General commentaries

Page last updated 28 May 2018


There is a huge volume of material produced by experts of one kind or another on the Israel-Palestine conflict and on the situation in the wider Middle-East. This section in no way aims to be comprehensive but draws attention to some analysts who produce interesting and insightful material on the region. It is not an endorsement of their individual contributions – indeed many have proved to be wrong over time (generally too optimistic!) – but all provide important perspectives through which to view the conflict and possible resolutions of it. More relevant material of this kind will be found in the section on Negotiating for peace.

There is always interesting material to be found in magazines, journals or on websites such as London Review of Books, New York Review of Books, openDemocracy, The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Foreign Policy and more.

Here to begin are six commentators we would recommend, in no particular order: Paul Rogers, Tony Klug, Phyllis Bennis, Avi Shlaim, Adam Shatz and Alastair Crooke. The intention is to add to this page over time, but if that never happens, at least this is a start!


Paul Rogers, professor in the department of peace studies at Bradford University, is openDemocracy’s international security editor and writes a wide-ranging weekly column

Some selected recent contributions in openDemocracy

Tony Klug has written extensively about Arab-Israel issues since the early 1970s: his doctoral thesis was on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank between the wars of 1967 and 1973. Former co-chair of the Council for Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue and vice-chair of the Arab-Jewish Forum, he worked for many years as a senior official at Amnesty International. Currently, he is a special advisor on the Middle East to the Oxford Research Group and an international board member of the Palestine-Israel Journal.

Some selected recent contributions in openDemocracy

Antisemitism: the Middle East connection · 5 Mar 2015
Time to end the ambiguity · 6 Dec 2014
Palestinian game-changer: the ultimate act of resistance, Sam Bahour and Tony Klug · 13 Aug 2014
Israel/Palestine: trapped by our own narratives? · 22 Dec 2013
Will the Arab Peace Initiative rescue the two-state imperative? · 24 Jun 2013
The two-state solution: where next? · 6 Nov 2011
Bonfire of the experts: the Arab uprisings and the Israeli-Palestinian question · 1 Jun 2011


Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and is a fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. She has been a writer, analyst, and activist on Middle East and UN issues for many years. In 2001 she helped found and remains on the advisory board of the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation.

A prolific writer, much of her recent writing is on Iraq, Syria and the wider Middle East. But there is still plenty on Israel-Palestine.

All these links are to the IPS website.

Jim Crow in the Holy Land · 25 Mar 2015
Netanyahu or Herzog, Little Will Change in Israeli Policy · 18 Mar 2015
Rift Between Obama and Netanyahu Deepens After Speech
Netanyahu Threatens War In Speech to Congress · 3 Mar 2015
Palestine-Israel in the Midst of Middle East Crises · 3 Feb 2015
Will ICC Membership Bring Justice to Stateless and Occupied Palestinians? · 5 Jan 2015Palestinian Statehood: A Lost Cause? · 4 Jan 2015
Talking Points: Iraq under assault, Gaza in ruins · 15 Aug 2014
What Would a Real Ceasefire Look Like Between Israel and Gaza? · 11 Aug 2014
In Gaza, International Law Is Up in Flames · 30 Jul 2014
Violations in Gaza “Not Equal” on Both Sides · 24 Jul 2014
Why Opposing the Israel Lobby Is No Longer Political Suicide · 16 Jul 2014
Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations at a Dead End · 9 Apr 2014
AIPAC is Losing Influence Over U.S. Foreign Policy · 7 Mar 2014


Avi Shlaim is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford and the author of Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations (Verso, 2009); and a JfjfP signatory.

Some recent contributions in openDemocracy

The perils and pitfalls of patriotic history · 7 Feb 2014
Ariel Sharon’s legacy · 14 Jan 2014
An Open Letter to Barack Obama · 28 May 2010
Israel’s “new history” and the Palestinians · 4 Nov 2009
Israel and Gaza: rhetoric and reality · 7 Jan 2009
Israel at 60: the “iron wall” revisited · 8 May 2008
Israel, free speech, and the Oxford Union · 13 Nov 2007


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