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We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters. 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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BSST

BSST is the leading charity focusing on small-scale grass roots cross community, anti poverty and humanitarian projects in Israel/Palestine
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JfJfP comments


2016:

06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

04 May: Against the resort to denigration of Israel’s critics

2015:

23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

14 Nov: Letter to the Guardian about the Board of Deputies

11 Nov: UK ban on visiting Palestinian mental health workers

20 Oct: letter in the Guardian

13 Sep: Rosh Hashanah greetings

21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

15 April: Letter re Ed Miliband and Israel

11 Jan: Letter to the Guardian in response to Jonathan Freedland on Charlie Hebdo

2014:

15 Dec: Chanukah: Celebrating the miracle of holy oil not military power

1 Dec: Executive statement on bill to make Israel the nation state of the Jewish people

25 Nov: Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

7 Sept: JfJfP Executive statement on Antisemitism

3 Aug: Urgent disclaimer

19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

25 April: Exec statement on Yarmouk

28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

24 Jan: Support for Riba resolution

16 Jan: EJJP lobbies EU in support of the EU Commission Guidelines, Aug 2013–Jan 2014

2013:

29 November: JfJfP, with many others, signs a "UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion" letter

November: Press release, letter to the Times and advert in the Independent on the Prawer Plan

September: Briefing note and leaflet on the Prawer Plan

September: JfJfP/EJJP on the EU guidelines with regard to Israel

14th June: JfJfP joins other organisations in protest to BBC

2nd June: A light unto nations? - a leaflet for distribution at the "Closer to Israel" rally in London

24 Jan: Letter re the 1923 San Remo convention

18 Jan: In Support of Bab al-Shams

17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

Comments in 2012 and 2011

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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 3 to 4 months. 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

 

RECENT BOOKS RELATING TO ISRAEL/PALESTINE
 

Posted 16th September 2016

MEMOIRS/BIOGRAPHY/ORAL TESTIMONIES

Norma Hashim (Ed.): Dreaming of freedom: Palestinian child prisoners speak (2016)

Sayed Kashua: Native: Dispatches from a Palestinian life (2016)

Lotte Buch Segal: No place for grief: Martyrs, prisoners and mourning in contemporary Palestine (2016)

 

THE ARTS – FICTION/POETRY/PHOTOGRAPHY

Aidan Andrew Dun: Unholyland: The trilogy (2016)

Lavie Tidhar & Shimon Adaf: Art and war: Poetry, pulp fiction and politics in Israeli fiction (2016)

Ghassan Zaqtan: Describing the Past (2016)

 

HISTORY

Hillel Cohen: Year Zero of the Arab-Israeli conflict 1929 (2015)

Lena Jayyusi (Ed.): Jerusalem interrupted: Modernity and colonial transformation 1917 – present (2015)

Mehran Kamrava: The impossibility of Palestine: History, geography and the road ahead (2016)

Ben White: The 2014 Gaza war: 21 questions and answers (2016)

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS/POLITICS

Philip Leech: The state of Palestine: A critical analysis (2016)

Emily McKee: Dwelling in conflict: Negev landscapes and the boundaries of belonging (2016)

Yonatan Mendel: From the Arab Other to the Israeli Self: Palestinian culture in the making of Israeli national identity (2016)

Ilan Pappé (Ed.): Israel and South Africa: The many faces of apartheid (2015)

Dave Rich: The Left’s Jewish problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel & Anti-Semitism (2016)

Yeshua-Lyth, Ofra: Politically incorrect: Why a Jewish state is a bad idea (2016)

 

 

MEMOIRS/BIOGRAPHY/ORAL TESTIMONIES

Norma Hashim (Ed.): Dreaming of freedom: Palestinian child prisoners speak (2016, Kindle Edition, £3.82)

Publisher’s description: Dreaming of Freedom encourage its participants to speak naturally in their own voices, rather than seeking to depoliticize them or impose false notion of “innocence” on those who has participated in a just anti-colonial struggles. By placing Israel’s military detention of Palestinian Children in its full context – not only the Israeli occupation itself, but also Palestinian resistance to it – Dreaming of Freedom offers valuable insight into the life of children whose forays against heavily armed soldiers, walls and tanks have inspired millions.

Reviews: Electronic Intifada

 

Sayed Kashua: Native: Dispatches from a Palestinian life (Grove Press, 2016, paperback, £12.99)

Publisher’s description: An Israeli-Palestinian who lived in Jerusalem for most of his life, Kashua started writing in Hebrew with the hope of creating one story that both Palestinians and Israelis could relate to, rather than two that cannot coexist together. He devoted his novels and his satirical weekly column published in Haaretz to telling the Palestinian story and exploring the contradictions of modern Israel, while also capturing the nuances of everyday family life in all its tenderness and chaos. (…) With an intimate tone fueled by deep-seated apprehension and a razor-sharp ironic wit, Kashua has been documenting his own life as well as that of society at large: he writes about his children’s upbringing and encounters with racism, about fatherhood and married life, the Jewish-Arab conflict, his professional ambitions, and—more than anything—his love of literature. From these circumstances, Kashua brings forth a series of brilliant, caustic, wry, and fearless reflections on social and cultural dynamics as experienced by someone who straddles two societies.

Reviews: Electronic Intifada

 

Lotte Buch Segal: No place for grief: Martyrs, prisoners and mourning in contemporary Palestine (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2016, £32.50)

Publisher’s description: Westerners ‘know’ Palestine through images of war and people in immediate distress. Yet this focus has as its consequence that other, less spectacular stories of daily distress are rarely told. Those seldom noticed are the women behind the men who engage in armed resistance against the military occupation: wives of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention and the widows of the martyrs. In Palestine, being related to a detainee serving a sentence for participation in the resistance activities against Israel is a source of pride. Consequently, the wives of detainees are expected to sustain these relationships through steadfast endurance, no matter the effects upon the marriage or family. (…) Lotte Buch Segal offers a glimpse of the lives, and the contradictory emotions, of the families of both detainees and martyrs through an in-depth ethnographic investigation. No Place for Grief asks us to think about what it means to grieve when that which is grieved does not lend itself to a language of loss and mourning.

Reviews: none yet available

 

THE ARTS – FICTION/POETRY/PHOTOGRAPHY

Aidan Andrew Dun: Unholyland: The trilogy (Skyscaper Books, 2016, £20)

Publisher’s description: Through the story of two lovers, Mosh and Jalilah, this verse novel encapsulates the personal tragedy of the Palestine-Israel conflict. Set in the popular music culture of modern Palestine, using rap rhythms and the sonnet form, Aidan Andrew Dun’s new book is verbally accomplished and rhythmically creative, and yet gripping to read as the story unfolds in a fast-moving narrative of twists and turns. From a first meeting in an underground dive in the Galilee, through Jalilah’s home life in Sabra and Shatila camp, and Mosh’s capture and interrogation by Israeli security, the story builds to a climax in an improvised music gathering in the Sinai desert.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Lavie Tidhar & Shimon Adaf: Art and war: Poetry, pulp fiction and politics in Israeli fiction (Repeater Books, 2016, paperback, £8.99)

Publisher’s description: Adaf and Tidhar are two of Israel’s most subversive and politically outspoken writers. Growing up on opposite sides of the Israeli spectrum – Tidhar in the north of Israel in the Zionist, socialist Kibbutz; Adaf from a family of religious Mizrahi Jews living in Sderot – the two nevertheless shared a love of books, and were especially drawn to the strange visions and outrageous sensibilities of the science fiction that was available in Hebrew. Here, they engage in a dialogue that covers their approach to writing the fantastic, as they question how to write about Israel and Palestine, about Judaism, about the Holocaust, about childhoods and their end. Extending the conversation even into their fiction, the book contains two brand new short stories – “Tutim” by Tidhar, and “third attribute” by Adaf – in which each appears as a character in the other’s tale; simultaneously political and fantastical, they burn with an angry, despairing intensity.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Ghassan Zaqtan: Describing the Past (Seagull Books, 2016, hardback, £13.50)

Publisher’s description: When he was seven years old, Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan moved with his family to a Karameh refugee camp east of the River Jordan. That camp—a center of Palestinian resistance following the Six-Day War and the site of major devastation when Israel razed the camp following the Battle of Karameh in 1968—is the setting for Zaqtan’s first prose work to appear in English. This novella is a coming of age story, a tale of youth set amid the death and chaos of war and violence. It is an elegy for the loss of a childhood friend, and for childhood itself, brought back to life here as if dreams and memories have merged into a new state of being, an altered consciousness and way of being in and remembering the world.

Reviews: Electronic Intifada


HISTORY

Hillel Cohen: Year Zero of the Arab-Israeli conflict 1929 (Brandeis, 2015, paperback, £20)

Publisher’s description: In late summer 1929, a countrywide outbreak of Arab-Jewish-British violence transformed the political landscape of Palestine forever. In contrast with those who point to the wars of 1948 and 1967, historian Hillel Cohen marks these bloody events as year zero of the Arab-Israeli conflict that persists today. The murderous violence inflicted on Jews caused a fractious—and now traumatized—community of Zionists, non-Zionists, Ashkenazim, and Mizrachim to coalesce around a unified national consciousness arrayed against an implacable Arab enemy. While the Jews unified, Arabs came to grasp the national essence of the conflict, realizing that Jews of all stripes viewed the land as belonging to the Jewish people. Through memory and historiography, in a manner both associative and highly calculated, Cohen traces the horrific events of August 23 to September 1 in painstaking detail. (…) Sifting through Arab and Hebrew sources—many rarely, if ever, examined before—Cohen reflects on the attitudes and perceptions of Jews and Arabs who experienced the events and, most significantly, on the memories they bequeathed to later generations.

Reviews: Jewish Book Council
+972 mag

 

Lena Jayyusi (Ed.): Jerusalem interrupted: Modernity and colonial transformation 1917 – present (Interlink, 2015, paperback, £39.99)

Publisher’s description: Most histories of twentieth-century Jerusalem published in English focus on the city’s Jewish life and neighborhoods. This book offers a crucial balance to that history. On the eve of the British Mandate in 1917, Jerusalem Arab society was rooted, diverse, and connected to other cities, towns, and the rural areas of Palestine. A cosmopolitan city, Jerusalem saw a continuous and dynamic infusion of immigrants and travelers, many of whom stayed and made the city theirs. Over the course of the three decades of the Mandate, Arab society in Jerusalem continued to develop a vibrant, networked, and increasingly sophisticated milieu. No one then could have imagined the radical rupture that would come in 1948, with the end of the Mandate and the establishment of the State of Israel. This groundbreaking collection of essays (…) follows the history of Jerusalem from the culturally diverse Mandate period through its transformation into a predominantly Jewish city. Essays detail often unexplored dimensions of the social and political fabric of a city that was rendered increasingly taut and fragile, even as areas of mutual interaction and shared institutions and neighborhoods between Arabs and Jews continued to develop.

Reviews: Palestine Book Awards
Middle East Eye

 

Mehran Kamrava: The impossibility of Palestine: History, geography and the road ahead (Yale University Press, 2016, £25)

Publisher’s description: The “two-state solution” is the official policy of Israel, the United States, the United Nations, and the Palestinian Authority alike. However, international relations scholar Mehran Kamrava argues that Israel’s “state-building” process has never risen above the level of municipal governance, and its goal has never been Palestinian independence. He explains that a coherent Palestinian state has already been rendered an impossibility, and to move forward, Palestine must redefine its present predicament and future aspirations. Based on detailed fieldwork, exhaustive scholarship, and an in-depth examination of historical sources, this controversial work will be widely read and debated by all sides.

Reviews: The National
Middle East Monitor

 

Ben White: The 2014 Gaza war: 21 questions and answers (Kindle edition, 2016, £4.99)

Publisher’s description: Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip in 2014 was unprecedented in its scope and brutality. Two years on, and many key issues surrounding the offensive remain poorly understood. Is Gaza still occupied? How and why did Israel launch ‘Operation Protective Edge’? Did Israel’s armed forces commit war crimes? Does Hamas use human shields – and what about the rockets? In this concise, well-sourced book, these commonly-asked questions and more are answered by journalist and author Ben White.

Reviews: none yet available

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS/POLITICS

Philip Leech: The state of Palestine: A critical analysis (Routledge, 2016, £90)

Publisher’s description: The Palestinian national movement reached a dead end and came close to disintegration at the beginning of the present century. This critical analysis of internal Palestinian politics in the West Bank traces the re-emergence of the Palestinian Authority’s established elite in the aftermath of the failed unity government and examines the main security and economic agendas pursued by them during that period. Based on extensive field research interviews and participant observation undertaken across several sites in Nablus and the surrounding area, it provides a bottom-up interpretation of the Palestinian Authority’s agenda and challenges the popular interpretation that its governance represents the only realistic path to Palestinian independence. As the first major account of the Palestinian Authority’s political agenda since the collapse of the unity government this book offers a unique explanation for the failure to bring a Palestinian state into being and challenges assumptions within the existing literature by addressing the apparent incoherence between mainstream debates on Palestine and the reality of conditions there.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Emily McKee: Dwelling in conflict: Negev landscapes and the boundaries of belonging (Stanford University Press, 2016, paperback, £18.99)

Publisher’s description: Land disputes in Israel are most commonly described as stand-offs between distinct groups of Arabs and Jews. In Israel’s southern region, the Negev, Jewish and Bedouin Arab citizens and governmental bodies contest access to land for farming, homes, and industry and struggle over the status of unrecognized Bedouin villages. “Natural,” immutable divisions, both in space and between people, are too frequently assumed within these struggles. Dwelling in Conflict offers the first study of land conflict and environment based on extensive fieldwork within both Arab and Jewish settings. It explores planned towns for Jews and for Bedouin Arabs, unrecognized villages, and single-family farmsteads, as well as Knesset hearings, media coverage, and activist projects. Emily McKee sensitively portrays the impact that dividing lines—both physical and social—have on residents. She investigates the political charge of people’s everyday interactions with their environments and the ways in which basic understandings of people and “their” landscapes drive political developments. While recognizing deep divisions, McKee also takes seriously the social projects that residents engage in to soften and challenge socio-environmental boundaries.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Yonatan Mendel: From the Arab Other to the Israeli Self: Palestinian culture in the making of Israeli national identity (Routledge, 2016, £95)

Publisher’s description: This book examines the role played by Arab-Palestinian culture and people in the construction and reproduction of Israeli national identity and culture, showing that it is impossible to understand modern Israeli national identity and culture without taking into account its crucial encounter and dialectical relationship with the Arab-Palestinian indigenous ‘Other’.

Based on extensive and original primary sources, including archival research, memoirs, advertisements, cookbooks and a variety of cultural products – from songs to dance steps – From the Arab Other to the Israeli Self sheds light on an important cultural and ideational diffusion that has occurred between the Zionist settlers – and later the Jewish-Israeli population – and the indigenous Arab-Palestinian people in Historical Palestine. By examining Israeli food culture, national symbols, the Modern Hebrew language spoken in Israel, and culture, the authors trace the journey of Israeli national identity and culture, in which Arab-Palestinian culture has been imitated, adapted and celebrated, but strikingly also rejected, forgotten and denied.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Ilan Pappé (Ed.): Israel and South Africa: The many faces of apartheid (Zed Books, 2015, paperback, £14.99)

Publisher’s description: Any time that a politician or commentator compares the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to South Africa under apartheid, the response is swift denunciation. (…This is) the first major scholarly attempt to analyze the apartheid analogy and its implications for international law, activism, and policy making. Gathering contributors from a wide range of disciplines and fields, including historians, political scientists, journalists, lawyers, and policy makers, the collection offers a bold, incisive perspective on one of the defining moral questions of our age.

Reviews: LSE Review of Books
Middle East Monitor

 

Dave Rich: The Left’s Jewish problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel & Anti-Semitism (Biteback Publishing, 2016, paperback, £12.99)

Publisher’s description: With three separate inquiries into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party in the first six months of 2016 alone, it seems hard to believe that, until the 1980s, the British left was broadly pro-Israel. And while the election of Jeremy Corbyn may have thrown a harsher spotlight on the crisis, it is by no means a recent phenomenon. The widening gulf between British Jews and the anti-Israel left – born out of antiapartheid campaigns and now allying itself with Islamist extremists who demand Israel’s destruction – did not happen overnight or by chance: political activists made it happen. This book reveals who they were, why they chose Palestine and how they sold their cause to the left.

Reviews: Labour Briefing (review by JfJfP signatory)
The Guardian
Mondoweiss

 

Thomas Suarez: State of terror (Skyscraper Books, 2016, £20)

Publisher’s description: Why has the Israel-Palestine ‘conflict’ endured for so long, with no resolution in sight? In this meticulously researched book, Thomas Suárez demonstrates that its cause is not the commonly depicted clash between two ethnic groups—Arabs and Jews—but the violent takeover of Palestine by Zionism, a European settler movement hailing from the era of ethnic nationalism. Tapping a trove of declassified British documents, much of which has never before been published, the book details a shocking campaign of Zionist terrorism in 1940s and 1950s Palestine that targeted anyone who challenged its messianic settler goals, whether the British government, the indigenous Palestinians, or Jews. Today’s seemingly intractable quagmire is that terror campaign’s unfinished business, an Israeli state driven by unrequited territorial designs and the dream of ethnic ‘purity’.

Reviews: Mondoweiss

 

Yeshua-Lyth, Ofra: Politically incorrect: Why a Jewish state is a bad idea (Skyscraper Books, 2016, paperback, £11.99)

Publisher’s description: Israel claims to be a modern democratic state, but Israeli writer Ofra Yeshua-Lyth reveals some startling truths about modern day Israel: how although 70% of Israelis do not follow the Jewish religion, all citizens are all subject to laws designed to favour religious Israelis over all others. In matters of birth and death; marriage and divorce; finance and the military, Israel’s rabbis exercise iron control over governments, however secular they claim to be. Yeshua-Lyth sees the seeds of Israel’s demise in the growing tension between Israelis who want to lead modern secular lives, and those who wish Israel to continue in the iron grip of the rabbis. The arguments are woven through the story of the author’s childhood and later life in Israel, and illustrated with personal experiences.

Reviews: none yet available

 

 

 

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