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. Many of the book descriptions are taken from Amazon.com; some come from the source of that book recommendation.
Presented in the following categories on individual pages:
• About/By Palestinian Christians
• Religion; The Bible; Christian Zionism
• Personal Histories: Memoirs, Autobiographies, Novels
• Political Analysis; Diplomatic History
• The Current Situation
• About Palestinians inside Israel
• Zionism; Jewish Identity
• Faith Relations; Anti-Semitism
• Art; Illustration; Poetry
• Tourism; The Politics of Tourism
Please note: some books are listed in more than one category.
The order of the books within each category is random and is not related to the importance of the work.
Please send us your suggestions for additions to these lists; contact us at [email protected].
BDS: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights, by Omar Barghouti
Thirty years ago, an international movement utilizing boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) tactics rose in solidarity with those suffering under the brutal apartheid regime of South Africa. The historic acts of BDS activists from around the world isolated South Africa as a pariah state and heralded the end of apartheid. Now, as awareness of the apartheid nature of the State of Israel continues to grow, Omar Barghouti, founding member of the Palestinian Civil Society Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, presents a renewed call to action. Aimed at forcing the State of Israel to uphold international law and universal human rights for the Palestinian people, here is a manifesto for change.
“No one has done more to build the intellectual, legal and moral case for BDS than Omar Barghouti. The global Palestinian solidarity movement has been transformed and is on the cusp of major new breakthroughs.”
—Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and No Logo
“There is no more comprehensive and persuasive case than his for boycott, divestment, and sanctions to end the Israeli occupation and establish the ethical claim of Palestinian rights.”
—Judith Butler, University of California at Berkeley
The Case for Sanctions, edited by Audrea Lim
In July 2011, Israel passed legislation outlawing the public support of boycott activities against the state, corporations, and settlements, adding a crackdown on free speech to its continuing blockade of Gaza and the expansion of illegal settlements. Nonetheless, the campaign for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) continues to grow in strength within Israel and Palestine, as well as in Europe and the US. This essential intervention considers all sides of the movement—including detailed comparisons with the South African experience—and contains contributions from both sides of the separation wall, along with a stellar list of international commentators.
Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer, by Phyllis Bennis (6th edition, 2015)
This irreplaceable introduction to the conflict is highly recommended. If you have ever wondered “Why is there so much violence in the Middle East?”, “Who are the Palestinians?”, “What are the occupied territories?” or “What does Israel want?”, then this is the book for you. With straightforward language, Phyllis Bennis, longtime analyst of the region, answers basic questions about Israel and Israelis, Palestine and Palestinians, the US and the Middle East, Zionism and anti-Semitism; about complex issues ranging from the Oslo peace process to the election of Hamas. Together her answers provide a comprehensive understanding of the longstanding Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Sections include: The Crisis; The Other Players: The Role of the US, the UN, the Arab States, and Europe; Recent History: Rising Violence; Looking Backward (1900-1991); The Future.
The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt (2008)
The Israel Lobby,” by John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, was one of the most controversial articles in recent memory. Originally published in the London Review of Books in March 2006, it provoked both howls of outrage and cheers of gratitude for challenging what had been a taboo issue in America: the impact of the Israel lobby on U.S. foreign policy.
Now in a work of major importance, Mearsheimer and Walt deepen and expand their argument and confront recent developments in Lebanon and Iran. They describe the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the United States provides to Israel and argues that this support cannot be fully explained on either strategic or moral grounds. This exceptional relationship is due largely to the political influence of a loose coalition of individuals and organizations that actively work to shape U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction. Mearsheimer and Walt provocatively contend that the lobby has a far-reaching impact on America’s posture throughout the Middle East—in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—and the policies it has encouraged are in neither America’s national interest nor Israel’s long-term interest. The lobby’s influence also affects America’s relationship with important allies and increases dangers that all states face from global jihadist terror.
Writing in The New York Review of Books, Michael Massing declared, “Not since Foreign Affairs magazine published Samuel Huntington’s ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’ in 1993 has an academic essay detonated with such force.”
America and the Founding of Israel: An Investigation of the Morality of America’s Role, by John W. Mulhall (1995)
A look at moral issues in question concerning U.S. involvement in the conflict between Israel & Palestine, this book is a valuable tool for understanding the history and moral character of what we now call the “Israel-Palestine conflict.” The author, a Catholic priest and a writer on social justice issues, asks important questions about the legitimacy of claims in the region, the pressures that have been applied to governments and peoples, and the morality of our nation’s policies toward Arabs and Jews in this volatile part of the world.
The Question of Palestine, by Edward W. Said
This original and deeply provocative book was the first to make Palestine the subject of a serious debate–one that remains as critical as ever. With the rigorous scholarship he brought to his influential Orientalism and an exile’s passion (he is Palestinian by birth), Edward W. Said traces the fatal collision between two peoples in the Middle East and its repercussions in the lives of both the occupier and the occupied–as well as in the conscience of the West. He has updated this landmark work to portray the changed status of Palestine and its people in light of such developments as the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the intifada, the Gulf War, and the ongoing MIddle East peace initiative. For anyone interested in this region and its future, The Question of Palestine remains the most useful and authoritative account available.
The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East, by David Hirst
In this masterful historic analysis of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Hirst offers much more than narrative history; he offers an alternative point of view that is likely to disturb one’s understanding of history. Well-documented, this book complements the mainstream presentation of the last century of conflict in the Middle East. With Zionism and Israel at the center of this telling, Hirst has written a book that has been described as “classic.” The second edition ends with the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and its consequences (1982-3), and the third edition takes the reader through Oslo and its impact.
Palestine, Peace not Apartheid, by Jimmy Carter
Following his #1 New York Times best seller Our Endangered Values, the former president, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, offers an assessment of what must be done to bring permanent peace to Israel, with dignity and justice for Palestine. President Carter, who was able to negotiate peace between Israel and Egypt, has remained deeply involved in Middle East affairs since leaving the White House. He has stayed in touch with the major players from all sides in the conflict and has made numerous trips to the Holy Land, most recently as an observer of the Palestinian elections in 2005 and 2006. In this book, President Carter shares his intimate knowledge of the history of the Middle East and his personal experiences with the principal actors, and he addresses sensitive political issues many American officials avoid. Pulling no punches, Carter prescribes steps that must be taken for the two states to share the Holy Land without a system of apartheid or the constant fear of terrorism. The general parameters of a long-term, two-state agreement are well known, the president writes. There will be no substantive and permanent peace for any peoples in this troubled region as long as Israel is violating key U.N. resolutions, official American policy, and the international “road map” for peace by occupying Arab lands and oppressing the Palestinians. Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid is a challenging, provocative, and courageous work.
We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land, by Jimmy Carter
In this urgent, timely, and passionate book, Nobel Peace Laureate and former President Jimmy Carter argues that the present moment is a unique time for achieving peace in the Middle East—and he offers a bold and comprehensive plan to do just that.
Against Our Better Judgment, by Alison Weir
Soon after WWII, US statesman Dean Acheson warned that creating Israel on land already inhabited by Palestinians would “imperil” both American and all Western interests in the region. Despite warnings such as this one, President Truman supported establishing a Jewish state on land primarily inhabited by Muslims and Christians. Few Americans today are aware that US support enabled the creation of modern Israel. Even fewer know that US politicians pushed this policy over the forceful objections of top diplomatic and military experts.
As this work demonstrates, these politicians were bombarded by a massive pro-Israel lobbying effort that ranged from well-funded and very public Zionist organizations to an “elitist secret society” whose members included Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. AGAINST OUR BETTER JUDGMENT brings together meticulously sourced evidence to illuminate a reality that differs starkly from the prevailing narrative. It provides a clear view of the history that is key to understanding one of the most critically important political issues of our day.
Alison Weir is the president of the Council for the National Interest and executive director of If Americans Knew, a think tank that provides information on Israel-Palestine and the American connection. She is a former journalist.
Between Religion and Politics, by Nathan Brown and Amr Hamzawy
The emergence of Islamic groups and parties on the Middle East’s political scene has been a cause of concern. Brown and Hamzawy analyze this emergence, focusing on the development of such groups’ participation, their contexts, their platforms, and outlook. Each chapter deals with a different country in the region, including Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, Palestine and Hamas, and several others (Algeria, Morocco, Kuwait, Yemen, and Jordan). This book represents sound academic research and writing. Includes section on: Hamas: Battling to Blend Religion, Politics, Resistance, and Governance.
Kill Khalid: The Failed Mossad Assassination of Khalid Meshal and the Rise of Hamas, by Paul McGeough
“Providing a fly-on-the-wall vantage of the rising diplomatic panic that sent shudders through world capitals” (Toronto Star), Kill Khalid unfolds as a masterpiece of investigative journalism. In 1997, the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad poisoned Hamas leader Khalid Mishal in broad daylight on the streets of Amman, Jordan. As the little-known Palestinian leader slipped into a coma, the Mossad agents’ escape was bungled and the episode quickly spiraled into a diplomatic crisis. A series of high-stakes negotiations followed, which ultimately saved Mishal and set the stage for his phenomenal political ascendancy. In Kill Khalid, acclaimed reporter Paul McGeough reconstructs the history of Hamas through exclusive interviews with key players across the Middle East and in Washington, including unprecedented access to Mishal himself, who remains to this day one of the most powerful and enigmatic figures in the region. A “sobering reminder of how little has been achieved during sixty years of Israeli efforts in Palestine” (Kirkus), Kill Khalid tracks Hamas’s political fortunes across a decade of suicide bombings, political infighting, and increasing public support, culminating in the battle for Gaza in 2007 and the current-day political stalemate.
Whose Promised Land? The Continuing Crisis Over Israel and Palestine, by Colin Chapman (2015)
A new and fully updated edition includes the history of the area since 9/11, the impact of the Gulf wars, the building of the security wall, and the increased importance of Hamas. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has profoundly affected the Middle East for almost 70 years, and shows no sign of ending. It remains a huge political and humanitarian problem. Writing from the perspective of someone who has lived and worked in the Middle East at various times since 1968, the author explains the roots of the problem and outlines the arguments of the main parties involved. He also explores legitimate and illegitimate ways of using the Bible in relation to the conflict.
Whose Holy City? Jerusalem and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, by Colin Chapman (2005)
Jews, Arabs, and Muslims alike have fought over Jerusalem, the city of peace, for centuries with no foreseeable solution. In Whose Holy City?, Middle East expert Colin Chapman covers the history and background of “the most famous city in the world” and traces its days from Old Testament times to the contemporary scene. Many regard Jerusalem as the key to peace in the Middle East. Still, Chapman believes that the Middle East question is not one that will be easily resolved. Bringing biblical insight and expert analysis to the search for peace, he reflects on Jerusalem’s place in Scripture and history, assesses the present-day conflict, and all the while looks at possibilities for peace and resolution.
Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, by Norman Finkelstein (2003)
This acclaimed study surveys the dominant popular and scholarly images of the Israel–Palestine conflict. Finkelstein opens with a theoretical discussion of Zionism, locating it as a romantic form of nationalism that assumed the bankruptcy of liberal democracy. He goes on to look at the demographic origins of the Palestinians, with particular reference to the work of Joan Peters, and develops critiques of the influential studies of both Benny Morris and Anita Shapira. Reviewing the diplomatic history with Aban Eban‘s oeuvre as his foil, Finkelstein closes by demonstrating that the casting of Israel as the innocent victim of Arab aggression in the June 1967 and October 1973 wars is not supported by the documentary record.
Pens and Swords: How the American Mainstream Media Report the Israeli‐Palestinian Conflict, by Marda Dunsky (2008)
Marda Dunsky takes a close look at how more than two dozen major American print and broadcast outlets have reported the conflict in recent years. Beginning with the failed Camp David summit of July 2000 through the waning of the second Palestinian uprising in the summer of 2004, she finds that the media omit two key contextual elements: the significant impact that U.S. policy has had and continues to have on the trajectory of the conflict, and the way international law and consensus have addressed the key issues of Israeli settlement and annexation policies and Palestinian refugees.
Brokers of Deceit: How the US has undermined peace in the Middle East, by Rashid Khalidi
An historian and participant in some of the negotiations discussed, Khalidi examines three “moments” in peacemaking efforts: the 1982 efforts and foundational documents; the Madrid/Oslo period; and Pres. Obama’s first term. This is a much broader history, though, connecting the consistency and evolution of US involvement, identifying guiding US interests and their consequences, and showing the ultimately negative role the US has played. Khalidi’s focus on language, describing it as Orwellian, is astute. This is a short, but quite valuable, contribution.
Pathways to Peace: America and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, edited by Daniel Kurtzer
In this collection written by knowledgeable insiders and analysts, prospects for possible paths forward are examined. The book is divided into three sections: the regional dimension, the Israeli and Palestinian dimensions, and the United States and the peace process. Twelve experts present insight and suggestions. A fast read, this volume is a timely assessment. Every reader will not necessarily agree with each writer, thus adding value.
The Peace Process: From Breakthrough to Breakdown, by Afif Safieh
Afif Safieh served as Palestinian General Delegate in London, Washington and Moscow from 1990 to 2009. During this time, he met and interacted with the leading figures of our times: from Yasser Arafat, John Major and Tony Blair; to Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush and Pope John Paul II. The Peace Process: From Breakthrough to Breakdown brings together Afif Safieh’s articles, lectures and interviews from 1981, when he was a staff member in Yasser Arafat’s Beirut office, to 2005, at the end of his mission in London, revealing the political and intellectual journey of one of Palestine’s most skilled and distinguished diplomats. His writings, which centre on the Palestinian struggle for independence, are a testament to his vision and humanity and provide a unique map of Palestinian diplomacy over the last three decades.
Israel’s Occupation, by Neve Gordon (2008)
This first complete history of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip allows us to see beyond the smoke screen of politics in order to make sense of the dramatic changes that have developed on the ground over the past forty years. Looking at a wide range of topics, from control of water and electricity to health care and education as well as surveillance and torture, Neve Gordon’s panoramic account reveals a fundamental shift from a politics of life—when, for instance, Israel helped Palestinians plant more than six-hundred thousand trees in Gaza and provided farmers with improved varieties of seeds—to a macabre politics characterized by an increasing number of deaths. Drawing attention to the interactions, excesses, and contradictions created by the forms of control used in the Occupied Territories, Gordon argues that the occupation’s very structure, rather than the policy choices of the Israeli government or the actions of various Palestinian political factions, has led to this radical shift.
Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation, by Eyel Weizman
From the tunnels of Gaza to the militarized airspace of the Occupied Territories, Eyal Weizman unravels Israel’s mechanisms of control and its transformation of Palestinian towns, villages and roads into an artifice where all natural and built features serve military ends. Weizman traces the development of this strategy, from the influence of archaeology on urban planning, Ariel Sharon’s reconceptualization of military defence during the 1973 war, through the planning and architecture of the settlements, to the contemporary Israeli discourse and practice of urban warfare and airborne targeted assassinations. Hollow Land lays bare the political system at the heart of this complex and terrifying project of late-modern colonial occupation.
Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace, by Josh Ruebner
President Barack Obama’s first trip abroad in his second term took him to Israel and the Palestinian West Bank, where he despondently admitted to those waiting for words of encouragement, “It is a hard slog to work through all of these issues.” Contrast this gloomy assessment with Obama’s optimism on the second day of his first term, when he appointed former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell as his special envoy for Middle East peace, boldly asserting that his administration would “actively and aggressively seek a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.” How is it that Obama’s active and aggressive search for progress has become mired in the status quo? Writer and political analyst Josh Ruebner charts Obama’s journey from optimism to frustration in the first hard-hitting investigation into why the president failed to make any progress on this critical issue, and how his unwillingness to challenge the Israel lobby has shattered hopes for peace. Written in a clear and accessible style by the advocacy director of a national peace organization and former Middle East analyst for the Congressional Research Service, Shattered Hopes offers an informed history of the Obama administration’s policies and maps out a true path forward for the United States to help achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.
The Much Too Promised Land, by Aaron David Miller
For nearly twenty years, Aaron David Miller has played a central role in U.S. efforts to broker Arab-Israeli peace. His position as an advisor to presidents, secretaries of state, and national security advisors has given him a unique perspective on a problem that American leaders have wrestled with for more than half a century. Why has the world’s greatest superpower failed to broker, or impose, a solution in the Middle East? If a solution is possible, what would it take? And why after so many years of struggle and failure, with the entire region even more unsettled than ever, should Americans even care? Is Israel/Palestine really the “much too promised land”? As a historian, analyst, and negotiator, perhaps no one is more qualified to answer these questions than Aaron David Miller. Without partisanship or finger-pointing, Miller lucidly and honestly records what went right, what went wrong, and how we got where we are today. Here is an insider’s view of the peace process from a place at the negotiating table, filled with unforgettable stories and colorful behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Here, too, are new interviews with all the key players, including Presidents Carter, Ford, Bush forty-one, all nine U.S. secretaries of state, as well Arab and Israeli leaders, who disclose the inner thoughts and strategies that motivated them. The result is a book that shatters all preconceived notions to tackle the complicated issues of culture, religion, domestic politics, and national security that have defined—and often derailed—a half century of diplomacy. Honest, critical, and certain to be controversial, this insightful first-person account offers a brilliant new analysis of the problem of Arab-Israeli peace and how, against all odds, it still might be solved.
One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, by Ali Abunimah
A provocative approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—one state for two peoples—that is sure to touch nerves on all sides. The Israeli-Palestinian war has been called the world’s most intractable conflict. It is by now a commonplace that the only way to end the violence is to divide the territory in two, and all efforts at a resolution have come down to haggling over who gets what: Will Israel hand over 90 percent of the West Bank or only 60 percent? Will a Palestinian state include any part of Jerusalem? Clear-eyed, sharply reasoned, and compassionate, One Country proposes a radical alternative: to revive an old and neglected idea of one state shared by two peoples. Ali Abunimah shows how the two are by now so intertwined—geographically and economically—that separation cannot lead to the security Israelis need or the rights Palestinians must have. He reveals the bankruptcy of the two-state approach, takes on the objections and taboos that stand in the way of a binational solution, and demonstrates that sharing the territory will bring benefits for all. The absence of other workable options has only lead to ever greater extremism; it is time, Abunimah suggests, for Palestinians and Israelis to imagine a different future and a different relationship.
Overcoming Zionism, by Joel Kovel
This book is absolutely fundamental for those who reject the unfortunate confusion between Jews, Judaism, Zionism and the State of Israel — a confusion which is the basis for systematic manipulation by the imperialist power system. It convincingly argues in favour of a single secular state for Israelis and Palestinians as the only democratic solution for the region. Zionism creates a terrible contradiction that eats away at the soul and conscience of the Jewish people. The problem is that you can’t have a democratic state for just one people while excluding the others. It is just a logical impossibility. The notion of democracy derives from universal ideals based on universal human rights; it cannot exist where there is a systematic inequality, and all the more so when these others are those who have been dispossessed by Zionism.
The Wrath of Jonah: The Crisis of Religious Nationalism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, by Rosemary Radford Ruether and Herman Ruether
The wrenching situation in the Middle East, recent events have shown, is as complex as it is volatile. In this immenselsy learned and clarifying volume-here updated and issued in paper for the first time-the Ruethers trace the tortured and contested history of Israel/Palestine from biblical times through the Diaspora, the development of Zionism, the creation of the modern state of Israel, and the subsequent conflict with Arab and Palestinian nationalism. Magisterial in its grasp of the historical, political, economic, and religious roots of the conflict, The Wrath of Jonah also offers convincing analysis of the moral and political dilemmas facing Israelis and Palestinians today. Though they see possibilities for peace, the Ruethers are forthright about what they and others see as Israel’s betrayal of its own original mandate. Their purpose, state the Ruethers, “continues to be to make a modest contribution to truthful historical accountability that must underlie the quest for justice, without which there can be no ‘peace.'”
Reinhart, Tanya. The Road Map to Nowhere: Israel/Palestine since 2003 (2006)
The Road Map to Nowhere is a devastating and timely book, essential to understanding the current state of the Israel/Palestine crisis and the propaganda that infects its coverage. Based on analysis of information in the mainstream Israeli media, it argues that the current road map has brought no real progress and that, under cover of diplomatic successes, Israel is using the road map to strengthen its grip on the remaining occupied territories. Exploring the Gaza pullout of 2005, the West Bank wall and the collapse of Israeli democracy, Reinhart examines the gap between myth the Israeli leadership’s public affairs achievement that has led the West to believe that a road map is in fact being implementedand bitter reality. Not only has nothing fundamentally changed, she argues, but the Palestinians continue to lose more of their land and are pushed into smaller and smaller enclaves, surrounded by the new wall constructed by Sharon.
Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948, by Tanya Reinhart (2004)
In Israel/Palestine, Reinhart traces the development of the Security Barrier and Israel’s new doctrine of “disengagement,” launched in response to a looming Palestinian-majority population. Examining the official record of recent diplomacy, including United States–brokered accords and talks at Camp David, Oslo, and Taba, Reinhart explores the fundamental power imbalances between the negotiating parties and identifies Israel’s strategy of creating facts on the ground to define and complicate the terms of any future settlement. In this indispensable primer, Reinhart’s searing insight illuminates the current conflict and suggests a path toward change.
Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle, by Mazin B. Qumsiyeh (2004)
There is no more compelling and dramatic unfolding story, with more profound international ramifications, than the conflict in the Middle East. Sharing the Land of Canaan is a critical examination of the core issues of the conflict that dares to put forward a radical but logical solution: that a shared state is the best way to achieve justice and peace for Israelis and Palestinians. Mazin B. Qumsiyeh offers an overview of the issues at stake, and outlines his vision for a lasting peace based on upholding the principles of human rights for all. Tackling taboo subjects, myths and obstacles, he argues convincingly that apartheid in the form of a two-state solution is no longer a feasible way to achieve enduring peace. At this critical time, when the ‘road map’ to peace looks more uncertain than ever, this book provides a refreshing counterpoint to the failed strategies of the past. It is a direct and accessible account of the history – and mythology – of the fabled ‘Land of Canaan’, which lays out hopeful ideas for the future of this truly multiethnic and multicultural region.
Embracing Israel/Palestine: A Strategy to Heal and Transform the Middle East, by Rabbi Michael Lerner (2011)
A major modern conundrum is how the Arab/Israel conflict remains unresolved and, seemingly, unresolvable. In this inspirational book, Rabbi Michael Lerner suggests that a change in consciousness is crucial. With clarity and honesty, he examines how the mutual demonization and discounting of each sides’ legitimate needs drive the debate, and he points to new ways of thinking that can lead to a solution. <br><br>Lerner emphasizes that this new approach to the issue requires giving primacy to love, kindness, and generosity. It calls for challenging the master narratives in both Israel and Palestine as well as the false idea that “homeland security” can be achieved through military, political, economic, or media domination. Lerner makes the case that a lasting peace must prioritize helping people on all sides (including Europe and the U.S.) and that real security is best achieved through an ethos of caring and generosity toward “the other.” As many spiritual leaders have taught, problems like these cannot be solved at the same level at which they originated—one must seek higher ground, and that becomes a central task for anyone who wants a sustainable peace. Embracing Israel/Palestine is written for those looking for positive, practical solutions to this ongoing dilemma.
Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness, by Rashid Khalidi (2009)
Khalidi critically assesses the narratives that make up Palestinian history and identity and examines the ways in which the Palestinian national consciousness has come full circle.
This foundational text now features a new introduction by Rashid Khalidi reflecting on the significance of his work over the past decade and its relationship to the struggle for Palestinian nationhood. Khalidi also casts an eye to the future, noting the strength of Palestinian identity and social solidarity yet wondering whether current trends will lead to Palestinian statehood and independence.
The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, by Norman Finkelstein
It was not until the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, when Israel’s evident strength brought it into line with US foreign policy, that memory of the Holocaust began to acquire the exceptional prominence it enjoys today. Leaders of America’s Jewish community were delighted that Israel was now deemed a major strategic asset and, Finkelstein contends, exploited the Holocaust to enhance this new-found status. Their subsequent interpretations of the tragedy are often at variance with actual historical events and are employed to deflect any criticism of Israel and its supporters. Finkelstein contends that the main danger posed to the memory of Nazism’s victims comes not from the distortions of Holocaust deniers but from prominent, self-proclaimed guardians of Holocaust memory. Drawing on a wealth of untapped sources, he exposes the double shakedown of European countries as well as legitimate Jewish claimants, and concludes that the Holocaust industry has become an outright extortion racket. Thoroughly researched and closely argued, The Holocaust Industry is all the more disturbing and powerful because the issues it deals with are so rarely discussed.
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 realises that Israel is defined by its oppressive relationship to the Palestinians.
Obstacles to Peace: A Re-framing of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, by Jeff Halper
Newly revised with updated materials, this book remains the best reference guide to the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It provides detailed maps and a sharp, grounded analysis of the Israeli Occupation of Palestine and places that conflict within the context of Israel’s policies and practices that have created a “matrix of control” limiting the ability of the Palestinian people to survive on their land.
War Against the People, by Jeff Halper
War Against the People is a disturbing insight into the new ways world powers such as the US, Israel, Britain and China forge war today. It is a subliminal war of surveillance and whitewashed terror, conducted through new, high-tech military apparatuses, designed and first used in Israel against the Palestinian population. Including hidden camera systems, sophisticated sensors, information databases on civilian activity, automated targeting systems and, in some cases, unmanned drones, it is used to control the very people the nation’s leaders profess to serve.
Drawing from years of research, as well as investigations and interviews conducted at international arms fairs, Jeff Halper reveals that this practice is much more insidious than was previously thought. As Western governments tighten the grip on their use of private information and claw back individual liberties, War Against the People is a timely reminder that fundamental human rights are being compromised for vast sections of the world, and that this is a subject that should concern everyone.