Is the book really "non-fiction"? To receive an answer, you must read Martin Kramer's article, What Happened at Lydda.
To make a long story short, it looks like Shavit was quick on the trigger to accuse Israel of a massacre that in all likelihood did not occur. Read the article!
It is hard not to see the similarities between Shavit's academic sloppiness/negligence/ineptitude and that of Teddy Katz. Katz claimed that a massacre occured in Tantura, and was sued for libel by the veterans of that battle. Katz lost the case. Unfortunately, the veteran's of the Lydda battle, heroes who fought so bravely for Israel's independence, are probably no longer living or just too old and fragile to sue Shavit. Too bad.
BTW, did I mention that Shavit is a Ha’aretz columnist and member of its editorial-board? Are you surprised?
For extra credit, read what Caroline Glick has to say about this.
It seems that I've written about Ari Shavit in the past. See Do Murderers Sit Shiva? Almost eight years have passed since I published that post and it is interesting to see it in a historical perspective.