Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
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Action Alerts


The BEDOUIN

We have posted more than 30 articles on The Bedouin of the Naqab/Negev over the last three years

See the JfJfP briefing note on Bedouin Palestinians of the Naqab and download our 2013 leaflet on the Prawer plan
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Did you know?



Settlements Generate Virtually No Economic Activity
"A recent Israeli government report estimated there are…$250 million in annual exports — [only] 0.55 percent of the national total — from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, territories the international community generally considers illegally occupied."
Jodi Rodoren cited by Richard Silverstein, 22 Jan 2014

Daily acts of violence committed by Jewish Israeli citizens against West Bank Palestinians
"These incidents — now particularly heightened during the olive harvest season — are not the aberration from the norm, but a regular feature of life in the occupied West Bank. In 2012, over 7,500 Palestinian olive trees were destroyed. In the 5-year period between 2007 and 2011, there was a 315 percent increase in settler violence."
Mairav Zonszein, Israel Must Stop Settler Violence, 8 November 2013
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Police impunity
After their own investigations establishing a prima facie violation, Btselem has lodged over 280 complaints of alleged police violence in the oPt since the start of the second Intifada: "we are aware of only 12 indictments" Btselem April 2013
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Runners in the first ever Bethlehem Marathon were forced to run two laps of the same course on Sunday 21 April 2013, as Palestinians were unable to find a single stretch of free land that is 26 miles long in Area A, where the PA has both security and civil authority. See Marathon report
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30th March, land day.
On 30 March 1976, thousands of Palestinians living as a minority in Israel mounted a general strike and organised protests against Israeli government plans to expropriate almost 15,000 acres of Palestinian land in the Galilee.The Israeli government, led by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and defence minister Shimon Peres, sent in the army to break up the general strike. The Israeli army killed six unarmed Palestinians, wounded hundreds and arrested hundreds more, including political activists. All were citizens of Israel.
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* Out of 103 investigations opened in 2012 into alleged offences committed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories, not a single indictment served to date
Yesh Din, 3 Feb 2013
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* In total, out of an area of 1.6 million dunams in the Jordan Valley, Israel has seized 1.25 million − some 77.5 percent − where Palestinians are forbidden to enter.
Haaretz editorial, 4 Feb 2013
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Posts

Most Recently Published Books

RECENT BOOKS RELATING TO ISRAEL/PALESTINE

It is planned to try to update this section every 8 to 10 weeks. Please contact us if you have any comments or ideas for new books to be included in a future posting.

When the page is updated, all books previously posted on this page are transferred to a set of pages organised under the following headings:

1. MEMOIRS/BIOGRAPHY/ORAL TESTIMONIES
2. THE ARTS – FICTION/POETRY/PHOTOGRAPHY
3. HISTORY
4. CURRENT AFFAIRS/POLITICS

 

Posted 14 April 2014

MEMOIRS/BIOGRAPHY/ORAL TESTIMONIES

Altemad Muhanna: Agency and gender in Gaza (2013)

Lipika Pelham: The unlikely settler (2014)

S.Tamari & I.Nassar (Eds.): The storyteller of Jerusalem: The life & times of Wasif Jawhariyyeh, 1904-48  (2014)

THE ARTS – FICTION/POETRY/PHOTOGRAPHY

Anna Bernard: Rhetorics of belonging: Nation, narrative and Israel/Palestine (2014)

David McDonald: My voice is my weapon: Music, nationalism and the poetics of Palestinian resistance (2014)

HISTORY

 Ifrat Ben-Ze’ev: Remembering Palestine in 1948: Beyond national narratives (2014)

 Irus Braverman: Planted flags: Trees, land & the law in Israel (2014)

 Norman Finkelstein: Old wine, broken bottle: Avi Shavit’s Promised Land (2014)

 John Judis: Genesis: Truman, American Jews and the origins of Israel (2014)

 Ilan Pappe: The idea of Israel: A history of power and knowledge (2014)

CURRENT AFFAIRS/POLITICS

Matthew Abraham: Out of bounds: Academic freedom and the question of Palestine (2014)

Rochelle Davis & Mimi Kirk (Eds.): Palestine and the Palestinians (2013)

M.Marder & G.Vattimo (Eds.): Deconstructing Zionism: A critique of political metaphysics (2013)

Caroline Glick: The Israeli solution: A One-State plan for peace in the Middle East (2014)

Keith Kahn-Harris: Uncivil wars: The Israel conflict in the Jewish community (2014)

 

MEMOIRS/BIOGRAPHY/ORAL TESTIMONIES

Altemad Muhanna: Agency and gender in Gaza (Ashgate, 2013, £60)

Publisher’s description: Drawing on rich interview material and adopting a life history approach, this book examines the agency of women living in insecure and uncertain conflict situations. It explores the effects of the Israeli policy of closure against Gaza and the resulting humanitarian crisis in relation to gender relations and gender subjectivity.  With attention to the changing roles of men in the household and community as a result of the loss of male employment, the author explores the extension of poor women’s mobility, particularly that of young wives with dependent children, for whom the meaning of agency has shifted from being providers in the domestic sphere to becoming publicly dependent on humanitarian aid. Without conflating women’s agency with resistance to patriarchy, Agency and Gender in Gaza extends the concept of agency to include its subjective and intersubjective elements, shedding light on the recent distortion of the traditional gender order and the reasons for which women resist the masculine power that they have acquired as a result.

Reviews: Middle East Media & Book Reviews Online

Jordan Times

Lipika Pelham: The unlikely settler (Other Press, 2014, £17.99)

Publisher’s description: The Unlikely Settler is none other than a young Bengali journalist who moves to Jerusalem with her English-Jewish husband and two children. He speaks Arabic and is an arch believer in the peace process; she leaves her career behind to follow his dream. Jerusalem propels Pelham into a world where freedom from tribal allegiance is a challenging prospect. From the school you choose for your children to the wine you buy, you take sides at every turn. Pelham’s complicated relationship with her husband, Leo, is as emotive as the city she lives in, as full of energy, pain, and contradictions. As she tries to navigate the complexities and absurdities of daily life in Jerusalem, often with hilarious results, Pelham achieves deep insights into the respective woes and guilt of her Palestinian and Israeli friends. Her intelligent analysis suggests a very different approach to a potential resolution of the conflict.

Reviews: none yet available

 

S.Tamari & I.Nassar (Eds.): The storyteller of Jerusalem: The life & times of Wasif Jawhariyyeh, 1904-48  (Interlink Books, 2014 paperback, £15.99)

Publisher’s description: The memoirs of Wasif Jawhariyyeh are a remarkable treasure trove of writings on the life, culture, music, and history of Jerusalem. Spanning over four decades, from 1904 to 1948, they cover a period of enormous and turbulent change in Jerusalem’s history, but change lived and recalled from the daily vantage point of the street storyteller. Oud player, music lover and ethnographer, poet, collector, partygoer, satirist, civil servant, local historian, devoted son, husband, father, and person of faith, Wasif viewed the life of his city through multiple roles and lenses. The result is a vibrant, unpredictable, sprawling collection of anecdotes, observations, and yearnings as varied as the city itself. Reflecting the times of Ottoman rule, the British mandate, and the run-up to the founding of the state of Israel, The Storyteller of Jerusalem offers intimate glimpses of people and events, and of forces promoting confined, divisive ethnic and sectarian identities. Yet, through his passionate immersion in the life of the city, Wasif reveals the communitarian ethos that runs so powerfully through Jerusalem’s past. And that offers perhaps the best hope for its future. 

Reviews: Electronic Intifada

 

THE ARTS – FICTION/POETRY/PHOTOGRAPHY

 Anna Bernard: Rhetorics of belonging: Nation, narrative and Israel/Palestine (Liverpool University Press, 2014, £75)

Publisher’s description: The crisis in Israel/Palestine has long been the world’s most visible military conflict. Yet the region’s cultural and intellectual life remains all but unknown to most foreign observers, which means that literary texts that make it into circulation abroad tend to be received as historical documents rather than aesthetic artefacts. Rhetorics of Belonging examines the diverse ways in which Palestinian and Israeli world writers have responded to the expectation that they will ‘narrate’ the nation, invigorating critical debates about the political and artistic value of national narration as a reading and writing practice. It considers writers whose work is rarely discussed together, offering new readings of the work of Edward Said, Amos Oz, Mourid Barghouti, Orly Castel-Bloom, Sahar Khalifeh, and Anton Shammas. This book helps to restore the category of the nation to contemporary literary criticism by attending to a context where the idea of the nation is so central a part of everyday experience that writers cannot not address it, and readers cannot help but read for it. It also points a way toward a relational literary history of Israel/Palestine, one that would situate Palestinian and Israeli writing in the context of a history of antagonistic interaction.

 

Reviews: Electronic Intifada 

 

David McDonald: My voice is my weapon: Music, nationalism and the poetics of Palestinian resistance (Duke University Press, 2014, paperback, £16.99)

Publisher’s description: In My Voice Is My Weapon, David A. McDonald rethinks the conventional history of the Palestinian crisis through an ethnographic analysis of music and musicians, protest songs, and popular culture. Charting a historical narrative that stretches from the late-Ottoman period through the end of the second Palestinian intifada, McDonald examines the shifting politics of music in its capacity to both reflect and shape fundamental aspects of national identity. Drawing case studies from Palestinian communities in Israel, in exile, and under occupation, McDonald grapples with the theoretical and methodological challenges of tracing “resistance” in the popular imagination, attempting to reveal the nuanced ways in which Palestinians have confronted and opposed the traumas of foreign occupation. The first of its kind, this book offers an in-depth ethnomusicological analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, contributing a performative perspective to the larger scholarly conversation about one of the world’s most contested humanitarian issues.

Reviews: Middle East Media & Book Reviews 

 

HISTORY

Efrat Ben-Ze’ev: Remembering Palestine in 1948: Beyond national narratives (Cambridge University Press, 2014, paperback, £19.99)

Publisher’s description: The war of 1948 in Palestine is a conflict whose history has been written primarily from the national point of view. This book asks what happens when narratives of war arise out of personal stories of those who were involved, stories that are still unfolding. Efrat Ben-Ze’ev examines the memories of those who participated and were affected by the events of 1948, and how these events have been mythologized over time. This is a three-way conversation between Palestinian villagers, Jewish-Israeli veterans, and British policemen who were stationed in Palestine on the eve of the war. Each has his or her story to tell. These small-scale truths shed new light on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as it was then and as it has become.

Reviews: Institute for Palestine Studies 

 

Irus Braverman: Planted flags: Trees, land & the law in Israel (Cambridge University Press, 2014, paperback, £20.99)

Publisher’s description:Planted Flags tells an extraordinary story about the mundane uses of law and landscape in the war between Israelis and Palestinians. The book is structured around the two dominant tree landscapes in Israel/Palestine: pine forests and olive groves. The pine tree, which is usually associated with the Zionist project of afforesting the Promised Land, is contrasted with the olive tree, which Palestinians identify as a symbol of their longtime connection to the land. What is it that makes these seemingly innocuous, even natural, acts of planting, cultivating, and uprooting trees into acts of war? How is this war reflected, mediated, and, above all, reinforced through the polarization of the ‘natural’ landscape into two juxtaposed landscapes? And what is the role of law in this story? Planted Flags explores these questions through an ethnographic study. By telling the story of trees through the narratives of military and government officials, architects, lawyers, Palestinian and Israeli farmers, and Jewish settlers, the seemingly static and mute landscape assumes life, expressing the cultural, economic, and legal dynamics that constantly shape and reshape it.

 

Reviews: none yet available

 

Norman Finkelstein: Old wine, broken bottle: Avi Shavit’s Promised Land (OR Books, 2014, paperback, £6)

Publisher’s description: My Promised Land by Haaretz journalist Ari Shavit has been one of the most widely discussed and lavishly praised books about Israel in recent years. (…) Were he not already inured to the logrolling that passes for informed opinion on this topic, Norman Finkelstein might have been surprised, astonished even. That’s because, as he reveals with typical precision, My Promised Land is riddled with omission, distortion, falsehood, and sheer nonsense. In brief chapters that analyze Shavit’s defense of Zionism and Israel’s Jewish identity, its nuclear arsenal and its refusal to negotiate peace, Finkelstein shows how highly selective criticism and sanctimonious handwringing are deployed to create a paean to modern Israel more sophisticated than the traditional our-country-right-or-wrong. In this way, Shavit hopes to win back an American Jewish community increasingly alienated from a place it once regarded as home. However, because the myths he recycles have been so comprehensively shattered, this project is unlikely to succeed.

 

Reviews: none yet available

 

John Judis: Genesis: Truman, American Jews and the origins of Israel (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2014, £18)

Publisher’s description:There has been more than half a century of raging conflict between Jews and Arabs—a violent, costly struggle that has had catastrophic repercussions in a critical region of the world. In Genesis, John B. Judis argues that, while Israelis and Palestinians must shoulder much of the blame, the United States has been the principal power outside the region since the end of World War II and as such must account for its repeated failed efforts to resolve this enduring strife. The fatal flaw in American policy, Judis shows, can be traced back to the Truman years. What happened between 1945 and 1949 sealed the fate of the Middle East for the remainder of the century. As a result, understanding that period holds the key to explaining almost everything that follows—right down to George W. Bush’s unsuccessful and ill-conceived effort to win peace through holding elections among the Palestinians, and Barack Obama’s failed attempt to bring both parties to the negotiating table. A provocative narrative history animated by a strong analytical and moral perspective, and peopled by colorful and outsized personalities, Genesis offers a fresh look at these critical postwar years, arguing that if we can understand how this stalemate originated, we will be better positioned to help end it.

Reviews: Boston Globe 

 Tikkun 

 Electronic Intifada 

 

Ilan Pappe: The idea of Israel: A history of power and knowledge (Verso, 2014, £16.99)

 

Publisher’s description:Since its foundation in 1948, Israel has drawn on Zionism, the movement behind its creation, to provide a sense of self and political direction. In this groundbreaking new work, Ilan Pappe looks at the continued role of Zionist ideology. The Idea of Israel considers the way Zionism operates outside of the government and military in areas such as the country’s education system, media, and cinema, and the uses that are made of the Holocaust in supporting the state’s ideological structure. In particular, Pappe examines the way successive generations of historians have framed the 1948 conflict as a liberation campaign, creating a foundation myth that went unquestioned in Israeli society until the 1990s. (…) The Idea of Israel is a powerful and urgent intervention in the war of ideas concerning the past, and the future, of the Palestinian–Israeli conflict.

Reviews: none yet available

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS/POLITICS

Matthew Abraham: Out of bounds: Academic freedom and the question of Palestine (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014, paperback, £19.95)

Publisher’s description: Academic freedom is a key element of the academic enterprise in the U.S. However, it does not seem to exist when scholars seek to advocate on behalf of Palestinian self-determination. This unique work examines how the knowledge-power nexus is shaping the discourse around the Israel-Palestine conflict and restricting academic freedom. Beginning with a discussion of American Zionism, the work proceeds to explain why scholars working on the question of Palestine are often denied standard academic freedom. This is supported by prominent cases, such as Norman G. Finkelstein’s denial of tenure, the Middle East Studies Department at Columbia University, and Mearsheimer and Walt’s book, The Israel Lobby. The work of Edward Said and Noam Chomsky are also discussed and the book concludes with recommendations for protecting intellectual freedom to those seeking to critically pursue the question of Palestine.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Rochelle Davis & Mimi Kirk (eds.): Palestine and the Palestinians (Indiana University Press, 2013, paperback, £18.99)

Publisher’s description:Recent developments in Palestinian political, economic, and social life have resulted in greater insecurity and diminishing confidence in Israel’s willingness to abide by political agreements or the Palestinian leadership’s ability to forge consensus. This volume examines the legacies of the past century, conditions of life in the present, and the possibilities and constraints on prospects for peace and self-determination in the future. These historically grounded essays by leading scholars engage the issues that continue to shape Palestinian society, such as economic development, access to resources, religious transformation, and political movements.

Reviews: Electronic Intifada

 

Caroline Glick: The Israeli solution: A One-State plan for peace in the Middle East (Crown Forum, 2014, £15.10)

 

Publisher’s description: A manifesto that exposes the flaws in the two-state policy of the United States toward Israel and the Palestinians and offers a direct and powerful call for Israeli sovereignty in the region. The reigning consensus in elite and academic circles is that the United States must seek to resolve the Palestinians’ conflict with Israel by implementing the so-called two-state solution. Establishing a Palestinian state, so the thinking goes, would be a panacea for all the region’s ills. (…) In a time when American politics are marked by partisan gridlock, the two-state solution stands out for its ability to attract supporters from both sides of the ideological divide. But the great irony is that it is one of the most irrational and failed policies the United States has ever adopted. Between 1970 and 2013, the United States presented nine different peace plans for Israel and the Palestinians, and for the past twenty years, the two state solution has been the centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy. But despite this laser focus, American efforts to implement a two-state peace deal have failed—and with each new attempt, the Middle East has become less stable, more violent, more radicalized, and more inimical to democratic values and interests.  In The Israeli Solution, Caroline Glick, senior contributing editor to the Jerusalem Post, examines the history and misconceptions behind the two-state policy (…).

 

Reviews: Kirkus Reviews 

 

 

M.Marder & G.Vattimo (Eds.): Deconstructing Zionism: A critique of political metaphysics (Bloomsbury, 2013, paperback, £17.99)

 

Publisher’s description: While other nationalisms seem to have adapted to twenty-first century realities and shifting notions of state and nation, Zionism has largely remained tethered to a nineteenth century mentality, including the glorification of the state as the only means of expressing the spirit of the people. These essays, contributed by eminent international thinkers including Slavoj Zizek, Luce Irigaray, Judith Butler, Gianni Vattimo, Walter Mignolo, Marc Ellis, and others, deconstruct the political-metaphysical myths that are the framework for the existence of Israel. Collectively, they offer a multifaceted critique of the metaphysical, theological, and onto-political grounds of the Zionist project and the economic, geopolitical, and cultural outcomes of these foundations. A significant contribution to the debates surrounding the state of Israel today, this groundbreaking work will appeal to anyone interested in political theory, philosophy, Jewish thought, and the Middle East conflict.

 

Reviews: none yet available

 

Keith Kahn-Harris: Uncivil wars: The Israel conflict in the Jewish community (David Paul, 2014, Paperback, £10)

 

Publisher’s description: The author explores the causes of the conflicts and describes his own innovative efforts at conflict resolution. Analysing the various groupings -  left, right, secular and religious, pro and anti-Zionist – in Britain and the USA, Keith Kahn-Harris looks at the history of civility in society and examines the different methods used by international organisations and groups involved in developing dialogue within Jewish communities. He describes, how using these techniques and with expert help, he brought together more than seventy prominent diverse British Jews for a series of encounters. He concludes that dialogue and civility is possible. But with no change in behaviour there will be serious consequences for the Jewish communities of the world.

Reviews: none yet available

 

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