Postcolonial theory is one of the main frameworks for thinking about the world and acting to change the world. Arising in academia and reshaping humanities and social sciences disciplines, postcolonial theory argues that our ideas about foreigners, ‘the other,’ particularly our negative ideas about them, are determined not by a true will to understand, but rather by our desire to conquer, dominate, and exploit them. According to postcolonial theory, the cause of poverty, tyranny, and misery in the world, and of failed societies around the world, is Euro-American imperialism and colonialism.

Previously published as a special issue of Israel Affairs, this work examines and challenges postcolonial theory. In scholarly, research-based papers, the specialist authors examine various facets of postcolonial theory and application. First, the theoretical assumption and formulations of postcolonial theory are scrutinized and found dubious. Second, the deleterious impact on academic disciplines of postcolonial theory is demonstrated. Third, the distorted postcolonial view of history, its obsession with current events to the exclusion of the historical basis of events, is exposed and corrected. Fourth, an examination of Middle Eastern culture challenges the assumption that these societies have been shaped entirely, and victimized, by Western intrusion. Finally, exploring the Arab-Israel conflict, the one-sided case of postcolonial Arabism is explored and found to be faulty.

chapter |11 pages


ByDonna Robinson Divine

chapter |16 pages

Postcolonialism and the Utopian Imagination

ByRonald Niezen

chapter |11 pages

Postcolonial Theory and the Ideology of Peace Studies

ByGerald M. Steinberg

chapter |9 pages

The Missing Piece: Islamic Imperialism

ByEfraim Karsh

chapter |18 pages

Negating the Legacy of Jihad in Palestine

ByAndrew G. Bostom

chapter |7 pages

Arab Culture and Postcolonial Theory

ByPhilip Carl Salzman

chapter |13 pages

Postcolonial Theory and the History of Zionism

ByGideon Shimoni

chapter |14 pages

The Middle East Conflict and its Postcolonial Discontents

ByDonna Robinson Divine