The Fedayeen Emerge is a comprehensive account of Palestinian conflicts that occurred during the decade following the 1949 ceasefire agreements between the new nation of Israel and its neighbors: Jordan and Egypt. The term "fedayeen" covered any person who infiltrated Israel's borders during the 1950s having economic, political, or destructive goals. Infiltrations were a form of Arab protest which in turn participated retaliatory acts from Israel. Early on, Palestinian refugees might cross the border from the West Bank of Jordan or the Gaza strip simply to harvest their crops planted prior to the UN decision. With Israel's determination to keep their borders intact, its soldiers fired on any trespasser. Israeli reactions, and later retaliatory raids across the border killing infiltrators in their homes, convinced the Palestinians that the new nation was seeking to expand its territory. At this point fedayeen activities took on political goals. For example, Egypt began sending spies with the Palestinians to protect Gaza security. Jordan had encouraged, without success, that displaced people accept resettlement. Now, Jordan trained and armed the Palestinians to defend themselves. This back and forth harassment period ended in 1956 with Israel's Sinai campaign. Afterwards, Arab organizations arose to continue the anti-Israel efforts of the fedayeen.
Well-researched with 150 pages of End Notes, the book quotes Arab leaders and newspapers to document thinking that prevailed over this decade. Each group had a different view of who was to blame—from Arab to Israel leaders to imperialist America or Britain—and how best to diffuse the situation with the least deadly results. This is a well-written and informative look which involves the reader poignantly with how noble people groups attempted to deal with their great and tragic loss. This fair account encourages the reader to draw personal conclusions that one day may help bring about a peaceful solution.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review