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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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


2015:

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 10 to 12 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

 

RECENT BOOKS RELATING TO ISRAEL/PALESTINE

 
Posted 14th June 2015

 

MEMOIRS/BIOGRAPHY/ORAL TESTIMONIES

Ghada Karmi: Return: A Palestinian memoir (2015)

Mohammed Omer: Shell-shocked: On the ground under Israel’s Gaza assault (2015)

Vijay Prashad (ed.): Letters to Palestine: Writers respond to war and occupation (2015)

Atef Abu Saif: Drone eats with me (2015)

Tom Sperlinger: Romeo and Juliet in Palestine: Teaching under Occupation (2015)

 

THE ARTS – FICTION/POETRY/PHOTOGRAPHY

Susan Abulhawa: The blue between sky and water (2015)

Hatim Kanaaneh: Chief complaint: A country doctor’s tales of life in Gaililee (2015)

khulud khamis: Haifa fragments (2015)

 

HISTORY

Richard Falk: Palestine: The legitimacy of hope (2015)

Galia Golan: Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking since 1967: Factors behind the breakthroughs & failures (2014)

Anders Persson: The EU and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 1971-2013: In pursuit of a just peace (2015)

Ahmed Qurie: Peace negotiations in Palestine: From thesecond Intifada to the Roadmap (2014)

Anne Shlay & G.Rosen: Jerusalem: The spatial politics of a divided metropolis (2015)

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS/POLITICS

Max Blumenthal: The 51 day war: Ruin and resistance in Gaza (2015)

Michael Buergermeister: Gaza: A philosophical dictionary (2015)

Noam Chomsky & Ilan Pappé: On Palestine (2015)

Padraig O’Malley: The Two-State delusion (2015)

M.Turner & O.Shweiki (eds.): Decolonising Palestinian political economy: De-development and beyond (2014)

 

MEMOIRS/BIOGRAPHY/ORAL TESTIMONIES

Ghada Karmi: Return: A Palestinian memoir (Verso, 2015, £16.99)

Publisher’s description: Having grown up in Britain following her family’s exile from Palestine, doctor, author and academic Ghada Karmi leaves her adoptive home in a quest to return to her homeland. She starts work with the Palestinian Authority and gets a firsthand understanding of its bizarre bureaucracy under Israel’s occupation. In her quest, she takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the heart of one of the world’s most intractable conflict zones and one of the major issues of our time. Visiting places she has not seen since childhood, her unique insights reveal a militarised and barely recognisable homeland, and her home in Jerusalem, like much of the West Bank, occupied by strangers. Her encounters with politicians, fellow Palestinians, and Israeli soldiers cause her to question what role exiles like her have in the future of their country and whether return is truly possible.

Reviews: The National
Herald Scotland

 

Mohammed Omer: Shell-shocked: On the ground under Israel’s Gaza assault (OR Books,2015, paperback, £14)

Publisher’s description: What was it like to live under Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip last summer? In these pages, journalist Mohammed Omer, a resident of Gaza who experienced the terror with his wife and three-month-old son, provides a first-hand account of life on-the-ground. The images he records in this extraordinary chronicle are a literary equivalent of Goya’s “Disasters of War”: children’s corpses stuffed into vegetable refrigerators, pointlessly because the electricity is off; a family rushing out of their home after a phone call from the Israeli military informs them that the building will be obliterated by an F-16 missile in three minutes; fishing boats ablaze in the harbour. Throughout this carnage, Omer maintains the cool detachment of the professional journalist, determined to create a precise record of what is occurring in front of him. But between his lines the outrage boils, and we are left to wonder how a society such as Israel, widely-praised in the West as democratic and civilized, can visit such monstrosities on a trapped and helpless population.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Vijay Prashad (ed.): Letters to Palestine: Writers respond to war and occupation (Verso, 2015, paperback, £8.99)

Publisher’s description: This book traces the swelling American recognition of Palestinian suffering, struggle, and hope, in writing that is personal, lyrical, anguished, and inspiring. Some of the leading writers of our time, such as Junot Díaz and Teju Cole, poets and essayists, novelists and scholars, Palestinian American activists like Huwaida Arraf, Noura Erakat, and Remi Kanazi, give voice to feelings of empathy and solidarity—as well as anger at US support for Israeli policy—in intimate letters, beautiful essays, and furious poems.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Atef Abu Saif: Drone eats with me (Comma Press, 2015, paperback, £9.99)

Publisher’s description: On 7 July 2014, in an apparent response to the murder of three teenagers, Israel launched a major offensive against the Gaza Strip, lasting 51 days, killing 2145 Palestinians (578 of them children), injuring over 11,000, and demolishing 17,200 homes. The global outcry at this collective punishment of an already persecuted people was followed by widespread astonishment at the pro-Israeli bias of Western media coverage. The usual news machine rolled up, and the same distressing images and entrenched political rhetoric were broadcast, yet almost nothing was reported of the on-going lives of ordinary Gazans – the real victims of the war.One of the few voices to make it out was that of Atef Abu Saif, a writer and teacher from Jabalia Refugee Camp, whose eye-witness accounts (…) offered a rare window into the conflict for Western readers. Here, Atef’s complete diaries of the war allow us to witness the full extent of last summer’s atrocities from the most humble of perspectives: that of a young father, fearing for his family’s safety, trying to stay sane in an insanely one-sided war.

Reviews: The Rumpus
Electronic Intifada

 

Tom Sperlinger: Romeo and Juliet in Palestine: Teaching under Occupation (Zero Books, 2015, paperback, £9.99)

Publisher’s description: Is ‘Romeo and Juliet’ really a love story, or is it a play about young people living in dangerous circumstances? How might life under occupation produce a new reading of ‘Julius Caesar’? What choices must a group of Palestinian students make, when putting on a play which has Jewish protagonists? And why might a young Palestinian student refuse to read? For five months at the start of 2013, Tom Sperlinger taught English literature at the Abu Dis campus of Al-Quds University in the Occupied West Bank. In this account of the semester, Sperlinger explores his students’ encounters with works from ‘Hamlet’ and ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ to Kafka and Malcolm X. By placing stories from the classroom alongside anecdotes about life in the West Bank, Sperlinger shows how his own ideas about literature and teaching changed during his time in Palestine, and asks what such encounters might reveal about the nature of pedagogy and the role of a university under occupation.

Reviews: The Guardian

 

THE ARTS – FICTION/POETRY/PHOTOGRAPHY

Susan Abulhawa: The blue between sky and water (Bloomsbury, 2015, paperback, £12.99)

Publisher’s description: Violently pushed from their ancient farming village of Beit Daras, a Palestinian family tries to reconstitute itself in a refugee camp in Gaza. The men here, those who have escaped prison or the battlefields, worry over making ends meet, tend their tattered pride, join the resistance. The women are left to be breadwinners and protectors, too. Nazmiyeh is the matriarch, the center of a household of sisters, daughters, granddaughters, whose lives threaten to spin out of control with every personal crisis, military attack, or political landmine. Her brother’s granddaughter Nur is stuck in America; her own daughter’s son, traumatized in an Israeli assault, slips into another kind of exile; her daughter has cancer and no access to medicine. (…) All Nazmiyeh’s loved ones will return to her, and ultimately journey further, to that place between the sky and water where all is as it once was, and where all will meet again.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Hatim Kanaaneh: Chief complaint: A country doctor’s tales of life in Gaililee (Just World Books, 2015, paperback, £14)

Publisher’s description: In Chief Complaint, Hatim Kanaaneh, MD, explores the changing, precarious, and ever-shrinking world of Palestinians living in Israel. As his village’s first Western-trained physician, Kanaaneh has had intimate access to his neighbor’s lives, which he chronicles here in a fictionalized collection of vignettes. These compelling short stories reveal the struggles, triumphs, memories, and hopes of the indigenous Palestinian community living in a state that does not acknowledge their past or encourage their future. Each story is titled with the “chief complaint” of its protagonist, the principal reason that the patient sought medical attention at Kanaaneh’s clinic. Using the classic tool of the medical profession known as the “review of systems” as a literary device, Kanaaneh deftly draws the reader in to a fascinating cast of characters, narrating their troubles and pain as well as the joys that punctuate life for the Palestinians of Galilee. Ultimately, this collection poignantly conveys their community’s foundational chief complaint, its conflicted relationship with the state of Israel.

Reviews: none yet available

 

khulud khamis: Haifa fragments (Spinfex Press, 2015, paperback, £8.99)

Publisher’s description: Jewellery designer Maisoon wants an ordinary extraordinary life, which isn’t easy for a tradition-defying, activist, Palestinian citizen of Israel who refuses to be crushed by the feeling of being an unwelcome guest in the land of her ancestors. Frustrated by the apathy of her boyfriend Ziyad and her father Majid—who want her to get on with her life and forget those in the Occupied Territories—she lashes out, only to discover her father isn’t the man she thought he was. Raised a Christian, in a relationship with a Muslim man and enamoured with a Palestinian woman from the Occupied Territories, Maisoon must determine her own path.

Reviews: Electronic Intifada

 

HISTORY

Richard Falk: Palestine: The legitimacy of hope (Just World Books,2015, paperback, £15)

Publisher’s description: The distinguished legal scholar Richard Falk recently completed his term as term as UN Special Rapporteur on occupied Palestine. Now, with Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope, he powerfully illuminates the transformation of the Palestinians’ struggle over recent years into a struggle for legitimacy, similar to that pursued by all the anti-colonial movements of the twentieth century. This shift, he writes in the Introduction, “is… reinforced by disillusionment with both Palestinian armed resistance and conventional international diplomacy, most recently dramatized by the collapse of direct negotiations on April 29, 2014… Such disillusionment also coincides with the spreading awareness that the so-called ‘two-state consensus’ has reached a dead end. Falk builds the book’s narrative around a series of essays originally published on his personal blog between 2010 and early 2014. It provides both a nuanced portrait of the development of the Palestinian resistance movement(s) and an appropriately strong focus on the key role that international law and institutions and global solidarity movements have played in this struggle. (…) He discerns numerous signs of hope that the Palestinian people can harness the growing international attention and solidarity their struggle has achieved and break free of the apartheid and occupation that they have long endured.

Reviews: Electronic Intifada

 

Galia Golan: Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking since 1967: Factors behind the breakthroughs & failures (Routledge, 2014, paperback, £21.99)

Publisher’s description: Examining the Israeli-Arab conflict as an “intractable conflict,” Israeli Peacemaking since 1967 seeks to determine just which factors, or combination of factors, impacted on Israel’s position in past peace-making efforts, possibly accounting for breakthroughs or failures to reach agreement. From King Hussein’s little known overtures immediately after the Six-Day War, through President Sadat’s futile efforts to avoid war in the early 1970s, to repeated third-party-mediated talks with Syria, factors including deep-seated mistrust, leadership style, and domestic political spoilers contributed to failures even as public opinion and international circumstances may have been favourable. How these and other factors intervened, changed or were handled, allowing for the few breakthroughs (with Egypt and Jordan) or the near breakthrough of the Annapolis process with the Palestinians, provides not only an understanding of the past but possible keys for future Israeli-Arab peace efforts. Employing extensive use of archival material, as well as interviews and thorough research of available sources, this book provides insight on just which factors, or combination of factors, account for breakthroughs or failures to reach agreement.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Anders Persson: The EU and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 1971-2013: In pursuit of a just peace (Lexington Books, 2015, £51.95)

Publisher’s description: Just peace has been much talked about in everyday life, but it is less well researched by academics. The rationale of this book is therefore to probe what constitutes a just peace, both conceptually within the field of peacebuilding and empirically in the context of the EU as a peacebuilder in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The EU has used the term just peace in many of its most important declarations on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict throughout the years. Defining a just peace is about these declaratory efforts by the EU to articulate a common formula of a just peace in the conflict. Securing and building a just peace are about the EU’s role in implementing this formula for a just peace in the conflict through the creation of a Palestinian state. As the EU enters its fifth decade of involvement in the conflict, there can be little doubt that in common with the rest of the international community it has failed in its efforts to establish a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians. While this is an inescapable overall conclusion from four decades of EC/EU peacebuilding in the conflict, it is, at the same time, possible to draw a number of other conclusions from this book. Most importantly, it argues that the EU is a major legitimizing power in the conflict and that it has kept the prospects of a two-state solution alive through its support for the Palestinian statebuilding process.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Ahmed Qurie: Peace negotiations in Palestine: From thesecond Intifada to the Roadmap ( I.B.Taurus, 2014, £25)

Publisher’s description: The start of the twenty-first century in Palestine saw the breakdown of the Oslo Accords (which, signed in 1993 was an attempt to begin the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) give way to a turbulent period of dashed hope, escalating violence and internal division. Tracking developments from the Second Intifada of 2000 to Hamas’ 2006 electoral victory, former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie provides revealing and first-hand detail of the monumental changes that have rocked the peace process and the region as a whole. New proposals, such as the Arab Peace Initiative and the Road Map, and historic events, including the death of iconic leader Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza, are recognised to be of immense significance. However, it is Qurie’s unique position that reveals a new perspective of how they played out on the stages of Palestinian internal governance, regional politics and international diplomacy.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Anne Shlay & G.Rosen: Jerusalem: The spatial politics of a divided metropolis (Polity, 2015, paperback, £15.99)

Publisher’s description: Jerusalem has for centuries been known as the spiritual center for the three largest monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Yet Jerusalem’s other-worldly transcendence is far from the daily reality of Jerusalem, a city bombarded by conflict. The battle over who owns and controls Jerusalem is intensely disputed on a global basis. Few cities rival Jerusalem in how its divisions are expressed in the political sphere and in ordinary everyday life. Jerusalem: The Spatial Politics of a Divided Metropolis is about this constellation of competing on-the-ground interests: the endless set of claims, struggles, and debates over the land, neighborhoods, and communities that make up Jerusalem. Spatial politics explain the motivations and organizing around the battle for Jerusalem and illustrate how space is a weapon in the Jerusalem struggle. These are the windows to the world of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Based on ninety interviews, years of fieldwork, and numerous Jerusalem experiences, this book depicts the groups living in Jerusalem, their roles in the conflict, and their connections to Jerusalem’s development. Written for students, scholars, and those seeking to demystify the Jerusalem labyrinth, this book shows how religion, ideology, nationalism, and power underlie patterns of urban development, inequality, and conflict.

Reviews: none yet available

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS/POLITICS

Max Blumenthal: The 51 day war: Ruin and resistance in Gaza (Nation Books, 2015, paperback, £14.99)

Publisher’s description: On July 8, 2014, Israel launched air strikes on Hamas-controlled Gaza, followed by a ground invasion. The ensuing fifty-one days of war left more than 2,200 people dead, the vast majority of whom were Palestinian civilians, including over 500 children. During the assault, at least 10,000 homes were destroyed and, according to the United Nations, nearly 300,000 Palestinians were displaced. Max Blumenthal was in Gaza and throughout Israel–Palestine during what he argues was an entirely avoidable catastrophe. In this explosive work of intimate reportage, Blumenthal reveals the harrowing conditions and cynical deceptions that led to the ruinous war—and tells the human stories.
Blumenthal brings the battles in Gaza to life, detailing the ferocious clashes that took place when Israel’s military invaded the besieged strip. He radically shifts the discussion around a number of highly contentious issues: the use of civilians as human shields by Israeli forces, the arbitrary targeting of Palestinian civilians, and the radicalization of Israeli public officials and top military personnel. Amid the rubble of Gaza’s border regions, Blumenthal recorded the testimonies from scores of residents, documenting potential war crimes committed by the Israeli armed forces while carefully examining the military doctrine that led to them.

Reviews: Electronic Intifada
Michael Buergermeister: Gaza: A philosophical dictionary (ePubli, 2015, paperback, £15.99)

Publisher’s description: This book is not about how evil either the Americans or Israelis are, which is how some might see it. This book is about both the causes and effects of Israeli and American policy. It is about the ideas, which underpin these policies and about the effects of these self-same policies on ordinary individuals. It is above all about how the narratives of Jews, Zionists and Palestinians are inextricably intertwined. It is a book about common humanity.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Noam Chomsky & Ilan Pappé: On Palestine (Penguin, 2015, paperback, £6)

Publisher’s description: What is the future of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement directed at Israel? Which is more viable, the binational or one state solution? Ilan Pappé and Noam Chomsky, two leading voices in the struggle to liberate Palestine, discuss these critical questions and more in this urgent and timely book, a sequel to their acclaimed Gaza in Crisis.

Reviews: Electronic Intifada
Padraig O’Malley: The Two-State delusion (Viking Press, 2015, £21.99)

Publisher’s description: Disputes over settlements, the right of return, the rise of Hamas, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, and other intractable issues have repeatedly derailed peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Now, in a book that is sure to spark controversy, renowned peacemaker Padraig O’Malley argues that the moment for a two-state solution has passed. After examining each issue and speaking with Palestinians and Israelis as well as negotiators directly involved in past summits, O’Malley concludes that even if such an agreement could be reached, it would be nearly impossible to implement given the staggering costs, Palestine’s political disunity and the viability of its economy, rapidly changing demographics, Israel’s continuing political shift to the right, global warming’s effect on the water supply, and more. In this revelatory, hard-hitting book, O’Malley approaches the key issues pragmatically, without ideological bias, to show that we must find new frameworks for reconciliation if there is to be lasting peace between Palestine and Israel.

Reviews: Kirkus Reviews

 

M.Turner & O.Shweiki (eds.): Decolonising Palestinian political economy: De-development and beyond (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, £65)

Publisher’s description: This volume provides cutting-edge political economy analyses of the Palestinian people as a whole – those living in the occupied territory of the West Bank and Gaza Strip (including annexed East Jerusalem), those living within Israel and refugees in neighbouring Arab states. It rejects the dominant, conventional approach that has fragmented the Palestinians into separate and distinct groups (some thereafter named as ‘Arab-Israeli’, ‘Bedouin’, etc.), and which has reduced those regarded as ‘the Palestinian people’ to only those who reside within the occupied territory. The book challenges this intellectual fragmentation by reuniting Palestinians in one historical political-economy narrative of a people experiencing a common process of dispossession, disenfranchisement and disarticulation.

Reviews: Electronic Intifada

 

 

 

 

 

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