Most Recently Published Books
NEWLY PUBLISHED 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:
Posted 26 MAY 2013
Norma Hashim (Ed.): The prisoners’ diaries: Palestinian voices from the Israeli Gulag (2013)
Dervla Murphy: A month by the sea: Encounters in Gaza (2013)
David Ranan: A land to die for? Soldier talk and moral reflections of young Israelis (2012)
THE ARTS – FICTION/POETRY/PHOTOGRAPHY
Raba’i al-Madhoun: The lady from Tel-Aviv (2013)
Shani Boianjiu: The people of forever are not afraid (2013)
Ibrahim Nasrallah: Time of white horses (2012)
Michael Broning: Political parties in Palestine: Leadership and thought (2013)
Charles Freilich: Zion’s dilemmas: how Israel makes national security policy (2012)
Daniel Kurtzer et al.: The peace puzzle: America’s quest for Arab-Israeli peace (2012)
Dan Bavly & As’ad Ghanem: One state two peoples: Restoring hope for Palestinian-Israeli peace (2013)
Atalia Omer: When peace is not enough: How the Israeli peace camp thinks about religion, nationalism and justice (2013)
Paul Scham, Benjamin Pogrund, and As’ad Ghanem (eds.): Shared Narratives—A Palestinian-Israeli Dialogue (2013)
Norma Hashim (Ed.): The prisoners’ diaries: Palestinian voices from the Israeli Gulag (2013) [PDF version can be downloaded for$1.99 from here ]
Publisher’s description: This is a compilation of 22 Palestinian prisoners’ experiences in Israeli jails . 1,027 prisoners were released in 2011 as part of the exchange with Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and 22 of them were interviewed by journalists. Their commentaries were translated by CPDS and edited. The book is dedicated to Samer Issawi and all Palestinian prisoners, past, present and future, and was released on 17April 2013, in conjunction with Palestinian Prisoners’ Day.
Reviews: Richard Falk
Publisher’s description: Over the summer of 2011, in her eightieth year, Dervla Murphy spent a month in the Gaza Strip. She met liberals and Islamists, Hamas and Fatah supporters, rich and poor. Used to western reporters dashing in and out of the Strip in times of crisis, the people she met were touched by her genuine, unflinching interest and opened their hearts to her. What she finds are a people who, far from the story we are so often fed, overwhelmingly long for peace and an end to the violence that has so grossly distorted their lives. The impression we take away from the book is of a people whose real, complex, nuanced voice has never been heard before. A MONTH BY THE SEA gives unique insight into the way in which isolation has shaped this society: how it radicalizes young men and plays into the hands of dominating patriarchs, yet also how it hardens determination not to give in and turns family into a towering source of support. (…) Dervla looks long and hard at the hypocrisies of Western and Israeli attitudes to ‘peace’, and at Palestinian attitudes to terrorism.
Publisher’s description: Israeli governments have for many years maintained a consensus concerning the need for the nation’s citizens to serve in the army. This consensus was based on the ethos of a Jewish state surrounded by Arabs who want to destroy it. The Iranian nuclear program is the most recent of the many threats to the Israeli state. But for some time Israel’s black and white view of itself has been eroding. Conscientious objection to conscription and ‘draft dodging’ as well as the rights and wrongs of occupation and settlements have become explosive issues for all shades of Israel’s political spectrum. Can we expect young Israelis, who are called to serve their country at eighteen, to have the maturity to weigh such complex issues? Does Israeli society really want them to? For this stimulating book, David Ranan held interviews with Israelis aged between eighteen and thirty. The twenty-seven monologues presented here reveal some of the difficult moral questions that concern this generation. First published in German in 2011, this English-language edition contains a comprehensive introduction to Israel’s history that has been revised and updated to maintain its relevance.
Reviews: Senior Times
Publisher’s description: In the economy class of a plane, the lives of two passengers intersect: Walid Dahman, a Palestinian writer, is returning to his family in Gaza for the first time in thirty-eight years, and Dana Ahova, an Israeli actress, is on her way back to Tel Aviv. As the night sky hurtles past, what each confides and conceals will expose the chasm between them in the land they both call home. The Lady from Tel Aviv is both a meditation on the nature of fiction and an incisive exploration of the effects of occupation on a people and what it is to be a Palestinian. Al-Madhoun’s precise, poetic use of language and sardonic humour bring home political realities and how people live them, on both sides of the checkpoints.
Reviews: none yet available
Publisher’s description: Yael, Avishag, and Lea grow up together in a tiny, dusty Israeli village, attending a high school made up of caravan classrooms, passing notes to each other to alleviate the universal boredom of teenage life. When they are conscripted into the army, their lives change in unpredictable ways, influencing the women they become and the friendship that they struggle to sustain. Yael trains marksmen and flirts with boys. Avishag stands guard, watching refugees throw themselves at barbed-wire fences. Lea, posted at a checkpoint, imagines the stories behind the familiar faces that pass by her day after day. They gossip about boys and whisper of an ever more violent world just beyond view. They drill, constantly, for a moment that may never come. They live inside that single, intense second just before danger erupts. In a relentlessly energetic and arresting voice marked by humor and fierce intelligence, Shani Boianjiu, winner of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35,” creates an unforgettably intense world, capturing that unique time in a young woman’s life when a single moment can change everything.
Publisher’s description: This gripping, comi-tragic fictional–factual saga takes place in the environs of Jerusalem, from late Ottoman times to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. With the colorful strokes of his pen, Ibrahim Nasrallah paints a vivid picture of Palestinian villagers’ preoccupations and aspirations—their ties to their land, to their animals, and to one another. Through the experiences of Hajj Mahmud, chief elder of al-Hadiya, his son Khalid and his beloved steed al-Hamama, and other memorable characters ranging from the heroic to the villainous, we relive the realities of the Palestinian village in the early twentieth century, Zionist colonization and its impact on Arab rural life, the trauma that accompanied the British mandate and its aftermath, the Palestinians’ struggle to maintain the autonomy and dignity they had known for centuries on end, and the beginnings of life under the Zionist state.
Publisher’s description: Political Parties in Palestine is an up-to-date elucidation of the Palestinian political landscape. The book offers vital background information on movements such as Hamas and Fatah, as well as smaller political factions that have defined the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades but, due to lack of available information, have not been subject to academic scrutiny. The book provides a comprehensive discussion of the ideological outlook, historical development, and political objectives of all major political actors in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). A well-informed but accessible overview, it combines analytical introductions with engaging profiles of party founders, interviews with current party leaders, organizational charts, and excerpts from party programs previously unavailable in English.
Reviews: none yet available
Publisher’s description: In Zion’s Dilemmas, a former deputy national security adviser to the State of Israel details the history and, in many cases, the chronic inadequacies in the making of Israeli national security policy. Chuck Freilich identifies profound, ongoing problems that he ascribes to a series of factors: a hostile and highly volatile regional environment, Israel’s proportional representation electoral system, and structural peculiarities of the Israeli government and bureaucracy. Freilich uses his insider understanding and substantial archival and interview research to describe how Israel has made strategic decisions and to present a first of its kind model of national security decision-making in Israel. He analyzes the major events of the last thirty years, from Camp David I to the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, through Camp David II, the Gaza Disengagement Plan of 2000, and the second Lebanon war of 2006.
In these and other cases he identifies opportunities forgone, failures that resulted from a flawed decision-making process, and the entanglement of Israeli leaders in an inconsistent, highly politicized, and sometimes improvisational planning process. The cabinet is dysfunctional and Israel does not have an effective statutory forum for its decision-making—most of which is thus conducted in informal settings.
Reviews: none yet available
Publisher’s description: Each phase of Arab-Israeli peacemaking has been inordinately difficult in its own right, and every critical juncture and decision point in the long process has been shaped by U.S. politics and the U.S. leaders of the moment. The Peace Puzzle tracks the American determination to articulate policy, develop strategy and tactics, and see through negotiations to agreements on an issue that has been of singular importance to U.S. interests for more than forty years. In 2006, the authors of The Peace Puzzle formed the Study Group on Arab-Israeli Peacemaking, a project supported by the United States Institute of Peace, to develop a set of “best practices” for American diplomacy. The Study Group conducted in-depth interviews with more than 120 policymakers, diplomats, academics, and civil society figures and developed performance assessments of the various U.S. administrations of the post–Cold War period. This book, an objective account of the role of the United States in attempting to achieve a lasting Arab–Israeli peace, is informed by the authors’ access to key individuals and official archives.
Reviews: none yet available
Publisher’s description: The last decade has witnessed the most hostile confrontations between Palestinians and Israelis in their century-long conflict. Most of the recently proposed peace plans have assumed that partitioning the territory of Mandatory Palestine into two separate states would be the ideal solution. Given the demographic changes and the established settlements that have taken hold during the past generation, that flawed presumption has led to a stalemate and to despair for both parties. One State, Two Peoples argues that any border drawn to divide the country would be artificial and leave dissatisfied militant elements on both sides. Partition would leave more than a million Palestinians under Israeli sovereignty and citizenship, and hundreds of thousands Israeli citizens living in the Palestinian territory. On a practical level, commonsense asserts that managing water, economic, transportation, communications, and many other issues needs a centralized and highly coordinated approach. Two separate states and administrations would not be able to address these essential matters effectively. Dan Bavly and As’ad Ghanem demonstrate that the only way to break the impasse is to work toward integration with full equality and parity.
Reviews: none yet available
Publisher’s description: The state of Israel is often spoken of as a haven for the Jewish people, a place rooted in the story of a nation dispersed, wandering the earth in search of their homeland. Born in adversity but purportedly nurtured by liberal ideals, Israel has never known peace, experiencing instead a state of constant war that has divided its population along the stark and seemingly unbreachable lines of dissent around the relationship between unrestricted citizenship and Jewish identity. By focusing on the perceptions and histories of Israel’s most marginalized stakeholders—Palestinian Israelis, Arab Jews, and non-Israeli Jews—Atalia Omer cuts to the heart of the Israeli-Arab conflict, demonstrating how these voices provide urgently needed resources for conflict analysis and peacebuilding. Navigating a complex set of arguments about ethnicity, boundaries, and peace, and offering a different approach to the renegotiation and reimagination of national identity and citizenship, Omer pushes the conversation beyond the bounds of the single narrative and toward a new and dynamic concept of justice—one that offers the prospect of building a lasting peace.
Reviews: none yet available
Publisher’s description: Opposing historical narratives believed by Palestinians and Israelis have over time fueled the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinian narratives focus on a people unjustly deprived of its land by invaders. Israeli narratives argue for a justified “return” of those dispossessed many generations before. Can these seemingly incompatible narratives play a constructive role in advancing the goal of peace? This special issue of Israel Studies, entitled “Shared Narratives,” provides readers with the opportunity to better understand and acknowledge the clash of ideas between the two societies. The volume proceeds from the belief that acknowledging the power and durability of both narratives is a necessary part of the route to the future. The contributors, Palestinian and Israeli scholars, examine some of the most basic issues, such as land, religion, nationalism, and Jerusalem, as they developed over time. Avoiding partisan arguments and polemical debates, they present and discuss differing views on these subjects.