Background and Analysis


Page last updated 29 Oct 2015

Introduction

These pages are a guide to the Israel-Palestine conflict. There is a huge literature on the subject, some good and some bad.  We refer to the best and have mainly selected material that is freely available online. Most of the important books on these topics are not. So you won’t find crucial texts like Avi Shlaim’s The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World, or Ilan Pappé’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine here. But you will find reviews and articles discussing the themes of such major works in these pages. And there is further information about, and reviews of, a large number of books on Israel-Palestine published in recent years on our books page.

There is a logic to our presentation of various aspects of the conflict below, but few texts fit unambiguously into single categories. For example, writings on the Palestinian refugee issue or debate about whether Israel is an apartheid society are also part of the general history of the conflict and the nature of Israeli society. Likewise, questions about the nature of antisemitism appear across a range of subjects from history to BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions).

We have limited the number of articles in any particular section and cross-linked to other sections as appropriate. Suggestions for the inclusion of additional material or issues that should be included are welcome, as is any information about broken links. Contact us at background@jfjfp.com

NB: The usual disclaimer: Linking to an article on this website does not mean that we endorse its contents.

I’d like to thank Amanda Weiss for her enormous help in preparing these revised pages. Clare Ungerson, John Speyer and Antony Lerman commented on various sections in draft. Arthur Goodman provided material on the new historians. And Vivien Lichtenstein subbed the whole lot, eliminating hundreds of typos and inconsistencies in the process, and forced me to clarify the text again and again. I believe that all opinions expressed in the introductions and commentaries on articles are all in line with, and in the spirit of, the dominant ideas and opinions of Jews for Justice for Palestinians as developed since 2002. But, the final formulations are mine and I take full responsibility for them.

Richard Kuper, 29 Oct 2015

 


Contents

1. ORIGINS OF AND BACKGROUND TO THE CONFLICT

a) General introduction
b) Timelines and maps

c) From earliest times to the present – introductions and overviews
d) The Palestinian refugees

e) From 1948 to 1967
f) Oslo and after
g) Gaza’s special history

2. THE OCCUPATION

a) Maps of the occupation
b) Occupation and the Fourth Geneva Convention

Israel’s human rights violations – an introduction
Settlement building and land issues
Restrictions on movement
House demolitions, forced displacement, denial of residency rights
Justice
The Wall
The Green Line
Water
Health
Education
The economics of the occupation

c) Gaza under occupation
d) Living under occupation

3. STRATEGIES FOR CHANGE

a) Negotiating for peace
b) Palestinian popular resistance
c) Boycott, divestment, sanctions

Some early history
The campaign against settlement goods and institutions
Arms boycott
Boycott of companies profiting from the occupation
Academic and cultural boycott
Sanctions: the EU and Israel-Palestine

d) Israeli social movement opposition
e) Solidarity with Palestinian and Israeli campaigns and activities
f) Hamas’s strategy
g) The call for equal rights
h) Using International Law

4. ISRAELI SOCIETY AND POLITICS

a) What kind of society?

Jewish and democratic?
Settler/settler-colonial/ethnocratic?
Apartheid?

b) Divisions among Israeli citizens

Ashkenazi and Mizrachi
The Russians
The Falashas

Palestinian citizens of Israel

c) The Israeli Supreme Court – champion of rights?

5. PALESTINIAN SOCIETY AND POLITICS

General introduction
Palestinian political institutions
Palestinian civil society
Palestinian refugees

6.INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

a) The ‘Israel lobby’: US aid to and support for Israel
b) The European Union and Israel-Palestine
c) General commentaries

7. JEWISH IDENTITY

a) Antisemitism
b) Israel and the Jewish diaspora

c) The Jewish community in Britain
d) Jewish holidays

8. MEDIA REPRESENTATIONS OF THE CONFLICT

9. SOME KEY DEBATES

a) Setting the scene: the hasbara (propaganda) war
b) Is criticism of Israel antisemitic?

Singling out Israel
Is Israel an apartheid society?
BDS and antisemitism

c) Can you have a Jewish and democratic state?
d) What is Zionism today?

e) The nature of the nakba
f) One state or two?
g) Is Hamas to blame? Is Gaza still occupied?
h) Right of return and law of return
i) The role of the JNF

 

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