promotes analysis and documentation on the Arab-Israeli conflict and its peaceful resolution and publishes quarterlies in English, Arabic, and French. The aim of this encyclopedia is to provide a readable, complete resource on significant topics in Palestinian history and society during the late Ottoman era, British rule, and post-1948 period. The 320 alphabetically arranged articles are signed, although the affiliations of the 48 American, Palestinian, and Israeli contributors are not given. Michael Fischbach, one of the frequent contributors, has published extensively on the Middle East; other contributors' writings can be found in the bibliographies at the end of some entries or in the 14-page annotated general bibliography. Approximately one-third of the entries are biographical, and the rest cover politics, events, geography, economics, culture, organizations, conferences, and documents. Cross-references are indicated in small caps within the articles. The writing is clear, concise, and objective, providing both details and the larger picture. The importance of the topic generally determines the length. Women is comprehensive and balanced. The entry on Edward Said, a prominent intellectual, is overlong, as it covers his writings beyond Palestinian matters. Objectivity is shown in discussions of criticism by other Palestinian leaders of the autocratic leadership of Yasir Arafat, human rights violations by Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and the reasons the Mufti of Jerusalem failed. Biographical entries provide the year of birth (sometimes not definite), city of birth (or location, such as refugee camp), and year of death. Entries on several families reflect continuity of leadership and professional attainments through generations. The work is quite current, noting some events that occurred in early 1999. A 10-page chronology covers events from 638 to May 1999. The work succeeds in succinctly and impartially conveying the facts of Palestinian history and society. As peace evolves in the Middle East, it will be a valuable resource for general and advanced users.

Library Journal Review

The Palestine conflict has been at the core of the Arab-Israeli dispute for over half a century. There are numerous fine books on various aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Palestinian issues have received extensive media coverage throughout the world. Yet misperceptions about the Palestinian people and their history abound in both popular and, to some extent, scholarly circles in the West. The editor, a Jerusalem-born Palestinian American, is the executive director of the American branch of the Institute for Palestine Studies and deputy director of the Journal of Palestine Studies. In this solid reference work, the editor and approximately 50 other scholars have put together extremely useful entries on all aspects of historical and contemporary issues affecting the Palestinian people. The topics covered include politics, culture, society, history, economics, and geography. Also included are significant events and biographies of important individuals whose lives have shaped the contours of modern Palestinian history. This encyclopedia will remain a definitive work on Palestine for years to come. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.--Nader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This revised edition has been updated and expanded to reflect rapidly changing diplomatic, political, and military events. The focus remains Palestinian history, politics, and society from the late Ottoman period to the present. Coverage of cultural and religious topics is less complete. New entries include the Camp David Summit of 2000, al-Aqsa Intifada, the barrier, Taba 2001, and the Geneva Accord. Biographical entries have been added and updated. The entry for Yasir Arafat now covers the period of his confinement and death, with a new assessment of his leadership. Most entries are followed by short bibliographies, revised to include recent publications. This edition retains a chronology, an annotated bibliography, and the text of 50 key documents. Photographs have been included to illustrate important people and places, and maps have been improved. An effort to use impartial terminology makes some topics difficult to locate. What Israelis call the "separation fence" and Palestinians call the "wall" is listed under "barrier." One expects to find the Second Intifada listed under Intifada, but instead is led to "AL-Aqsa Intifada." However, since the definite article "al" is not indexed, the entry is found under Aqsa Intifada. Despite these minor inconveniences, the articles are accessible to the general reader and detailed enough for the advanced student. This remains the most objective reference compendium to treat Palestinian history as a subject in its own right. Libraries holding the first edition should acquire the new one. Professionals working in Middle Eastern studies, nonprofit organizations, and consular officials will want this in their libraries. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Academic libraries serving undergraduate and graduate programs; professionals/practitioners. S. M. Estelle-Holmer Yale Divinity School



The Palestinian people and their region are continually in the news and at the forefront of international diplomacy. Yet much about their history remains obscure. The Encyclopedia of the Palestinians objectively details the historical and political factors behind such controversial topics as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Coverage concentrates primarily on the modern era--from the beginning of the late Ottoman period to the present. The ancient and medieval history of the region is also explored. Led by Philip Mattar, Ph.D. andexecutive director of the Institute for Palestinian Studies, a distinguished group of 50 scholars and regional experts has contributed more than 350 alphabetically arranged articles to create this book. These fully cross-referenced entries cover: • Politics: National Bloc Party, Palestinian National Charter, Palestinian National Council, Reform Party, United Nations and the Palestinians, Liberal Party, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine • Excerpted from Encyclopedia of the Palestinians All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.