Joan Peters, Journalist Who Wrote on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Dies at 78

Historians in the News
tags: obituary, Joan Peters

Joan Peters, a journalist whose 1984 book, “From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine,” drew accolades and also outrage by arguing that claims of a historical Palestinian homeland in Israel were invented, died on Jan. 5 at her home in Chicago. She was 78.

The cause was a cerebral embolism, her husband, William Caro, said.

In her first chapter, Ms. Peters wrote that she had originally intended “From Time Immemorial” to be “solely an investigation of the current plight of the ‘Arab refugees.’ ” But over seven years of research and writing, the books’ character changed completely.

Ms. Peters cited historical documents showing that Arab settlers had flocked to Palestine beginning in the late 1800s, often drawn there by economic opportunities in areas that were being developed by Jewish settlers; they had not, she wrote, inhabited the land “from time immemorial.”

The widely accepted narrative of displaced Palestinian refugees had been created to justify the destruction of Israel, she asserted, concluding that Palestinian refugees should be absorbed by Arab nations like Jordan....

Read entire article at NYT

comments powered by Disqus