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Don't Blame It On Islam

July 16, 1989

Kelley's glowing review brings to mind another "scholarly" book. In "From Time Immemorial" (1984), a prolix Joan Peters purported to show that Palestinian Arabs--not Israeli Jews--were interlopers in Palestine. Zionists touted the book, ignoring the Israeli, British and American scholars who exposed its faulty data and specious argumentation. No matter; it did its job.

We are informed that the Arabs have not yet developed constitutional government. Voila! They deserve what they get. (Forget that most of the world, including Israel, lacks constitutional government.)

Readers should know the verdict of the London "Economist" (June 10, 1989): Pryce-Jones' book is "an anthology of almost every critical or abusive judgment of the Arabs that has been passed in the past several centuries . . . a self-contradictory work. . . ." They would be better advised to get Maxime Rodinson's "Europe and the Mystique of Islam" (new from University of Washington Press), Edward Said's "Orientalism," or "The Arabs," by The Times' own David Lamb.

ANTHONY SAIDY

LOS ANGELES

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