Under the Cover of War is an important resource for anyone seeking to understand the full story of the 1948 Palestine war and the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Rosemarie Esber meticulously documents and poignantly recounts the first phase of the Zionist conquest of Palestine and the expulsion of the indigenous Palestinians—an estimated 84 percent were children under 15, pregnant and nursing mothers, the elderly, and the infirm.
As this compelling history shows, the human tragedy of Palestine’s ethnic cleansing entailed the demonization of the Palestinian Arabs, the incitement of violence by Jewish nationalist leaders, and a weak response from an apathetic international community. War provided a cover for systematic expulsions and the founding of the State of Israel on Palestinian land, while British colonial officials did little but watch.
An array of unpublished military and diplomatic sources supports the Palestinians’ own account of their Nakba (catastrophe or disaster), based on new, original refugee interviews. This little-known story of human suffering makes a convincing case that redressing Palestinian losses is vital for regional and world peace.
Rosemarie M. Esber, PH.D, is a researcher and writer with degrees from the University of London and The Johns Hopkins University.