Older books – Current Affairs/Politics
This page contains details of books previously listed on the Most Recently Published Books page. Books are listed in alphabetical order of the author. All the books were published in 2014 or later; earlier books previously listed on this page can be found here.
Matthew Abraham: Out of bounds: Academic freedom and the question of Palestine (2014)
Ali Abunimah: The battle for justice in Palestine (2014)
Yossi Alpher: No end of conflict: Rethinking Israel-Palestine (2016)
Yaacov Bar Siman Tov: Justice & peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (2014)
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)
Marwan Darweish & Andrew Rigby: Popular protest in Palestine: The uncertain future of of unarmed resistance (2015)
Khaled Diab: Intimate enemies: Living with Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land (2014)
Ru Freeman (Ed.): Extraordinary rendition: (American) Writers on Palestine (2015)
Caroline Glick: The Israeli solution: A One-State plan for peace in the Middle East (2014)
Alon Gratch: The Israeli mind: How the Israeli character shapes our world (2015)
Jeff Halper: War against the people: Israel, the Palestinians and global pacification (2015)
Ibrahim Hewitt (Ed.): Israel and Gaza: Behind the media veil (2014)
Keith Kahn-Harris: Uncivil wars: The Israel conflict in the Jewish community (2014)
Adi Kuntsman & Rebecca Stein: Digital militarism: Israel’s Occupation in the social media age (2015)
Mark LeVine & Mathias Mossberg: One land: Israel and Palestine as two parallel states (2014)
Shourideh Molavi: Stateless citizenship: The Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel (2014)
Cary Nelson & Gabriel Noah Brahm (Eds.); The case against academic boycotts of Israel (2014)
Padraig O’Malley: The Two-State delusion (2015)
Mohammed Omer: Shell-shocked: On the ground under Israel’s Gaza assault (2015)
Ilan Pappe (Ed.): Israel and South Africa: The many faces of apartheid (2015)
Keren Sharvit & Eran Halperin (Eds.): A Social Psychology perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (2016)
Raja Shehadeh: Language of war, language of peace: Palestine, Israel & the search for justice (2015)
Jon Soske & Sean Jacobs (Eds.): Apartheid Israel: The politics of an analogy (2015)
Marcelo Svirsky: After Israel: Towards cultural transformation (2014)
Helga Tawil-Souri & Dina Matar (Eds.): Gaza as metaphor(2015)
M.Turner & O.Shweiki (eds.): Decolonising Palestinian political economy: De-development and beyond (2014)
Dov Waxman: Trouble in the tribe: The American Jewish conflict over Israel (2016)
Eyal Weizmann & Fazal Sheikh: The conflict shoreline: Colonization as climate change in the Negev desert (2015)
Bill Williamson: Place is the passion: Reframing the Israel/Palestine conflict (2016)
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.
Publisher’s description: Efforts to achieve a “two-state solution” have finally collapsed, and the struggle for justice in Palestine is at a crossroads. As Israeli society lurches toward greater extremism, many ask where the struggle is headed. This book offers a clear analysis of this crossroads moment and looks forward with urgency down the path to a more hopeful future.
Publisher’s description: Yossi Alpher, a veteran of peace process research and dialogue, explains how Israel got into its current situation of growing international isolation, political stalemate, and gathering messianic political influence. He investigates the inability of Israelis and Palestinians to make peace and end their conflict before suggesting not “solutions” (as there is no current prospect for a realistic comprehensive solution), but ways to moderate and soften the worst aspects of the situation and “muddle through” as Israel looks to a somber bi-national future. Alpher argues that a sober reassessment is long overdue in the way the West looks at the Israeli-Palestinian relationship. He submits that we have to stop talking about “the peace process” as if it still seriously exists, that 20 years of the Oslo process have failed for very substantial reasons that the professional peacemakers ignore at their risk, and that Israel is more likely to sink into a single-state reality than to remain truly “Jewish and democratic.” Yet, his is a non-ideological, no nonsense book. Israel will not disappear, will not become impoverished, and will still find strategic partners.
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
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.
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: William Hanna
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.
Publisher’s description: Popular Protest in Palestine provides an overview and analysis of the role and significance of unarmed civil (popular) resistance in the Palestinian national movement. The main focus is on the contemporary popular resistance movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), but it is prefaced by a historical review of the thread of unarmed civil resistance that has run throughout the history of the Palestinian liberation struggle. It informs a contemporary readership about this under-emphasised dimension of the Palestinian struggle, arguing that at the present juncture the popular resistance movement, especially in the West Bank, is the most significant form of struggle against the ongoing occupation. Popular Protest in Palestine also addresses the international dimensions of the Palestinian struggle, focusing in particular on the BDS campaign, the role of international solidarity activists in the OPT and beyond, and the changing forms of engagement developed by international agencies seeking to work on the roots of the conflict whilst fulfilling their humanitarian aid mandates.
Publisher’s description: The Holy Land is often presented as a story of two sides locked in a cycle of recurrent conflict: Jew vs Arab; Israeli vs Palestinian. For the outsider looking in, it is a question of military might and nationhood. Any view of the peoples themselves, of the lives being lived in Jerusalem, Gaza, Tel Aviv or the West Bank, is clouded by the divisive politics of the region. In ‘Intimate Enemies’, Khaled Diab explores the human lives at stake in the conflict. From Palestinians evading checkpoints to attend parties, to the different approaches Israelis take in defining personal Jewish identities, to the experiences of women from across the region, ‘Intimate Enemies’ looks at what makes people tick. It also becomes clear in this closer understanding of the people how misleading a simple notion of two opposing sides really is. Amongst both Israelis and Palestinians, Diab finds internal cultural, ideological and historical fractures, as well as unlikely patches of common ground between the political enemies.
Publisher’s description: Extraordinary Rendition brings together the work of sixty-five prominent writers to examine America’s culpability in the denial of human rights and dignity to Palestinians in Israel/Palestine and beyond. The anthology includes pieces by writers such as Chana Bloch, Jane Hirshfield, Colum McCann, Roger Reeves, George Saunders and Alice Walker. In writing that is always clear, and often startlingly beautiful, they cover a range of issues including the erasure and reconstruction of histories, the examination of identity, the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of speaking out as artists, the conditions of occupation, and the potential for activism. They also explore the way U.S. foreign policy towards Palestine regularly mirrors the harsh realities faced by many of America’s own minorities.
Reviews: Electronic Intifada
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 (…).
Publisher’s description: Israelis are bold and visionary, passionate and generous. But they can also be grandiose and self-absorbed. Emerging from the depths of Jewish history and the drama of the Zionist rebellion against it, they have a deeply conflicted identity. They are willing to sacrifice themselves for the collective, but also to sacrifice that very collective for a higher, and likely unattainable, ideal. Resolving these internal conflicts and coming to terms with the trauma of the Holocaust are imperative to Israel’s survival as a nation and to the stability of the world. Alon Gratch, a clinical psychologist whose family has lived in Israel for generations, is uniquely positioned to confront these issues. (…) Drawing on a broad cultural and historical canvas, and weaving in the author’s personal and professional experience, The Israeli Mind presents a provocative, first-hand portrait of the Israeli national character.
Publisher’s description: War Against the People is a disturbing insight into the new ways world powers such as the US, Israel, Britain and China forge war today. It is a subliminal war of surveillance and whitewashed terror, conducted through new, high-tech military apparatuses, designed and first used in Israel against the Palestinian population. Including hidden camera systems, sophisticated sensors, information databases on civilian activity, automated targeting systems and, in some cases, unmanned drones, it is used to control the very people the nation’s leaders profess to serve. Drawing from years of research, as well as investigations and interviews conducted at international arms fairs, Jeff Halper reveals that this practice is much more insidious than was previously thought.
Publisher’s description: The essays in this book examine media coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014. Looking through a wide lens, they cover mainstream and social media, and draw attention not only to the lack of objectivity in coverage of the war but also the way that traditional media sources are being overtaken by new media as audiences search for the truth behind the headlines.
Reviews: none yet available
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.
Publisher’s description: Israel’s occupation has been transformed in the social media age. Over the last decade, military rule in the Palestinian territories grew more bloody and entrenched. In the same period, Israelis became some of the world’s most active social media users. In Israel today, violent politics are interwoven with global networking practices, protocols, and aesthetics. Israeli soldiers carry smartphones into the field of military operations, sharing mobile uploads in real-time. Official Israeli military spokesmen announce wars on Twitter. And civilians encounter state violence first on their newsfeeds and mobile screens. Across the globe, the ordinary tools of social networking have become indispensable instruments of warfare and violent conflict. This book traces the rise of Israeli digital militarism in this global context—both the reach of social media into Israeli military theaters and the occupation’s impact on everyday Israeli social media culture.
Publisher’s description: One Land, Two States imagines a new vision for Israel and Palestine in a situation where the peace process has failed to deliver an end of conflict. “If the land cannot be shared by geographical division, and if a one-state solution remains unacceptable,” the book asks, “can the land be shared in some other way?” Leading Palestinian and Israeli experts along with international diplomats and scholars answer this timely question by examining a scenario with two parallel state structures, both covering the whole territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, allowing for shared rather than competing claims of sovereignty. Such a political architecture would radically transform the nature and stakes of the Israel-Palestine conflict, open up for Israelis to remain in the West Bank and maintain their security position, enable Palestinians to settle in all of historic Palestine, and transform Jerusalem into a capital for both of full equality and independence—all without disturbing the demographic balance of each state. Exploring themes of security, resistance, diaspora, globalism, and religion, as well as forms of political and economic power that are not dependent on claims of exclusive territorial sovereignty, this pioneering book offers new ideas for the resolution of conflicts worldwide.
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
Publisher’s description: How should we understand the international debate about the future of Israel and the Palestinians? Can justice be achieved in the Middle East? Until now, there was no single place for people to go to find detailed scholarly essays analyzing proposals to boycott Israel and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement of which they are a part. This book for the first time provides the historical background necessary for informed evaluation of one of the most controversial issues of our day— the struggle between two peoples living side-by-side but with conflicting views of history and conflicting national ambitions. This book encourages empathy for all parties, but it also takes a cold look at what solutions are realistic and possible. In doing so, it tackles issues, like the role of anti-Semitism in calls for the abolition of the Jewish state, that many have found impossible to confront until now.
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.
Publisher’s description: none available
Publisher’s description: In Israel and South Africa, Ilan Pappé, one of Israel’s preeminent academics and a noted critic of the current government, brings together lawyers, journalists, policy makers, and historians of both countries to assess the implications of the apartheid analogy for international law, activism and policy making.
Publisher’s description: This volume explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a social psychology perspective. At the core of the book is a theory of intractable conflicts, as developed by Daniel Bar-Tal of Tel Aviv University, applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Opening with an introduction to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict situation and a few chapters on the theoretical backgrounds of the creation of a societal ethos of conflict, the volume then moves to an analysis of the psycho-social underpinnings of the conflict, while concluding with a discussion of the possibility of long-standing peace in the region. Among the topics included in the coverage are: Identity formation during conflict; The Israeli and Palestinian ethos of conflict; The important role of Palestinian and Israeli education; An analysis of the leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process
Reviews: none yet available
Publisher’s description: A passionate and elegant reflection on the language of the Middle East conflict expanded from Raja Shehadeh’s Edward Said memorial lectures. Award-winning author Raja Shehadeh explores the politics of language and the language of politics in the Israeli Palestine conflict, reflecting on the walls that they create – legal and cultural – that confine today’s Palestinians just like the physical borders, checkpoints and the so called ‘Separation Barrier’. The peace process has been ground to a halt by twists of language and linguistic chicanery that has degraded the word ‘peace’ itself. No one even knows what the word might mean now for the Middle East. So to give one example of many, Israel argued that the omission of the word ‘the’ in one of the UN Security Council’s resolutions meant that it was not mandated to withdraw from all of the territories occupied in 1967.
Publisher’s description: In Apartheid Israel: The Politics of an Analogy, twenty scholars of Africa and its diaspora reflect on the similarities and differences between apartheid-era South Africa and contemporary Israel, with an eye to strengthening and broadening today’s movement for justice in Palestine.
Reviews: SCTIW (link downloads a PDF)
Publisher’s description: In this unique new contribution, Marcelo Svirsky asserts that no political solution currently on offer can provide the cultural marrow necessary to effect a transformation of modes of being and ways of life in the State of Israel. Controversially, Svirsky argues that the Zionist political project cannot be fixed – it is one that negatively affects the lives of its beneficiaries as well as of its victims. Instead, the book aims to generate a reflective attitude, allowing Jewish-Israelis to explore how they may divest themselves of Zionist identities by engaging with dissident rationalities, practices and institutions.
Reviews: SCTIW Review (link downloads a PDF)
Publisher’s description: Open-air Prison, Terror, Resistance, Occupation, Siege, Trauma: irrespective of when, where, and to whom the word is uttered, ‘Gaza’ immediately evokes an abundance of metaphors. Similarly, a host of metaphors also recall Gaza: Crisis, Exception, Refugees, Destitution, Tunnels, Persistence. This book brings together journalists, writers, doctors, academics and others, who use metaphor to record and historicise Gaza, to contextualise its everyday realities, interrogate its representations and provide an understanding of its real and symbolic significance. (…) The contributors reveal the manner of Gaza’s historical and spatial creation, to show that Gaza is more than simply a metaphor for far-away humanitarian disaster, or a location of incomprehensible violence — it is above all an inseparable part of Palestine’s past, present, and future, and of the condition of dispossession.
Reviews: none yet available
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.
Publisher’s description: Trouble in the Tribe explores the increasingly contentious place of Israel in the American Jewish community. In a fundamental shift, growing numbers of American Jews have become less willing to unquestioningly support Israel and more willing to publicly criticize its government. More than ever before, American Jews are arguing about Israeli policies, and many, especially younger ones, are becoming uncomfortable with Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Dov Waxman argues that Israel is fast becoming a source of disunity for American Jewry, and that a new era of American Jewish conflict over Israel is replacing the old era of solidarity. Drawing on a wealth of in-depth interviews with American Jewish leaders and activists, Waxman shows why Israel has become such a divisive issue among American Jews. (…) Waxman sets this conflict in the context of broader cultural, political, institutional, and demographic changes happening in the American Jewish community.
Publisher’s description: The village of al-‘Araqib has been destroyed and rebuilt more than seventy times in the ongoing “battle over the Negev,” an Israeli state campaign to uproot the Palestinian Bedouins from the northern threshold of the desert. Unlike other frontiers fought over during the Israel-Palestine conflict, this one is not demarcated by fences and walls but by shifting climatic conditions. The threshold of the desert advances and recedes in response to colonization, cultivation, displacement, urbanization, and, most recently, climate change. In his response to Sheikh’s “Desert Bloom” series (part of Sheikh’s The Erasure Trilogy, published by Steidl), Eyal Weizman’s essay incorporates historical aerial photographs, contemporary remote sensing data, state plans, court testimonies, and nineteenth-century travelers’ accounts, exploring the Negev’s threshold as a “shoreline” along which climate change and political conflict are deeply and dangerously entangled.
Publisher’s description: Israel relies for its survival on its lucrative arms trade and American military support. Meanwhile, the Palestinians suffer poverty and destitution as an occupied nation. Indeed, were it not for vast international financial support, the Palestinians would face starvation. Any solution is impossible while Israel pursues an aggressive programme of settlement, expansion and ethnic cleansing. The author rejects the two state solution, which he likens to Apartheid. In a convincing fact-based analysis, he shows that a better future is achievable for both peoples: one that is secular, democratic, bi-national, culturally vibrant and economically successful.
Reviews: Red Pepper