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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

 

RECENT BOOKS RELATING TO ISRAEL/PALESTINE

 

Posted 4 November 2014

 

MEMOIRS/BIOGRAPHY/ORAL TESTIMONIES

Nahla Abdo: From captive revolution to grand Gaza prison (2014)

Shlomo Sand: How I stopped being a Jew (2014)

 

THE ARTS – FICTION/POETRY/PHOTOGRAPHY

Lital Levy: Poetic trespass: Writing between Hebrew & Arabic (2014)

 

HISTORY

Jean-Pierre Filiu: Gaza: A history (2014)

Ran Greenstein: Zionism & its discontents: A century of radical dissent in Israel/Palestine (2014)

Menachem Klein: Lives in common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa & Hebron (2014)

Ron Schleifer: Psychological warfare in the Arab-Israeli conflict (2014)

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS/POLITICS

Yaacov Bar Siman Tov: Justice & peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (2014)

Shourideh Molavi: Stateless citizenship: The Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel (2014)

M.F.Elman, O.Haklai & H.Spruyt (Eds.): Democracy & conflict resolution: The dilemmas of Israel’s peacemaking (2013)

 

 

MEMOIRS/BIOGRAPHY/ORAL TESTIMONIES

Nahla Abdo: From captive revolution to grand Gaza prison (Pluto Press, 2014, paperback, £17.50)

Publisher’s description: Women throughout the world have always played their part in struggles against colonialism, imperialism and other forms of oppression. However, there are few books on Arab political prisoners, fewer still on the Palestinians who have been detained in their thousands for their political activism and resistance. Nahla Abdo’s Captive Revolution seeks to break the silence on Palestinian women political detainees, providing a vital contribution to research on women, revolutions, national liberation and anti-colonial resistance. Based on stories of the women themselves, as well as her own experiences as a former political prisoner, Abdo draws on a wealth of oral history and primary research in order to analyse their anti-colonial struggle, their agency and the appalling treatment. Making crucial comparisons with the experiences of female political detainees in other conflicts, and emphasising the vital role Palestinian political culture and memorialisation of the ‘Nakba’ have had on their resilience and resistance, Captive Revolution is a rich and revealing addition to our knowledge of this little-studied phenomenon.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Shlomo Sand: How I stopped being a Jew (Verso, 2014, £9.99)

Publisher’s description: Shlomo Sand was born in 1946, in a displaced person’s camp in Austria, to Jewish parents; the family later migrated to Palestine. As a young man, Sand came to question his Jewish identity, even that of a “secular Jew.” With this meditative and thoughtful mixture of essay and personal recollection, he articulates the problems at the center of modern Jewish identity. How I Stopped Being a Jew discusses the negative effects of the Israeli exploitation of the “chosen people” myth and its “holocaust industry.” Sand criticizes the fact that, in the current context, what “Jewish” means is, above all, not being Arab and reflects on the possibility of a secular, non-exclusive Israeli identity, beyond the legends of Zionism.

Reviews: Doha Institute
Times Higher Education
 

 

 

THE ARTS – FICTION/POETRY/PHOTOGRAPHY

Lital Levy: Poetic trespass: Writing between Hebrew & Arabic (Priceton Univ. Press 2014)

Publisher’s description: A Palestinian-Israeli poet declares a new state whose language, “Homelandic,” is a combination of Arabic and Hebrew. A Jewish-Israeli author imagines a “language plague” that infects young Hebrew speakers with old world accents, and sends the narrator in search of his Arabic heritage. In Poetic Trespass, Lital Levy brings together such startling visions to offer the first in-depth study of the relationship between Hebrew and Arabic in the literature and culture of Israel/Palestine. More than that, she presents a captivating portrait of the literary imagination’s power to transgress political boundaries and transform ideas about language and belonging. Blending history and literature, Poetic Trespass traces the interwoven life of Arabic and Hebrew in Israel/Palestine from the turn of the twentieth century to the present, exposing the two languages’ intimate entanglements in contemporary works of prose, poetry, film, and visual art by both Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel. In a context where intense political and social pressures work to identify Jews with Hebrew and Palestinians with Arabic, Levy finds writers who have boldly crossed over this divide to create literature in the language of their “other,” as well as writers who bring the two languages into dialogue to rewrite them from within. (…) By revealing uncommon visions of what it means to write in Arabic and Hebrew, Poetic Trespass will change the way we understand literature and culture in the shadow of the Israeli-Palestinian

Reviews: none yet available

 

HISTORY

Jean-Pierre Filiu: Gaza: A history (Hurst & Co, 2014, £25)

Publisher’s description: Through its millennium–long existence, Gaza has often been bitterly disputed while simultaneously and paradoxically enduring prolonged neglect. Jean-Pierre Filiu’s book is the first comprehensive history of Gaza in any language. Squeezed between the Negev and Sinai deserts on the one hand and the Mediterranean Sea on the other, Gaza was contested by the Pharaohs, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Fatimids, the Mamluks, the Crusaders and the Ottomans. Napoleon had to secure it in 1799 to launch his failed campaign on Palestine. In 1917, the British Empire fought for months to conquer Gaza, before establishing its mandate on Palestine.

In 1948, 200,000 Palestinians sought refuge in Gaza, a marginal area neither Israel nor Egypt wanted. Palestinian nationalism grew there, and Gaza has since found itself at the heart of Palestinian history. It is in Gaza that the fedayeen movement arose from the ruins of Arab nationalism. It is in Gaza that the 1967 Israeli occupation was repeatedly challenged, until the outbreak of the 1987 intifada. And it is in Gaza, in 2007, that the dream of Palestinian statehood appeared to have been shattered by the split between Fatah and Hamas.

Reviews: Independent

 

Ran Greenstein: Zionism & its discontents: A century of radical dissent in Israel/Palestine (Pluto Press, 2014, paperback, £17.99)

Publisher’s description: Mainstream nationalist narratives and political movements have dominated the Israeli-Palestinian situation for too long. In this much-needed book, Ran Greenstein challenges this hegemony by focusing on four different, but at the same time connected, attempts which stood up to Zionist dominance and the settlement project before and after 1948. Greenstein begins by addressing the role of the Palestinian Communist Party, and then the bi-nationalist movement, before moving on to the period after 1948 when Palestinian attempts to challenge their unjust conditions of marginalisation became more frequent. Finally, he confronts the radical anti-Zionist Matzpen group, which operated from the early 1960s–80s. In addition to analyses of the shifting positions of these movements, Greenstein examines perspectives regarding a set of conceptual issues: colonialism and settlement, race/ethnicity and class, and questions of identity, rights and power, and how, such as in the case of South Africa, these relations should be seen as global.

Reviews: none yet available

 

 

Menachem Klein: Lives in common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa & Hebron (Hurst & Co., 2014, £16.25)

Publisher’s description: Most books dealing with the Israeli–Palestinian conflict see events through the eyes of policy-makers, generals or diplomats. Menachem Klein offers an illuminating alternative by telling the intertwined histories, from street level upwards, of three cities — Jerusalem, Jaffa and Hebron — and their intermingled Jewish, Muslim and Christian inhabitants, from the nineteenth century to the present. Each of them was and still is a mixed city. Jerusalem and Hebron are holy places, while Jaffa till 1948 was Palestine’s principal city and main port of entry. Klein portrays a society in the late Ottoman period in which Jewish-Arab interactions were intense, frequent, and meaningful, before the onset of segregation and separation gradually occurred in the Mandate era. The unequal power relations and increasing violence between Jews and Arabs from 1948 onwards are also scrutinised. Throughout, Klein bases his writing not on the official record but rather on a hitherto hidden private world of Jewish-Arab encounters, including marriages and squabbles, kindnesses and cruelties, as set out in dozens of memoirs, diaries, biographies and testimonies.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Ron Schleifer: Psychological warfare in the Arab-Israeli conflict (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, £62.50)

Publisher’s description: Psychological warfare, or psywar, has been a fixture of warfare and political hostilities ranging from total war and low-intensity conflicts (LICs), to ideological and organizational struggles since biblical times. However, its impact on political life has been more strongly felt since the latter half of the twentieth century, partly due to the ever expanding influence of Media. The first study to examine psywar in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, this book presents an analysis of the Arab and Israeli struggles to gain the world’s sympathy and support. Opening chapters provide an overview of the main ideas in psychological warfare and the principles of psywar engagement. The book then traces the history of the psywar struggle in the Arab-Israeli conflict from the British Mandate to the more recent HAMAS abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

Reviews: none yet available

 

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS/POLITICS

Yaacov Bar Siman Tov: Justice & peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (Routledge, 2014, paperback, £27.99)

Publisher’s description: In this book, the late Prof. Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov argues that the failure of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process so far has been mainly the result of the inability of both sides to reach an agreed formula for linking justice to peace. The issues of justice and injustice are focused mainly on the outcomes of the 1947-1949 first Arab-Israeli War and specifically in the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem. The conflicting historical narratives of the two sides regarding the question of responsibility for the injustice done to the Palestinians turn the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a classic case of linking the issues of justice and peace.Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov maintains that the narratives of justice and injustice in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have proved to be formidable barriers to peace. Hence, he recommends that justice should be compromised for the sake of peace. The link between justice and peace is an important issue requiring both sides’ attention, but, given the wide and currently unbridgeable gap separating the two sides, it should be postponed to the phase of reconciliation rather than being included in the process of conflict resolution. The two-state solution is endorsed as the best and practical solution and as a first step for a “just peace” in this conflict, to be followed by reconciliation.

Reviews: none yet available

 

Shourideh Molavi: Stateless citizenship: The Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel (Haymarket Books, 2014, paperback, £16.15)

Publisher’s description: In this provocative and compelling work Shourideh Molavi documents the legal plight of Palestinians living inside of Israel.

Palestinians living inside of Israel are placed in a paradoxical situation where, as Arab citizens of a Jewish state, they are both inside and outside, host and guest, citizen and stateless. Through the paradigm of stateless citizenship Molavi centers our analytical gaze on the paradox that it is through their status as Israeli citizens that Palestinians are deemed stateless.

Reviews: none yet available

 

M.F.Elman, O.Haklai & H.Spruyt (Eds.): Democracy & conflict resolution: The dilemmas of Israel’s peacemaking (Syracuse Univ. Press, 2013, paperback, £24.74)

Publisher’s description: Studies of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict typically focus on how international conditions drive the likelihood of conflict resolution. By contrast, Democracy and Conflict Resolution considers the understudied impact of domestic factors. Using the contested theory of “democratic peace” as a foundational framework, the contributors explore the effects of a variety of internal influences on Israeli government practices related to Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking: electoral systems; political parties; identity; leadership; and social movements. Most strikingly, Democracy and Conflict Resolution explores the possibility that features of democracy inhibit resolution to the conflict, a possibility that resonates far outside the contested region.

 

Reviews: none yet available

 

 

 

 

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