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
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.
Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace
From the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Steadfast Hope presents a compelling snapshot of the current situation on the ground, highlighting the tragic human costs of war and occupation. The booklet also offers an inspiring view of cooperation among Muslim, Jewish, and Christian peacemakers working for justice and reconciliation. This 48-page, richly illustrated booklet includes a study guide for weekly lesson plans. See it at the website of IPMN
There are accompanying video episodes for the study guide which are available for viewing and download on the IPMN Vimeo Channel: https://vimeo.com/channels/steadfasthope
A Wall in Palestine
By René Backmann
The West Bank Barrier was declared illegal by the United Nations International Court of Justice. This network of concrete walls, trenches, and barbed-wire fences could permanently redraw one of the most disputed property lines in the Middle East–the Green Line that separates Israel and the West Bank. To Israel the “security fence” is intended to keep Palestinian terrorists from entering its territory. But to Palestinians the “apartheid wall” that sliced through orchards and houses, and cuts off family members from one another, is a land grab.
In this comprehensive book, Backmann not only addresses the barrier’s impact on ordinary citizens, but how it will shape the future of the Middle East. Though it promises security to an Israeli population weary of terrorism, it also is responsible for the widespread destruction of Palestinian homes and farmland; with its Byzantine checkpoint regulations, it has also severely crippled the Palestinian economy; and, most urgent, the barrier often deviates from the Green Line, appropriating thousands of acres of land, effectively redrawing the boundary between the West Bank and Israel. Backmann interviews Israeli policy makers, politicians, and military personnel, as well as Palestinians living throughout the West Bank, telling the stories not only of the barrier’s architects, but also of those who must reckon with it on a day-to-day basis on the ground. With bold, brilliant, and often impassioned reportage, A Wall in Palestine renders the West Bank Barrier–its purpose, its efficacy, its consequences–as no book before.
Lords of the Land
By Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar
Perhaps the most comprehensive and thorough history of the Israeli settlement movement, this book was originally published in Hebrew. The 1967 Arab-Israeli War was a devastating triumph for Israel, which immediately began to establish settlements in the newly conquered territories. Those settlements, and the movement that made them possible, have utterly transformed Israel, and yet until now the full history of the occupation has never been told. Lords of the Land tells that tragic story, and reveals what a catastrophe it has been for both Israel and the Palestinians.
The Battle for Justice in Palestine
By Ali Abunimah
Efforts to achieve a “two-state solution” have finally collapsed, and the struggle for justice in Palestine is at a crossroads. As Israeli society lurches toward greater extremism, many ask where the struggle is headed. This book offers a clear analysis of this crossroads moment and looks forward with urgency down the path to a more hopeful future. Abunimah cuts through mainstream discourse, making important observations on colonialism, analogies to race relations in the US and to conflict resolution in Northern Ireland. Unabashedly skeptical of the two-state solution, and Abunimah promotes a vision of peace with justice, concluding with thoughts on the imperative of self-determination.
By John Collins
Global Palestine offers a unique perspective on one of the world’s most enduring political controversies by exploring a deceptively simple question: what does Palestine mean for the globe? The book begins from three overlapping premises. First, contemporary Palestine is the site of an ongoing project of settler colonisation. Second, as a growing movement of international solidarity indicates, Palestine’s global importance seems to be increasing in inverse proportion to the amount of territory actually controlled by Palestinians. Third, understanding why and how Palestine matters globally requires situating the “local” struggle over Palestine in relation to a series of global processes that shape the conditions within which all of us live our lives, including the four processes that underpin this book: colonization, securitization, acceleration, and occupation. Far from simply being influenced by these processes, Palestine has served as a laboratory for many of them, pushing them forward in profound ways, and Collins’ analysis reveals clues to a series of emerging global conditions. Approaching Palestine in this way enables us to take a fresh look at the world’s politics of violence, resistance, and solidarity from the perspective of what Walter Benjamin called “the tradition of the oppressed.”
Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation
By Saree Makdisi
Tending one’s fields, visiting a relative, going to the hospital: for ordinary Palestinians, such activities require negotiating permits and passes, curfews and closures, “sterile roads” and “seam zones”—bureaucratic hurdles ultimately as deadly as outright military incursion. In Palestine Inside Out, Saree Makdisi draws on eye-opening statistics, academic histories, UN reports, and contemporary journalism to reveal how the “peace process” institutionalized Palestinians’ loss of control over their inner and outer lives—and argues powerfully and convincingly for a one-state solution.
“A compelling account . . . and a reminder that a true peace can be built only on justice.”—Desmond M. Tutu
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.
Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel
By Max Blumenthal
In Goliath, New York Times bestselling author Max Blumenthal takes us on a journey through the badlands and high roads of Israel-Palestine, painting a startling portrait of Israeli society under the siege of increasingly authoritarian politics as the occupation of the Palestinians deepens. Beginning with the national elections carried out during Israel’s war on Gaza in 2008-09, which brought into power the country’s most right-wing government to date, Blumenthal tells the story of Israel in the wake of the collapse of the Oslo peace process.
As Blumenthal reveals, Israel has become a country where right-wing leaders like Avigdor Lieberman and Bibi Netanyahu are sacrificing democracy on the altar of their power politics; where the loyal opposition largely and passively stands aside and watches the organized assault on civil liberties; where state-funded Orthodox rabbis publish books that provide instructions on how and when to kill Gentiles; where half of Jewish youth declare their refusal to sit in a classroom with an Arab; and where mob violence targets Palestinians and African asylum seekers scapegoated by leading government officials as “demographic threats.”
Immersing himself like few other journalists inside the world of hardline political leaders and movements, Blumenthal interviews the demagogues and divas in their homes, in the Knesset, and in the watering holes where their young acolytes hang out, and speaks with those political leaders behind the organized assault on civil liberties. Through his far-ranging travels, Blumenthal illuminates the present by uncovering the ghosts of the past—the histories of Palestinian neighborhoods and villages now gone and forgotten; how that history has set the stage for the current crisis of Israeli society; and how the Holocaust has been turned into justification for occupation. A brave and unflinching account of the real facts on the ground, Goliath is an unprecedented and compelling work of journalism.
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.
The Road Map to Nowhere: Israel/Palestine since 2003
By Tanya Reihnhart. (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 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.
Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment
By Mazin B. Qumsiyeh (2011)
The Western media paint Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation as exclusively violent: armed resistance, suicide bombings, and rocket attacks. In reality these methods are the exception to what is a peaceful and creative resistance movement. In this fascinating book, Qumsiyeh synthesizes data from hundreds of original sources to provide the most comprehensive study of civil resistance in Palestine. The book contains hundreds of stories of the heroic and highly innovative methods of resistance employed by the Palestinians over more than 100 years. The author also analyses the successes, failures, missed opportunities and challenges facing ordinary Palestinians as they struggle for freedom against incredible odds. This is the only book to critically and comparatively study the uprisings of 1920-21, 1929, 1936-9, 1970s, 1987-1991 and 2000-2006. The compelling human stories told in this book will inspire people of all faiths and political backgrounds to chart a better and more informed direction for a future of peace with justice.
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.
Obstacles to Peace: A Re-framing of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
By Jeff Halper
Newly revised with updated materials, this book is an excellent 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.
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.
Light in Gaza: Writings Born of Fire
Edited by Jehad Abusalim, Jennifer Bing, and Mike Merryman-Lotze
Imagining the future of Gaza beyond the cruelties of occupation and Apartheid, Light in Gaza is a powerful contribution to understanding Palestinian experience.
Gaza, home to two million people, continues to face suffocating conditions imposed by Israel. This distinctive anthology imagines what the future of Gaza could be, while reaffirming the critical role of Gaza in Palestinian identity, history, and struggle for liberation.
Light in Gaza is a seminal, moving and wide-ranging anthology of Palestinian writers and artists. It constitutes a collective effort to organize and center Palestinian voices in the ongoing struggle. As political discourse shifts toward futurism as a means of reimagining a better way of living, beyond the violence and limitations of colonialism, Light in Gaza is an urgent and powerful intervention into an important political moment.
“Light in Gaza is a strong, honest presentation of today’s Gazans, a necessary read that provides a good understanding of the humanity of the Palestinians in Gaza.”
“This book is rich in insights from Gazans living under Israel’s brutal siege as well as those living abroad. The editors and authors are determined to start a conversation about Gaza and to break “the intellectual blockade” imposed on it. From Jehad Abusalim’s introduction to the last word, these compelling works move from personal reflections to political and economic analysis. They capture the reader and pull them through a journey that is as uplifting as it is heartbreaking that it should have to be lived at all. It will not leave you unmoved and will reinforce your determination to strive for Palestinian freedom.”
—Nadia Hijab, co-founder, Al-Shabaka: the Palestinian Policy Network
“This brilliant, funny, inspiring collection of stories and essays by writers in Gaza was exactly what I needed to reinvigorate my hope and determination to work for a future that uplifts us all.”
—Ali Abunimah, Editor-in-chief, Electronic Intifada
“Gaza is often referred to as an ‘open-air prison,’ because it is so hard for messages, images or bodies to get out, or for resources to get in. Light in Gaza breaks through the prison walls and gives us a unique opportunity to hear and learn from those living under Israeli occupation in Gaza. Their voices are filled with pain, loss, frustration, anger, but most of all, hope. This powerful and beautifully crafted collection is one that readers must engage with heads and hearts wide open.”
—Barbara Ransby, historian, author, activist
“Light In Gaza is essential reading, not least because it reflects the voice of a people who are routinely and egregiously robbed of their basic humanity. It also represents a profound challenge to anyone who reads it. One author asks, “Can a story or a poem change the mind? Can a book make a difference?” The answer, as ever, is up to us all.”
—Rabbi Brant Rosen, Founding Rabbi of congregation Tzedek Chicago
“As Mahmud Darwish wrote as early as 1973, “we do injustice to Gaza when we turn it into a myth”. This is why “Light in Gaza”, through its insightful collection of essays and poems, offers such a unique picture of the Palestinian experience in a territory cut off from the world for a decade and a half.”
—Jean-Pierre Filiu, author of Gaza: A History”
The poignant first-person essays in this wide-ranging anthology have the greatest and rarest of virtues: they are portraits – brave, tender, resilient – of life in Gaza by the people who actually live it.”
—Nathan Thrall, author of The Only Language They Understand
Apeirogon: A Novel
by Colum McCann
From the National Book Award–winning and bestselling author of Let the Great World Spin comes an epic novel rooted in the unlikely real-life friendship between two fathers.
Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of conflict thatcolors every aspect of their lives, from the roads they are allowed to drive on to the schoolstheir children attend to the checkpoints, both physical and emotional, they must negotiate.
But their lives, however circumscribed, are upended one after the other: first, Rami’sthirteen-year-old daughter, Smadar, becomes the victim of suicide bombers; a decade later,Bassam’s ten-year-old daughter, Abir, is killed by a rubber bullet. Rami and Bassam had beenraised to hate one another. And yet, when they learn of each other’s stories, they recognizethe loss that connects them. Together they attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace—and with their one small act, start to permeate what has for generations seemed animpermeable conflict.
This extraordinary novel is the fruit of a seed planted when the novelist Colum McCann metthe real Bassam and Rami on a trip with the non-profit organization Narrative 4. McCannwas moved by their willingness to share their stories with the world, by their hope that if theycould see themselves in one another, perhaps others could too. With their blessing, and unprecedented access to their families, lives, and personalrecollections, McCann began to craft Apeirogon, which uses their real-life stories to beginanother—one that crosses centuries and continents, stitching together time, art, history,nature, and politics in a tale both heartbreaking and hopeful. The result is an ambitious novel, crafted out of a universe of fictional and nonfictional material, with these fathers’moving story at its heart.
New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the National Jewish Book Award
Named one of the best books of the year by The Independent, The New York Public Library, and Library Journal
“A quite extraordinary novel. Colum McCann has foundthe form and voice to tell the most complex of stories, with an unexpected friendship betweentwo men at its powerfully beating heart.”
—Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire
Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation
Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman (Editors)
A groundbreaking collection of essays by celebrated international writers bears witness to the human cost of 50 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
In Kingdom of Olives and Ash, Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, two of today’s most renowned novelists and essayists, have teamed up with the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence – an organization comprised of former Israeli soldiers who served in the occupied territories and saw firsthand the injustice there – and a host of illustrious writers to tell the stories of the people on the ground in the contested territories.
Kingdom of Olives and Ash includes contributions from several of today’s most esteemed storytellers including: Colum McCann, Jacqueline Woodson, Colm Toibin, Geraldine Brooks, Dave Eggers, Hari Kunzru, Raja Shehadeh, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Assaf Gavron as well as from editors Chabon and Waldman. Through these incisive, perceptive, and poignant essays, listeners will gain unique insight into the narratives behind the litany of grim destruction broadcasted nightly on the news as well as deeper understanding of the conflict as experienced by the people who live in the occupied territories. Together, these stories stand witness to the human cost of the occupation.
“Deeply unsettling, important stories call for urgent responses to the Middle East conflict.”
“Dramatic testimonies…radiant with telling details, vital portraits, and explosive facts…This sensitive, galvanizing, and landmark gathering brings the occupation into sharp focus as a tragedy of fear and tyranny, a monumental failure of compassion and justice, a horrific obstacle to world peace.”
“For this anthology, published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, esteemed novelists Chabon and Waldman join with the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence-an organization of former Israeli soldiers who served in the occupied territories-to present voices about a deeply contentious issue.”
The State of Israel vs. the Jews
By Sylvain Cypel
From an award-winning journalist, a perceptive study of how Israel’s actions, which run counter to the traditional historical values of Judaism, are putting Jewish people worldwide in an increasingly untenable position.
More than a decade ago, the historian Tony Judt considered whether the behavior of Israel was becoming not only “bad for Israel itself” but also, on a wider scale, “bad for the Jews.” Under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, this issue has grown ever more urgent. In The State of Israel vs. the Jews, veteran journalist Sylvain Cypel addresses it in depth, exploring Israel’s rightward shift on the international scene and with regard to the diaspora.
Cypel reviews the little-known details of the military occupation of Palestinian territory, the mindset of ethnic superiority that reigns throughout an Israeli “colonial camp” that is largely in the majority, and the adoption of new laws, the most serious of which establishes two-tier citizenship between Jews and non-Jews. He shows how Israel has aligned itself with authoritarian regimes and adopted the practices of a security state, including the use of technologies such as the software that enabled the tracking and, ultimately, the assassination of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Lastly, The State of Israel vs. the Jews examines the impact of Israel’s evolution in recent years on the two main communities of the Jewish diaspora, in France and the United States, considering how and why public figures in each differ in their approaches.
“In a book that is carefully documented yet burns with moral outrage, veteran French journalist Sylvain Cypel reflects on the growing divide between Israel and the Jewish diaspora in both France and the U.S. Composed with the general reader in mind, this is a superb summary of the current impasse.”
—Peter E. Gordon, Harvard University
“The content of Sylvain Cypel’s new book, The State of Israel vs. the Jews, is as stunning as the title. A distinguished journalist at the top of his profession, Cypel documents the systematic injustice that Israel perpetrates against Palestinians. Ultimately, he shows that Israel is (in the words of the late Tony Judt) ‘bad for the Jews’: Jews in Israel and elsewhere in the world. Israel is ‘bad for the Jews’ precisely to the extent that it is ruinous for the Palestinians. This original angle makes The State of Israel vs. the Jews stand out in the vast literature on Israel-Palestine. Cypel, moreover, writes as an insider: a Jew who lived in Israel for twelve years and studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Holding a mirror up to reality, denouncing injustice, Cypel is an exponent of an ancient Jewish art that began with Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the other Hebrew prophets: iconoclasts who shattered the false self-images of their contemporaries.”
—Dr. Brian Klug, Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy, St. Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford, and author of Being Jewish and Doing Justice: Bringing Argument to Life
“Alarmed, angry, and appalled, Sylvain Cypel accurately and succinctly describes an Israel that, if it were not Jewish, would have reminded all Diaspora Jews of regimes they suffered and fled from.”
—Amira Hass, Haaretz correspondent in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
“Cypel offers an unflinching and unrelenting survey of the many ways in which the occupation occupied Israel, and Israel repeatedly chose the occupation over the Jews of the diaspora.”
—Gershon Shafir, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of California, San Diego, and author of A Half Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine, and the World’s Most Intractable Conflict
Determined to Stay: Palestinian Youth Fight for Their Village
By Jody Sokolower
Silwan is a Palestinian village located just outside the ancient walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. Determined to Stay: Palestinian Youth Fight for Their Village is a moving story of a village and its people.
As Silwani youth and community members share their lives with us, their village becomes an easily accessible way to understand Palestinian history and current reality. Written with young people in mind, the richly illustrated text stresses connections between the lives of youth in the US and Palestine: criminalization of youth, forced relocation, the impact of colonialism on Indigenous communities, efforts to bury history, and inspiring examples of resistance and resilience.
“An urgent book about the impact of Israel’s occupation on Palestinian youth …Through the personal stories of Palestinians, Sokolower lays bare daily realities of segregation and displacement … Each chapter in this clear, evocative, moving work shows how Palestinians are routinely harassed, dehumanized, and detained … The narratives and background information vividly show readers how Israel’s occupation affects mental health, education, employment, and everyday familial life, but they also paint a beautiful picture of resistance in the face of harrowing despair.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“Necessary reading that is highly recommended … The harrowing and heartbreaking true stories told by the Palestinian children reveal the obvious parallels between the treatment of Indigenous people by the U.S. government in the past and the current racial injustices, especially toward Black people … Their stories will elicit empathy and outrage at the unfairness of their treatment.”
“What is life like for you, Jody Sokolower asks the children and young people of the Palestinian village of Silwan. Her extraordinary book tells their stories … And she brings the stories home, documenting the parallel histories in which Israeli efforts to destroy Palestinian lives and seize their land are met with the same generations of resistance as US efforts to eliminate the Indigenous people of this land.”
—Phyllis Bennis, author of Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
“Jody Sokolower weaves a transnational story across settler-colonial geographies from Northern California to East Jerusalem to illuminate ongoing struggles for land and freedom. Using her personal story as a teacher in community with young people, she highlights the entwinements of knowledge and power that reinforce oppressive status quos and possible futures by forefronting the stories of Palestinian youth, who speak loudly and clearly in their own voices. Determined to Stay is a must-read book for all ages and stands to fill a critical gap in US standard curricula.”
—Noura Erakat, activist and human rights attorney, author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine, co-editor of Jadaliyya
“As a Palestinian high school educator and mother of school-aged children, Determined to Stay is the book I have been waiting for. This is the book I want my own children reading in their classrooms. It is one of the few contemporary books that sheds light on the current reality of Palestinians and is written particularly for middle and high school students, although it can be adapted for use with upper elementary grades. The history and current reality of the people of Silwan is reflective of the plight of Palestinians in their homeland—struggling to resist settler colonial occupation and still celebrate the joy of family, friends, and their ability to survive. An essential read for educators and students trying to understand the Palestinian fight to hold onto home.”
—Samia Shoman, Northern California high school social studies teacher and district leader for ethnic studies implementation
A Half Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine, and the World’s Most Intractable Conflict
By Gershon Shafir
The Israel-Palestine conflict is one of the world’s most polarizing confrontations. Its current phase, Israel’s “temporary” occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, turned a half century old in June 2017. In these timely and provocative essays, Gershon Shafir asks three questions—What is the occupation, why has it lasted so long, and how has it transformed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? His cogent answers illuminate how we got here, what here is, and where we are likely to go. Shafir expertly demonstrates that at its fiftieth year, the occupation is riven with paradoxes, legal inconsistencies, and conflicting interests that weaken the occupiers’ hold and leave the occupation itself vulnerable to challenge.
“An indispensable guide for anyone who wants to understand the occupation that has blighted Israeli and Palestinian lives for fifty years.”
—Peter Beinart, author of The Crisis of Zionism
“Fifty years after the Six-Day War, Israeli direct control over the West Bank and indirect control over Gaza continue with no end in sight. While younger generations of Palestinians have grown up knowing nothing but occupation, all global citizens need to learn or be reminded of how it came about, its nature, and the reasons for its longevity. Gershon Shafir tells this story masterfully, with clarity and passion. A much-needed guidebook for understanding one of the great moral questions of our time.”
—James Gelvin, author of The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War
“A Half Century of Occupation approaches the most fraught of subjects with compelling analysis, meticulous research, and plain old common sense. Shafir’s insights are valuable both for those with experience in the politics and history of the Middle East and for those new to the subject.”
—Ayelet Waldman, novelist, author of Love and Treasure, and co-editor of Kingdom of Olives and Ash
“In this thoughtful, sober, and astute study of fifty years of Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Shafir poses the right questions, treats them with the depth of knowledge and analysis they require and deserve, and reaches conclusions that are insightful and nuanced in equal measure. Additionally, and crucially, he helps us to prepare for the future as we better understand the past. This essential book is certain to withstand the tests of time.”
—Mouin Rabbani, Senior Fellow, Institute for Palestine Studies
“A Half Century of Occupation should be a part of any academics bookshelf. It is well grounded in international law, humanitarian law, and history. It is very well written, and while it is essentially an academic book, it should be accessible to those with some knowledge of the themes under discussion.”
―The Palestine Chronicle
The Wall and the Gate: Israel, Palestine, and the Legal Battle for Human Rights
by Michael Sfard
A farmer in the West Bank, cut off from his fields by Israel’s separation barrier, wants to petition the courts to build a gate in the wall. But while the gate would help the farmer harvest his crop, would it not also confer legitimacy on the wall itself? For Michael Sfard, pursuing justice means encountering such dilemmas on a daily basis.
This groundbreaking work examines the ethics and challenges of legal work for human rights. Recounting key cases and issues, Sfard lays bare the reality of the occupation and exposes its surreal legal structures. With emotional force and penetrating analysis, he offers both a moral reckoning with the occupation and a blueprint for a hopeful future.
Michael Sfard is one of Israel’s leading human rights lawyers. A former conscientious objector, he received the Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award and an Open Society Fellowship. His writing on human rights has appeared in The New York Times, Haaretz, The Independent, and Foreign Policy. He lives in Tel Aviv.
“Sfard stands securely among the stars of the civil rights and human rights committed lawyers/scholars of his generation…. The energy and passion that inform his superb book exist side by side with meticulous detail, informed by a historian’s love for tracing attitudes, themes, and politics as they have evolved over a half century.”
―Henry J. Steiner, The Times of Israel
“Engaging, highly informative, and thought-provoking, this is a book that only an activist, scholar, and top human rights lawyer like Michael Sfard could have written. It should be required reading for anyone wanting to understand the struggle for human rights in occupied Palestine.”
―Raja Shehadeh, author of Where the Line Is Drawn: A Tale of Crossings, Friendships, and Fifty Years of Occupation in Israel-Palestine
“At a time of surging ethnic nationalism, the legal struggle to prevent injustice against Palestinians is especially difficult. Michael Sfard is at the forefront of this struggle and his account is both a compelling story and an important contribution to understanding how battles for human rights are fought in the courts.”
―Aryeh Neier, former executive director of the ACLU
“Comprehensive, detailed, reflective, troubling, thought-provoking and rooted in universal human principles, The Wall and the Gate is the definitive study of the struggle for Palestinian human rights under occupation – a must read.”
―Naomi Chazan, former member of Knesset and president, the New Israel Fund
“The Wall and the Gate grapples candidly with the dilemma of working within Israel’s courts to achieve some modicum of justice for the occupation’s victims while knowing that doing so reinforces a system of injustice. It is essential reading.”
―Kenneth Roth, executive director, Human Rights Watch
“Providing an intimate history of the occupation, as well as an honest reckoning with the dilemmas inherent to the legal quest for justice, The Wall and the Gate will serve as an inspiration for all who labor in the field of human rights and seek to use the law to confront oppression.”
―John Dugard, judge ad hoc, International Court of Justice; former UN special rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017
By Rashid Khalidi
A landmark history of one hundred years of war waged against the Palestinians from the foremost US historian of the Middle East, told through pivotal events and family history
In 1899, Yusuf Diya al-Khalidi, mayor of Jerusalem, alarmed by the Zionist call to create a Jewish national home in Palestine, wrote a letter aimed at Theodore Herzl: the country had an indigenous people who would not easily accept their own displacement. He warned of the perils ahead, ending his note, “in the name of God, let Palestine be left alone.” Thus Rashid Khalidi, al-Khalidi’s great-great-nephew, begins this sweeping history, the first general account of the conflict told from an explicitly Palestinian perspective.
Drawing on a wealth of untapped archival materials and the reports of generations of family members—mayors, judges, scholars, diplomats, and journalists—The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine upends accepted interpretations of the conflict, which tend, at best, to describe a tragic clash between two peoples with claims to the same territory. Instead, Khalidi traces a hundred years of colonial war on the Palestinians, waged first by the Zionist movement and then Israel, but backed by Britain and the United States, the great powers of the age. He highlights the key episodes in this colonial campaign, from the 1917 Balfour Declaration to the destruction of Palestine in 1948, from Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon to the endless and futile peace process.
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.
“Informed and passionate . . . Khalidi’s is an elegy for the Palestinians, for their dispossession, for their failure to resist conquest.”
“The Hundred Years’ War is one of the best-researched general surveys of 20th and early 21st century Palestinian life, but it’s also a deeply personal work. . . . For a people whose history is all but criminalized, this act of retelling is itself a form of resistance.”
“Masterful . . . brilliant . . . This major work will occupy a central position in the literature of Palestinian history.”
“For those who want to learn about the course of the Israel-Palestine conflict up till now, and are open-minded: read this book. It comes over as a brilliant synthesis of high scholarship and experience, fair-minded, and highly readable.”
“Meticulous . . . Rashid Khalidi’s exhaustive research leaves no doubt that the Jewish colonizers were acutely aware from the start that the Palestinian people had to be subjugated and removed to create the Jewish state.”
―Chris Hedges, TruthDig
“This book is a masterful work of scholarship and personal history excavating unlike any I’ve seen before; this will become a major force in the Palestinian historical canon in the years to come.”
“Rashid Khalidi enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the greatest living historians of the Palestinian people. . . . Khalidi is a sophisticated and unapologetic exponent of an increasingly widely held view of the Israel–Palestine conflict.”
―The Literary Review (UK)
“A riveting and original work, the first to explore the century of war against the Palestinians on the basis of deep immersion in their struggle―a work enriched by solid scholarship, vivid personal experience, and acute appreciation of the concerns and aspirations of the contending parties in this deeply unequal conflict.”
―Noam Chomsky, author of Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy
“This is the first true people’s history of the hundred-year struggle of the Palestinian people, a beautifully written text and a call for justice and self-determination.”
―Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States
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.
The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories
by Ilan Pappe
A powerful, groundbreaking history of the Occupied Territories from one of Israel’s most influential historians
From the author of the bestselling study of the 1948 War of Independence comes an incisive look at the Occupied Territories, picking up the story where The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine left off.
In this comprehensive exploration of one of the world’s most prolonged and tragic conflicts, Pappe uses recently declassified archival material to analyse the motivations and strategies of the generals and politicians – and the decision-making process itself – that laid the foundation of the occupation. From a survey of the legal and bureaucratic infrastructures that were put in place to control the population of over one million Palestinians, to the security mechanisms that vigorously enforced that control, Pappe paints a picture of what is to all intents and purposes the world’s largest ‘open prison’.
‘[Pappe] boldly and persuasively argues for understanding the occupied territories as the world’s “largest ever mega-prison”… Pappe’s conclusions won’t be welcome in all quarters but this detailed history is rigorously supported by primary sources.’
― Publishers Weekly
‘A diagnostic survey of Israel’s long-planned occupation of the Palestinian’s land… A grim, hard-hitting look at the nuts and bolts of Israeli occupation.’
‘What is new in The Biggest Prison on Earth is Pappe’s detailed accounting of exactly what the Israeli planners were contemplating in 1963; namely, “the largest ever mega-prison for a million and a half people.”’
― Electronic Intifada
‘Pappe’s book is critical for understanding the present situation and looking forward to possible solutions.’ ― CHOICE reviews
Ten Myths About Israel
By Ilan Pappe
In this groundbreaking book, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the Occupation, the outspoken and radical Israeli historian Ilan Pappe examines the most contested ideas concerning the origins and identity of the contemporary state of Israel.
The “ten myths” that Pappe explores—repeated endlessly in the media, enforced by the military, accepted without question by the world’s governments—reinforce the regional status quo. He explores the claim that Palestine was an empty land at the time of the Balfour Declaration, as well as the formation of Zionism and its role in the early decades of nation building. He asks whether the Palestinians voluntarily left their homeland in 1948, and whether June 1967 was a war of “no choice.” Turning to the myths surrounding the failures of the Camp David Accords and the official reasons for the attacks on Gaza, Pappe explains why the two-state solution is no longer viable.
“Ilan Pappe is Israel’s bravest, most principled, most incisive historian.”
“One of the most prominent Israeli political dissidents living in exile … He is also one of the few Israeli students of the conflict who write about the Palestinian side with real knowledge and empathy.”
—Avi Shlaim, Guardian
“Along with Edward Said, Ilan Pappe is the most eloquent writer of Palestinian history.”
“Ten Myths About Israel is a useful primer for people just becoming familiar with the Palestinian liberation struggle—but it is far more than that. It is also a valuable tool for veteran organizers seeking to explain cogently and simply how Israel’s foundational myths and ongoing propaganda perpetuate the oppression of the Palestinian people.”
“This book is an absolute must for an interested public, the political and the media class to understand what Israel is all about.”
—American Herald Tribune
Gaza: Preparing for Dawn
by Donald Macintyre
Uniquely imprisoned, most Palestinians in Gaza cannot travel beyond the confines of the Strip, and in times of war escape is impossible. They live under siege – economic and armed – and yet so many remain courageous, outspoken and steadfast.
Donald Macintyre lays bare Gaza’s human tragedy and reveals how it became a crucible of conflict and a byword for suffering. He identifies the repeated failings – including those of the international community – that have seen countless opportunities for peace pass by. Yet, against all odds, hope for a better future lingers.
Gaza was once a flourishing coastal civilization open to the world. Could it be so again?
‘As head of the Independent’s Jerusalem bureau, Donald Macintyre followed Gaza at a critical time, as he recounts in his highly impressive book Gaza: Preparing for Dawn. His first-hand account of the tragedy is even-handed, balanced and devastating.’
― Ari Shavit, Times Literary Supplement
‘Donald Macintyre has managed to skillfully write a comprehensive account of the Strip that is faithful to history, humane in its consideration of people, and accurate with respect to events. The lucid style of this commendable journalist makes history and events comprehensible and easy to follow.’
― This Week in Palestine
‘A brilliant and incisive account of this tiny, vibrant, but embattled enclave. With the two million people of Gaza struggling to survive food shortages, electricity cuts, and increasing amounts of sewage in her surrounding seas, this is a must-read.’
— Jon Snow
‘Donald Macintyre’s Gaza is a deeply informed and elegant portrait of this small but profoundly important and misunderstood part of the world. Not only are Gaza’s history and politics made compellingly accessible, so too are her sight, sound and smell. In this way Macintyre challenges any notion of Gaza’s irrelevance and perhaps more importantly does what few authors writing on Gaza have done: elevates the ordinary in a manner that will endure, helping the reader understand that no matter who we are and where we are from, in Gaza we can recognise ourselves. This book speaks to something greater than Gaza’s pain; it speaks to Gaza’s soul.’
—Sara Roy, Senior Research Scholar, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University
‘Donald Macintyre has written a remarkable political panorama about Gaza today. In cool prose he exposes the history of the conflict and the discussion that has surrounded it. Anyone interested in understanding the situation between Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and Israel should look at the conclusion of this book. Anyone who wants to feel a little bit how people live in this narrow strip of land on the Mediterranean coast must read the whole work.’
—Shlomo Sand, Emeritus Professor of History, Tel Aviv University, and author of The Invention of the Jewish People
Israel and South Africa: The Many Faces of Apartheid
Ilan Pappé (Editor),
Contributors: Ronnie Kasrils, Doctor Oren Ben-Dor, Jonathan Cook, Leila Farsakh, Anthony Löwstedt, Amneh Badran, Steven Friedman, Virginia Q. Tilley, Ran Greenstein
Within the already heavily polarised debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, parallels between Israel and apartheid South Africa remain highly contentious. A number of prominent academic and political commentators, including former US president Jimmy Carter and UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard, have argued that Israel’s treatment of its Arab-Israeli citizens and the people of the occupied territories amounts to a system of oppression no less brutal or inhumane than that of South Africa’s white supremacists. Similarly, boycott and disinvestment campaigns comparable to those employed by anti-apartheid activists have attracted growing support. Yet while the ‘apartheid question’ has become increasingly visible in this debate, there has been little in the way of genuine scholarly analysis of the similarities (or otherwise) between the Zionist and apartheid regimes.
In Israel and South Africa, Ilan Pappé, one of Israel’s preeminent academics and a noted critic of the current government, brings together lawyers, journalists, policy makers and historians of both countries to assess the implications of the apartheid analogy for international law, activism and policy making. With contributors including the distinguished anti-apartheid activist Ronnie Kasrils, Israel and South Africa offers a bold and incisive perspective on one of the defining moral questions of our age.
“This is an exceptionally important contribution to contemporary debates on Israeli apartheid. There is simply no other collection out there that brings such historical and comparative breadth to bear on this question – a must read!”
―Adam Hanieh, SOAS, University of London
“Comparing Israel and apartheid South Africa is one of the great taboos of our time. This collection breaks the taboo in examining settler colonialism and apartheid in both Israel itself and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
―John Dugard, former Special Rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council
“It is clear from this finely crafted collection of essays that Israel has much in common with white-ruled South Africa. Indeed, Israel and South Africa provides abundant evidence that Israel is worse than South Africa was, and that Israeli apartheid will be more enduring than the South African variant. This smart and informative book should be read by every person who cares about Israel and its victims.”
―John J. Mearsheimer, author of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
“Demonstrates how Apartheid as a political system of segregation is not specific to any particular race or country, and why invoking it in the context of Israel /Palestine is both instructive and instrumental. The authors show there’s lots to learn from the successful struggle against the Apartheid of South Africa.”
―Marwan Bishara, author of Palestine/Israel: Peace or Apartheid
“Nine superbly qualified authors confirm from a variety of perspectives the allegations of apartheid directed at Israel. This book is profoundly convincing, and should put an end to serious debate about whether Israel is guilty of apartheid.”
―Richard Falk, author of Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope
Apartheid South Africa! Apartheid Israel?
By Brian Brown
In ‘Apartheid South Africa! Apartheid Israel?’ Brian Brown analyses Israel as replicating what he calls Grand Apartheid; the violent dispossession of land, nationality and human rights by one ethnic group of another. Save that this time it is Palestistian rather then Black people whosuffer apartheid’s illegal occupation, domination and disempowerment. The book’scomparative analysis of two apartheid states is backed by accounts of Israeli andInternational Human Rights organisations whose legal analysis presents Israel as practisinga crime against humanity, the Crime of Apartheid.
Jewish and Palestinian narratives engage with each other, whilst the book’s Christian option for the oppressed and marginalised is presented unapologetically. Related themes of Zionism (Jewish and Christian), Interfaith dialogue, apartheid as heresy, anti-Palestianism andantisemitism are treated. Most importantly, the voices of those who live between the river(Jordan) and the sea (Mediterranean) are heard. For Jews and Palestinians alike, theirfreedoms remain indivisible.