More than 100 people signed in on Feb. 25 to listen to a presentation by Rashid Khalidi, a Columbia University professor who is regarded as the foremost U.S. historian of the Middle East, when he spoke for a program hosted by Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Muslim & Arab Worlds and Intellectual Life Fund.

The recording of the program, “The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: Book Discussion with Dr. Rashid Khalidi,” is now posted on YouTube, where it was livestreamed. It was also livestreamed on Facebook, and watched by the campus community and viewers from throughout the world, said Ahlam Muhtaseb, director of the center and professor of communication studies.

His presentation took its title from his newest book, “The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017.”

He spoke on how this book differs from his previous published work that tended to be more academic in tone. His son, playwright Ismail Khalidi, suggested that it was time that Rashidi write for “ordinary people and talk about these issues related to Palestine in a way that is accessible to people who don’t have Ph.Ds. or who are not historians or who are not well versed in this issue.”

He said the aim was to write a historically rigorous book – it is that, with documentation and 45 pages of footnotes – that was accessible for many people.

Screen capture of Rashid Khalidi's talk on Feb. 25

According to Macmillian, publisher of the book, “Original, authoritative, and important, ‘The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine’ is not a chronicle of victimization, nor does it whitewash the mistakes of Palestinian leaders or deny the emergence of national movements on both sides. In reevaluating the forces arrayed against the Palestinians, it offers an illuminating new view of a conflict that continues to this day.”

Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University. He received a B.A. from Yale University in 1970, a D. Phil. from Oxford University in 1974, and has taught at the Lebanese University, the American University of Beirut, and the University of Chicago.

He was president of the Middle East Studies Association and is co-editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies. He served as an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid and Washington Arab-Israeli peace negotiations from October 1991 until June 1993.

Khalidi is author of eight books, including “Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (rev. ed. 2010),” and has co-edited three other books and published over 110 academic articles. He has written op-eds in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many other newspapers, and has appeared widely on TV and radio in the U.S. and abroad.