Scroll down to see the books in this category.
These collections of books have been assembled from many sources of recommended reading on Israel/Palestine, including: the United Church of Christ (UCC) and UCC PIN, Sabeel, Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JFJFP) and others.
Presented in the following categories on individual pages:
• About/By Palestinian Christians
• Religion; The Bible; Christian Zionism
• Personal Histories: Memoirs, Autobiographies
• Political Analysis; Diplomatic History
• The Current Situation
• Activism; Resistance; Solidarity; Intersectional Justice
• Novels; Short Stories; Poetry
• About Palestinians inside Israel
• Zionism; Jewish Identity
• Faith Relations; Anti-Semitism
• Visual Arts; Crafts (poetry moved to new list)
• Tourism; The Politics of Tourism
• Children’s Books
Please note: some books are listed in more than one category.
Please send us your suggestions for additions to these lists; contact us at [email protected].
The order of the books within each category is random and is not related to the importance of the work.
We Belong to the Land: The Story of a Palestinian Israeli Who Lives for Peace and Reconciliation,
By Elias Chacour (2001)
Nominated several times for the Noble Peace Prize, world-renowned Palestinian priest, Elias Chacour, narrates the gripping story of his life spent working to achieve peace and reconciliation among Israeli Jews, Christians, and Muslims. From the destruction of his boyhood village and his work as a priest in Galilee to his efforts to build school, libraries, and summer camps for children of all religions, this peacemaker’s moving story brings hope to one of the most complex struggles of our time.
By Chacour, Elias (1984)
As a child, Elias Chacour lived in a small Palestinian village in Galilee. When tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed and nearly one million forced into refugee camps in 1948, Elias began a long struggle with how to respond. In Blood Brothers, he blends his riveting life story with historical research to reveal a little-known side of the Arab-Israeli conflict, touching on questions such as:
What behind-the-scenes politics touched off the turmoil in the Middle East?
What does Bible prophecy really have to say?
Can bitter enemies ever be reconciled?
Now updated with commentary on the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as a new foreword by Lynne Hybels and Gabe Lyons, this book offers hope and insight that can help each of us learn to live at peace in a world of tension and terror.
The Lemon Tree
By Sandy Tolan (2008)
In 1967, Bashir Al-Khayri, a Palestinian twenty-five-year-old, journeyed to Israel, with the goal of seeing the beloved old stone house, with the lemon tree behind it, that he and his family had fled nineteen years earlier. To his surprise, when he found the house he was greeted by Dalia Ashkenazi Landau, a nineteen-year-old Israeli college student, whose family fled Europe for Israel following the Holocaust. On the stoop of their shared home, Dalia and Bashir began a rare friendship, forged in the aftermath of war and tested over the next thirty-five years in ways that neither could imagine on that summer day in 1967. Based on extensive research, and springing from his enormously resonant documentary that aired on NPR’s Fresh Air in 1998, Sandy Tolan brings the Israeli-Palestinian conflict down to its most human level, suggesting that even amid the bleakest political realities there exist stories of hope and reconciliation.
Fast Times in Palestine
By Pamela Olsen (2011)
Pamela Olson, a small town girl from eastern Oklahoma, had what she always wanted: a physics degree from Stanford University. But instead of feeling excited for what came next, she felt consumed by dread and confusion. This irresistible memoir chronicles her journey from aimless ex-bartender to Ramallah-based journalist and foreign press coordinator for a Palestinian presidential candidate. The gripping narrative focuses not only on violence, terror, and social and political upheavals but also on the daily rounds of house parties, concerts, barbecues, weddings, jokes, harvests, and romantic drama that happen in between. From idyllic olive groves to Palestinian beer gardens, from Passover in Tel Aviv to Ramadan in a Hamas village, from rooftop parties in Ramallah to militant rallies in Nablus, the book is packed with suspense, humor, and unforgettable characters. Its seamless blend of travelogue, memoir, and narrative journalism ramps the average American up to a sophisticated, multi-faceted understanding of the Israel/Palestine conflict.Funny, gorgeous, shocking, and galvanizing, Fast Times in Palestine challenges the way we think not only about the Middle East but albout human nature and our place in the world.
Out of Place: A Memoir
By Edward W. Said (1999)
From one of the most important intellectuals of our time comes an extraordinary story of exile and a celebration of an irrecoverable past. A fatal medical diagnosis in 1991 convinced Edward Said that he should leave a record of where he was born and spent his childhood, and so with this memoir he rediscovers the lost Arab world of his early years in Palestine, Lebanon, and Egypt. Said writes with great passion and wit about his family and his friends from his birthplace in Jerusalem, schools in Cairo, and summers in the mountains above Beirut, to boarding school and college in the United States, revealing an unimaginable world of rich, colorful characters and exotic eastern landscapes. Underscoring all is the confusion of identity the young Said experienced as he came to terms with the dissonance of being an American citizen, a Christian and a Palestinian, and, ultimately, an outsider. Richly detailed, moving, often profound, Out of Place depicts a young man’s coming of age and the genesis of a great modern thinker.
Anxious for Armageddon: A Call To Partnership For Middle Eastern and Western Christians
By Donald E. Wagner (1995)
This unique resource offers the fascinating account of Donald E. Wagner’s personal experience with the Middle East and calls Western Christians to work with Middle East Christians in healing the pain of Jews and Palestinians.Wagner grippingly tells of his early involvement with streams of Christianity that treat Israel’s possession of the Holy Land as fulfillment of a divine plan that will result in the apocalyptic battle of Armageddon.
The Girl Who Stole My Holocaust: A Memoir
By Noam Chayut
“She took from me the belief that absolute evil exists in this world, and the belief that I was avenging it and fighting against it. For that girl, I embodied absolute evil … Since then I have been left without my Holocaust, and since then everything in my life has assumed a new meaning: belongingness is blurred, pride is lacking, belief is faltering, contrition is heightening, forgiveness is being born.”
The Girl Who Stole My Holocaust is the deeply moving memoir of Chayut’s journey from eager Zionist conscript on the front line of Operation Defensive Shield to leading campaigner against the Israeli occupation. As he attempts to make sense of his own life as well as his place within the wider conflict around him, he slowly starts to question his soldier’s calling, Israel’s justifications for invasion, and the ever-present problem of historical victimhood. Noam Chayut’s exploration of a young soldier’s life is one of the most compelling memoirs to emerge from Israel for a long time.
The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine
By Miko Peled
A powerful account, by Israeli peace activist Miko Peled, of his transformation from a young man who’d grown up in the heart of Israel’s elite and served proudly in its military into a fearless advocate of nonviolent struggle and equal rights for all Palestinians and Israelis. His journey is mirrored in many ways the transformation his father, a much-decorated Israeli general, had undergone three decades earlier. Alice Walker contributed a foreword to the first edition in which she wrote, “There are few books on the Israel/Palestine issue that seem as hopeful to me as this one.” In the new Epilogue he takes readers to South Africa, East Asia, several European countries, and the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel itself.
Children of Catastrophe: Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America
By Jamal Krayem Kanj
A great deal has been written over the years addressing the Palestine-Israel conflict, and the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem. However, few works on the subject really present the personal aspect: What is it like to be a refugee? What propels a decent human being to take up arms, to become a freedom fighter or a terrorist? This book tells the remarkable story of one such refugee, following his journey from childhood in the Nahr El Bared Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, becoming a member of the PLO, through to eventual emigration, a new life as an engineer in the United States, and a ‘return’ trip to historic Palestine. Running parallel to the personal narrative, the book also documents the story of Nahr El Bared itself: the story of a refugee camp that grew from an initial clump of muddy UN tents to become a vibrant trading centre in north Lebanon, before its eventual destruction at the hands of the Lebanese army as they battled with militants from the Fatah Al Islam group in the summer of 2007. Throughout it all, the spirit of the remarkable people of the camp shines through, and the book provides a moving testament to how refugees in Lebanon have managed to persist in their struggle for their right to return, as well as survive socially, economically and politically despite more than sixty years of dispossession, war and repression.
By Raja Shahadeh
Raja Shehadeh is a passionate hill walker. He enjoys nothing more than heading out into the countryside that surrounds his home. But in recent years, his hikes have become less than bucolic and sometimes downright dangerous. That is because his home is Ramallah, on the Palestinian West Bank, and the landscape he traverses is now the site of a tense standoff between his fellow Palestinians and settlers newly arrived from Israel. In this original and evocative book, we accompany Raja on six walks taken between 1978 and 2006. The earlier forays are peaceful affairs, allowing our guide to meditate at length on the character. Amid the many and varied tragedies of the Middle East, the loss of a simple pleasure such as the ability to roam the countryside at will may seem a minor matter. But in Palestinian Walks, Raja Shehadeh’s elegy for his lost footpaths becomes a heartbreaking metaphor for the deprivations of an entire people estranged from their land.
Gaza Writes Back
Edited by Refaat Alareer
Gaza Writes Back is a compelling anthology of short stories from fifteen young writers in Gaza, members of a generation that has suffered immensely under Israel’s siege and blockade. Their experiences, especially during and following Israel’s 2008-2009 offensive known as “Operation Cast Lead”, have fundamentally impacted their lives and their writing. Their words take us into the homes and hearts of moms, dads, students, children, and elders striving to live lives of dignity, compassion, and meaning in one of the world’s most embattled communities. Readers will be moved by the struggles big and small that emerge from the well-crafted writing by these young people, and by the hope and courage that radiate from the authors’ biographies.
I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity
By Izzeldin Abuelaish
By turns inspiring and heartbreaking, hopeful and horrifying, I Shall Not Hate is Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish’s account of his extraordinary life. A Harvard-educated Palestinian doctor, he was born and raised in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and “has devoted his life to medicine and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians” (New York Times). On January 16, 2009, Abuelaish lost three of his daughters and his niece when Israeli shells hit his home in the Gaza Strip. Instead of seeking revenge or sinking into hatred, he has called for the people of the region to come together so that his daughters will be “the last sacrifice on the road to peace between Palestinians and Israelis.”
I Saw Ramallah
By Mourid Barghouti
A fierce and moving work and an unparalleled rendering of the human aspects of the Palestinian predicament. Barred from his homeland after 1967’s Six-Day War, the poet Mourid Barghouti spent thirty years in exile—shuttling among the world’s cities, yet secure in none of them; separated from his family for years at a time; never certain whether he was a visitor, a refugee, a citizen, or a guest. As he returns home for the first time since the Israeli occupation, Barghouti crosses a wooden bridge over the Jordan River into Ramallah and is unable to recognize the city of his youth. Sifting through memories of the old Palestine as they come up against what he now encounters in this mere “idea of Palestine,” he discovers what it means to be deprived not only of a homeland but of “the habitual place and status of a person.” A tour de force of memory and reflection, lamentation and resilience, I Saw Ramallah is a deeply humane book, essential to any balanced understanding of today’s Middle East.
Letters from Palestine: Palestinians Speak Out about Their Lives, Their Country, and the Power of NonViolence
By Kenneth Ring and Ghassan Abdullah (2010)
Many books have been written dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the pro-Israeli perspective. However, relatively few reflect the Palestinian point of view. Letters from Palestine is one of the rare books that offers an American audience the chance to listen to and learn about the lives of actual Palestinian people as they describe what it is like to live in the occupied territories of the West Bank or Gaza, or to grow up as a Palestinian in the U.S. Their accounts are lively, poignant, searing, tragic, yet often laced with touches of surrealistic humor. Most of all, they show Palestinians in all their humanity and will help American readers see beyond the usual stereotypes. The stories in this book are meant to introduce Americans to contemporary Palestinians who represent both the traditions of their culture and the bright promise of their future.
Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories
By Anna Baltzer
Anna Baltzer, a young Jewish American, visited the West Bank to discover for herself the realities of everyday life for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. What she found would change her outlook on the issue forever. For eight months over the following four years, Baltzer lived and worked with farmers, Palestinian and Israeli activists, and the families of political prisoners, traveling with them across checkpoints and roadblocks to reach hospitals, universities, and olive groves. Baltzer witnessed firsthand the devastation wrought by expanding settlements and the Wall. She also encountered countless Palestinian grievances beyond the occupation, of non-Jews living in a Jewish state and refugees yearning to return to their homes and land. Baltzer’s probing and honest examination of the occupation, Zionism, and the pervasive spirit of Palestinian resilience offer a fresh look at Palestine today. 2014 edition: Updated & revised with new photos, appendices, testimonials, and afterword. Full color, original photographs, maps, and stories — popular for classrooms, book groups, etc.
An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel, by Jeff Halper (1995)
Israeli anthropologist and activist Jeff Halper throws a harsh light on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the point of view of a critical insider. While the Zionist founders of Israel created a vibrant society, culture and economy, they did so at a high price: Israel could not maintain its exclusive Jewish character without imposing on the country’s Palestinian population policies of ethnic cleansing, occupation and discrimination, expressed most graphically in its ongoing demolition of thousands of Palestinian homes, both inside Israel and in the Occupied Territories.
An Israeli in Palestine records Halper’s journey ‘beyond the membrane’ that shields his people from the harsh realities of Palestinian life to his ‘discovery’ that he was actually living in another country: Palestine. Without dismissing the legitimacy of his own country, he realizes that Israel is defined by its oppressive relationship to the Palestinians.
Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land under Siege
By Amira Hass (1999)
In 1993, Amira Hass, a young Israeli reporter, drove to Gaza to cover a story-and stayed, the first journalist to live in the grim Palestinian enclave so feared and despised by most Israelis that, in the local idiom, “Go to Gaza” is another way to say “Go to hell.” Now, in a work of calm power and painful clarity, Hass reflects on what she has seen in Gaza’s gutted streets and destitute refugee camps. Drinking the Sea at Gaza maps the zones of ordinary Palestinian life. From her friends, Hass learns the secrets of slipping across sealed borders and stealing through night streets emptied by curfews. She shares Gaza’s early euphoria over the peace process and its subsequent despair as hope gives way to unrelenting hardship. But even as Hass charts the griefs and humiliations of the Palestinians, she offers a remarkable portrait of a people not brutalized but eloquent, spiritually resilient, bleakly funny, and morally courageous. Full of testimonies and stories, facts and impressions, Drinking the Sea at Gaza makes an urgent claim on our humanity. Beautiful, haunting, and profound, it will stand with the great works of wartime reportage, from Michael Herr’s Dispatches to Rian Malan’s My Traitor’s Heart.
Yet in the Dark Streets Shining: APalestinian Story of Hope and Resilience in Bethlehem
By Bishara Awad and Mercy Aiken
Yet In the Dark Streets Shining details the little-known story of Palestinian Christians through the heartbreaking but inspiring account of a boy who grew up to be a spiritual and community leader in Bethlehem. Bishara Awad was just a child when his father was killed by a sniper during the Israeli-Arab war of 1948. After the family fled their Jerusalem home, Bishara and his siblings grew up as refugees. His spiritual journey brought him through poverty and danger, while witnessing loss and death. Under the shadows of persecution and war, he learned how to live his Christian faith in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ. When Bishara learned how to forgive, he became a firebrand of faith and hope. Rising to the many challenges, he launched Bethlehem Bible College, the first Bible college in the West Bank. Through the dashed hopes of one war after another, as well as opposition on all sides, Bishara’s story conveys how he and other Palestinian Christians continue to live their faith and envision a better future, while wrestling with these questions:
Is peace possible in Palestine and Israel?
How do theologians in other parts of the world affect the lives of Arab Christians in the Holy Land?
How is the gospel of Jesus Christ making a difference in the land of Christ?
How does one stand for justice, while also preaching forgiveness?
“Sometimes, the best way to learn the story of a people or an era of history is to learn the story of one person or family from that people and time. This book thrusts you into the dramatic, dangerous and deeply meaningful action of a storyline that reads like a biographical thriller. Through the real-life personal story of Bishara Awad and his family, you will gain insight into the Middle East, its history, and its people, and I think you will also gain insight into current realities that affect you right now, wherever you live.”
—Brian D. McLaren, author of Faith After Doubt
“When myopic self-centered eschatological and political doctrines blind us to human compassion and love, both must be unmasked and challenged. Please, leave the lofty heights of ideology and presumption and listen to the authentic story of real human beings caught in the crossfire of both.”
—Paul Young, author of The Shack
“This is a story that is as riveting as it is historically important. It is likewise an opportunity to trace the history of the Palestinian church through the experience of one man. This is a book you will not want to put down and that you’ll find yourself recommending to your friends because it is a story about faith and hope when life has closed every door.”
—Dr. Gary M. Burge, author of Whose Land, Whose Promise?
“Evangelical Christians around the world (and especially in America) need to hear this story.”
—Brian Zahnd, author of Sinner in the Hands of a Loving God.
“In a Middle East that is incessantly torn by violence and strife, Bishara shows us that a life immersed in the grace and forgiveness of Jesus is able to overcome hatred and fear.”
—Dr. Paul Wright, author of Atlas of Bible Lands
“If you want a glimpse of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, I implore you to borrow Bishara’s Christlike eyes. This story offers empathy to the groans of Palestinians, then advocates for compassion, justice and peacebuilding.”
—Brad Jersak, author of A More Christlike God
Glory to God in the Lowest: An American Evangelical Christian Man’s Awakening to Palestine
By Don Wagner
A personal, political, and religious journey from Evangelical Christian faith and conservativepolitics to solidarity with the poor and advocacy for anti-war, anti-racism, and Palestinianrights
After serving for five years as a pastor in a remarkable Black church, Donald Wagner comesto fully understand the original sin of racism. As his journey continues, he encountersanother marginalized people—the Palestinians—and witnesses their struggle for justice andequality. Touched by their resilience and fight against injustice, he leaves the pastorate toassume full time work as an advocate for Palestinian political and human rights.
The memoir begins in mid-September 1982, with a gut-wrenching day interviewing survivorsof the Sabra-Shatila massacre in Lebanon, as they wept and waited for the bodies of familymembers to be pulled from the rubble. Donald Wagner’s conversation with the local Imamended with a challenge: “You must return home and tell what you have seen. This is all weask. Go back and tell the truth.”
“Glory to God in the Lowest” is a metaphor for his counter intuitive journey with the victims of the “chosen people” in the“unholy land,” also called historic Palestine or Israel. The irony of the journey reminds usthat God is everywhere especially with the disinherited, the victims of the powerful, including the victims of Israeli oppression.
The memoir touches on history and includes political analysis and theological reflection. Init, Donald Wagner describes Israel’s continued colonization and destruction of Palestinianlives and chronicles his involvement in a grassroots movement of resistance that demandsjustice based on full equality, an end to the Israeli military occupation and settlercolonization project, the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and full political rights forthe Palestinian people.
Filled with stories—some humorous and some shocking—as well as encounters with people ofevery race, gender, and religious affiliation working below the radar, this book will inspire,challenge, and offer a narrative that envisions a transformed “unholy land,” where justice,liberation, and equality for all is the reality for every citizen.
“If you have never read a single book about the struggle for justice and peace in Israel and Palestine, this is the one I hope you’ll read. If you’ve read a lot, and are about to give up hope, this is also the book I hope you’ll read. Glory to God in the Lowest not only helps you understand the situation in the so-called Holy Land; it also helps you feel the pain, the longing, the courage, and the love of good people working, praying, and giving their lives to bend the arc of history toward justice. Don Wagner educates and inspires me, and this book will educate and inspire you too.”
—Brian D. McLaren, author of Faith after Doubt
“Compelling … Donald Wagner’s grasp of the truth that powered his battle for justice for all is likely to be a microcosm of what the warring parties and their backers must eventually experience for … peace to reign in this tortured land.”
—Rami G Khouri, American University of Beirut
“Beautifully written, carefully nuanced, and deeply moving … More than a memoir, this welcome book is a model narrative of how we are summoned to go beyond safe ideological assumption to engagement in the deep pain and odd possibilities of our human world.”
—Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Seminary
“Inspiring … A brave journey anchored in truth and driven by justice for Palestine … a spiritual pilgrimage and a theological transformation in favor of the ‘lowest’ … Readers will find Don’s lucid critique of Christian Zionism stimulating and provocative.”
—Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek, Co-founder of Sabeel―Jerusalem and author of Justice and Only Justice
“A powerful personal testimony and an incisive political history … Christians, Jews—or anyone concerned with justice in Israel/Palestine—would do well to read this book.”
—Rabbi Brant Rosen, Tzedek Synagogue, Chicago
“Eye-opening, heart-moving … This is the engrossing story, briskly told, of someone whose experience in the Middle East transformed him from ‘an apathetic, conservative evangelical Christian’ to an energetic and courageous advocate of justice for the Palestinians ….”
—Nicholas Wolterstorff, Emeritus Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale University
“Wagner’s book is not a mere memoir of a brilliant person who made an impact locally and globally … [He] provides us with that essential contemporary prophetic voice that is much needed to bring peace with justice to our turbulent and changing world … For readers of all faiths, this gently-told story will inspire and motivate us in our own journey to a better future.”
—Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor at Bethlehem University (Palestine) and author of Sharing the Land of Canaan and Popular Resistance in Palestine
In My Mother’s Footsteps: A Palestinian Refugee Returns Home
By Mona Hajjar Halaby
A moving and heartbreaking journey of a daughter discovering her Palestinian roots and recovering her mother’s beloved past.
1948, Jerusalem. Zakia is forced to flee the only home she’s ever known as war rips through the leafy streets and the bustling spice-filled souqs. Taking just one suitcase, Zakia thinks she’ll be able to return soon. But within weeks, she realises she won’t be allowed back to her beloved homeland.
2007, California. Mona grew up with her mother Zakia’s memories of Palestine, imagining the muezzin’s call for prayer and the medley of church bells her mother so vividly described to her. So, when Mona gets the opportunity to teach conflict resolution in Ramallah, she also embarks on a personal pilgrimage to find her mother’s home in militarized and occupied Jerusalem.
With cherished letters from her mother who writes to Mona regularly, sharing her story of Jerusalem, Mona dreams of one day being guided by her through the winding cobblestone alleys of the Old City. Yet it is Mona who instead holds her mother’s hand as they finally visit Jerusalem together. After fifty-nine years of exile, her mother is returning to the place she once called home – but can a lifetime of loss ever be healed?
‘Utterly heart-breaking, absorbing, and tender… Mona took me by the hand through the streets of Jerusalem and brought it to life in a way I’ve never seen before…a timely and important story that will stay with you long after you finish the last page.’
—Christy Lefteri, bestselling author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo‘
What readers have said:
‘Beautiful. Poignant. Phenomenal…I cried and I smiled…Truly a gem.’
What a powerful experience…both heart-breaking and joyous…Thank you for inviting us to live your story, Mona. …What a thrill to walk the streets of Jerusalem with you and your mother.’
‘Powerful, moving…exceptionally evocative.’
‘Emotional and enlightening…A must read.’
The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story
By Ramzy Baroud
This is a history of modern Palestine like no other: built from the testimony of people who have lived through it. Ramzy Baroud here gathers accounts from countless Palestinians from all walks of life, and from throughout the decades, to tell the story of the nation and its struggle for independence and security. Challenging both academic and popular takes on Palestinian history, Baroud unearths here the deep commonalities within the story of Palestine, ones that draw the people together despite political divisions, geographical barriers and walls, factionalism, occupation, and exile. Through these firsthand reports—by turns inspiring and terrifying, triumphant and troubled—we see Palestine in all its complexity and contradictions, ever vibrant in the memories of the people who have fought, physically and otherwise, for its future. A remarkable book, The Last Earth will be essential to understanding the struggles in the contemporary Middle East.
“At times reminiscent of the storytelling of the iconic Gabriel García Márquez, Baroud mingles past, present, dreams, and fantasy to forge a document that demands respect and rejects pity. . . . Engrossing . . . A vital and inspiring document.”
“In the finest tradition of people’s history, these sensitive, painful and evocative pieces provide a human face to the painful saga of Palestinian torment and the remarkable courage and resilience of the victims.”
“This book is a powerful tool to revive and record the human history of al Nakba, the largest, longest, most comprehensive and still continuous ethnic cleansing in Palestine’s history. Al Nakba is not a traffic accident but a process subjecting its victims to a constant tragedy across many countries and many decades… a must read for all those who want to see the concealed human dimension of the Palestinian life and suffering.”
—Salman Abu Sitta, Author of Mapping my Return and the Atlas of Palestine
“Hundreds of Palestinian writers and bloggers around the world sent in their stories and the book was worked out over Skype interviews—all part of Baroud’s Herculean efforts to condense the narrative into complete, rich stories while staying true to each individual account. . . . The loss and forced relocation recorded by Baroud is overwhelming, but important to read and remember.”
A Land With a People: Palestinians and Jews Confront Zionism
Esther Farmer, Rosalind Pollack Petchesky, and Sarah Sills (Editors)
A Land With a People is a book of stories, photographs and poetry which elevates rarely heard Palestinian and Jewish voices and visions. Eloquently framed with a foreword by the dynamic Palestinian legal scholar and activist, Noura Erakat, this book began as a storytelling project of Jewish Voice for Peace-New York City and subsequently transformed into a theater project performed throughout the New York City area.
Stories touch hearts, open minds, and transform our understanding of the “other”―as well as our comprehension of own roles and responsibilities― and A Land With a People emerges from this reckoning. It brings us the narratives of secular, Muslim, Christian, and queer Palestinians who endure the particular brand of settler colonialism known as Zionism. It relays the transformational journeys of Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, queer, and Palestinian Jews who have come to reject the received Zionist narrative. Unflinching in their confrontation of the power dynamics that underlie their transformation process, these writers find the courage to face what has happened to historic Palestine, and to their own families as a result. Contextualized by a detailed historical introduction and timeline charting 150 years of Palestinian and Jewish resistance to Zionism, this collection will stir emotions, provoke fresh thinking, and point to a more hopeful, loving future―one in which Palestine/Israel is seen for what it is in its entirety, as well as for what it can be.
“This book is an invaluable resource in the effort to challenge the dangerous conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, meant to silence criticism of Israel. A Land With a People also helps in understanding that the existential struggle against a racist, settler-colonial system, can, and must, be undertaken by Palestinians and Jews together.”
—Huwaida Arraf, human rights attorney and co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement
Bethlehem: Biography of a Town
By Nicholas Blincoe
Bethlehem is so suffused with history and myth that it feels like an unreal city even to those who call it home. For many, Bethlehem remains the little town at the edge of the desert described in Biblical accounts. Today, the city is hemmed in by a wall and surrounded by forty-one Israeli settlements and hostile settlers and soldiers.
Nicholas Blincoe tells the town’s history through the visceral experience of living there, taking readers through its stone streets and desert wadis, its monasteries, aqueducts, and orchards to show the city from every angle and era. His portrait of Bethlehem sheds light on one of the world’s most intractable political problems, and he maintains that if the long thread winding back to the city’s ancient past is severed, the chances of an end to the Palestine-Israel conflict will be lost with it.
“[Bethlehem] brings within reach 11,000 years of history, centering on the beloved town’s unique place in the world. Blincoe’s love of Bethlehem is compelling, even as he does not shy away from the complexities of its chronicle.”
—President Jimmy Carter
“This sensitive and human history of Bethlehem from ancient time to our day is the most original and powerful guide you will ever read about this important city. The book succeeds in fusing together the history of more than a millennium with personal recollections, archaeological and morphological insights, as well [as] wonderfully written descriptions of human and geographical landscapes. Relics and stories of the past are used as entry points for uncovering the various chapters in this holy city’s history through personal anecdotes and the most recent scholarship, with constant attention to human suffering and hopes.”
“Blincoe’s thoroughness is nothing short of impressive… [Bethlehem]offers a biography so vividly imagined that I jumped when my phone buzzed, interrupting my reverie of Nabatean temples… The reward is in the lush prose and personal accounts. Blincoe is a joyful writer, well suited to the task of evoking place with passages…transporting the reader with mouthwatering specificity. …More than anything, his love for the place leaps off the page; for all its chronicling of incursions and defeat, this is ultimately a book about hope.”
―New York Times Book Review
“That [Blincoe] manages to cover so much with an engaging, even jocular, tone is a credit to [his] writing skill… For readers who want to dig deep into the founding of this little town of legend, [Bethlehem} makes for happy reading.”
―National Catholic Reporter